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5 Dividend Stocks to Buy in August

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Dividend stocks are the heart and soul of any well-constructed portfolio. Having said that, there are so many dividend-paying stocks populating the landscape these days that it can be rather difficult to decide which ones best suit your long-term investing goals. With this in mind, our Foolish team of dividend experts offer their five top picks below that may be worth adding to your portfolio in the month of August.

This company's stock is way down, but far from out

Tyler Crowe: In cyclical industries like oil and gas, the best way to maximize your profits is to find steady dividend-payers and buy them when they're out of favor. So far in 2016, the market really isn't a fan of oil refiners, as rising oil prices have led to smaller refining margins. That makes now a great time to buy beaten-down refiners, and that is why HollyFrontier (NYSE:HFC) looks like a great dividend stock to buy in August.

What really sets HollyFrontier apart from independent oil refiners is the geographic advantages it enjoys. With major refineries in the Midwest and Rocky Mountains, its facilities are close to hard-to-access crudes that sell for a discount to national benchmark prices. Similarly, these refineries are also in places where it's difficult to deliver refined petroleum products, so HollyFrontier enjoys slightly larger refining margins than others in more competitive refining markets. Just as importantly, the company runs a tight operation, having kept its operational costs in check and thereby allowing it to profit from these geographic advantages.

Gasoline and diesel consumption won't evaporate any time soon, and the refining industry waxes and wanes just like any other cyclical industry. So with shares of HollyFrontier down nearly 50% this year and the dividend yield at 5.5%, now seems like an opportune time to buy shares.

A top-notch dividend stock

Andres Cardenal: PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) is a giant in nonalcoholic drinks and snacks. The company owns 22 brands that make over $1 billion each in global revenue, and it enjoys rock-solid competitive advantages in scale, global distribution network, and financial resources to invest in marketing and advertising.

Demand in the industry is changing, as many consumers around the world are increasingly conscious about the importance of nutrition. Fortunately for investors, PepsiCo has been betting on this trend for several years now, and innovation is delivering results. According to management, nearly 9% of the company's revenue comes from new products, while "guilt-free" drinks and snacks represent 45% of revenue.

It's not easy for such a big company operating in a mature industry to find new growth opportunities, especially in times when foreign currency headwinds are hurting performance in international markets. However, PepsiCo is still expecting a healthy 9% increase in core constant-currency earnings per share during...