It stands to reason that the largest aggregate dividend payers in the U.S. stock market would be large-cap companies. They have the financial strength to pump out cash to shareholders on a regular basis. 

By industry, two of the biggies are major oil companies, two are tech giants and two are the largest phone companies in the U.S. A healthcare company, a national bank, a consumer products company and an industrial conglomerate fill out the list.

If you're considering these stocks for a dividend portfolio, note that seven of the 10 historically increase dividends in the first half of the calendar year.

Here are the 10 biggest dividend payers according to S&P Dow Jones Indices. In each case we used the indicated dividend, the latest announced quarterly payment projected forward 12 months, multiplied by the number of shares outstanding to arrive at the total annual dividend. Stocks are ranked by that metric.

All data as of Sept. 17, 2014. Dividend per share adjusted for stock splits.

Sources: S&P Dow Jones Indices; Company websites.

 

10. Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble is a global consumer products company whose brands include Crest, Tide and Gillette. The company has paid a dividend for 124 consecutive years and increased it annually for the past 58 years.

  • Dividend Yield: 3.05%
  • Dividend/Share: $2.57
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase:  May 15, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $7.0 Billion
  • Ticker: PG

9. Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo went from a major regional bank to a national bank holding company with the 2008 acquisition of Wachovia. During the financial crisis, the bank slashed its dividend, which bottomed at $0.20 a share in 2010, but has since risen 600%.

  • Dividend Yield: 2.67%
  • Dividend/Share: $1.40
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: June 1, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $7.4 Billion
  • Ticker: WFC

8. Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson, which produces pharmaceuticals, medical devices and consumer products, operates in more than 60 countries worldwide. The company has increased its dividend for 52 consecutive years.

  • Dividend Yield: 2.64%
  • Dividend/Share: $2.80
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase:  June 10, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $7.9 Billion
  • Ticker: JNJ

7. Chevron

Chevron is the world’s fourth largest oil company in terms of proven reserves. Despite increasing its dividend an average of 9% annually over the past five years, it still pays out less than 40% of profits in dividends.

  • Dividend Yield: 3.43%
  • Dividend/Share: $4.28
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: June 10, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $8.1 Billion
  • Ticker: CVX

6. General Electric

General Electric is a major conglomerate and one of the original companies in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Problems at GE Capital caused a dividend cut during the financial crisis, but since bottoming in 2010, shareholder payments have almost doubled.

  • Dividend Yield: 3.35%
  • Dividend/Share: $0.88
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: December 23, 2013
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $8.8 Billion
  • Ticker: GE

5. Verizon Communications

Verizon, the successor to two Baby Bells and GTE, is now the country’s leading mobile phone company. Dividends have increased about 4% annually over the past five years.

  • Dividend Yield: 4.31%
  • Dividend/Share: $2.20
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: November 3, 20 14
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $9.1 Billion
  • Ticker: VZ

4. Microsoft

Microsoft, a major producer of computer software, was one of the first technology companies to introduce a dividend when taxes were lowered on shareholder payments in 2003. Since then, the dividend has risen 1,450%.

  • Dividend Yield: 2.41%
  • Dividend/Share: $1.24
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: December 11, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend:  $9.3 Billion
  • Ticker: MSFT

3. AT&T

AT&T, one of the nation’s largest telecom companies, started life as Southwestern Bell in 1983 and grew through acquisitions. Dividends have increased about 4.5% annually over the past decade.

  • Dividend Yield: 5.25%
  • Dividend/Share: $1.84
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: February 3, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $9.5 Billion
  • Ticker: T

2. Apple

Apple, the maker of iconic electronic devices including the iPhone and iPad, actually paid a small dividend from 1987 to 1995.  After years of not paying shareholders, it instituted a much higher dividend in 2012 and has had two increases since then.

  • Dividend Yield: 1.85%
  • Dividend/Share: $1.88  
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: May 15, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $11.3 Billion
  • Ticker: AAPL      

1. Exxon Mobil

Exxon Mobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international integrated oil and gas company. Over the past 31 years, Exxon’s dividend has increased at an average annual rate of 6.3%.

  • Dividend Yield: 2.84%
  • Dividend/Share: $2.76  
  • Payment Date for Most Recent Increase: June 10, 2014
  • Total Annual Indicated Dividend: $11.9 Billion
  • Ticker: XOM      

 
Read more: