In today’s markets, it can still be difficult for silver-focused investors to turn a profit. 

Silver prices have started to bounce back, having gained an impressive 20 percent since the start of 2016, but there’s still a long way to go for the white metal. As of mid-April 2016, the silver price had lost 60 percent over the previous five years, and many miners continue to struggle despite aggressive cost cutting.

That’s why some investors are looking to the top silver stocks that pay dividends. A dividend is a sum of money that is paid regularly by a company to a class of its shareholders out of its earnings. Dividends are often issued as cash payments, but can also be issued as stock or other property.

With that in mind, here’s a brief overview of five top silver stocks that pay dividends. They may be worth some attention as the silver price begins to rise again.

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1. Silver Wheaton (TSX:SLW,NYSE:SLW)

Silver Wheaton is a well-known name in the silver space, largely because of its business model – it’s the world’s largest precious metals streaming company, which means that it’s made upfront payments to a variety of companies in order to gain the right to purchase, at a low, fixed cost, all or a portion of the companies’ silver and gold production.

The company currently has streaming agreements in place for 22 operating mines and seven development-stage projects. It is interested in companies operating in politically stable jurisdictions, and states that it has growth potential as well as “

[l]everage to increases in the price of silver and gold.” As a result, Silver Wheaton sees itself as offering investors multiple benefits while reducing many of the downside risks that traditional mining companies face.

Silver Wheaton has a dividend reinvestment plan that is optional for its shareholders. The process for enrolling in the plan is different for different types of shareholders, and the company lays out all of them on its website.

The highest dividend paid by Silver Wheaton was US$0.14 per share on April 12, 2013. Most recently, it paid its first quarterly dividend of 2016 of US$0.05 per common share. The dividend was equal to 20 percent of the average cash generated by operating activities over the last four quarters, divided by the company’s outstanding shares at the time the dividend was approved.

2. Pan American Silver (TSX:PAA,NASDAQ:PAAS)

Founded by Ross Beaty in 1994, Pan American Silver currently has seven mines in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and Argentina, plus various development projects. Its 2015 revenues came to $674.68 million, and it achieved record silver production of 26.12 million ounces for the year.

The highest dividend Pan American has ever paid is US$0.125 per share. While that’s lower than Silver Wheaton’s highest dividend, Pan American paid a dividend of US$0.125 per share nine times in a row, with the first time being March 18, 2013, and the last time being March 13, 2015.

Unfortunately, after making that last dividend payment of US$0.125 per share, Pan American’s dividend took a steep drop. Most recently, it paid a quarterly cash dividend of just $0.0125 per share on March 11, 2016. Pan American also announced on April 19 that it had entered an agreement with MacMillan Minerals (TSXV:MMX) to create a new royalty and streaming company.

3. Fresnillo (LSE:FRES)

Fresnillo bills itself as the world’s leading primary silver producer. It’s precious metals assets include the largest primary silver mine in the world, as well as an “exceptional portfolio of development projects and exploration prospects.” 

On September 10, 2015, Fresnillo paid an interim dividend of US$0.021. The company’s dividend policy takes business profitability and underlying earnings growth into account, as well as capital requirements and cash flow. Its 2012 final dividend is its highest on record at US$0.424.

Fresnillo is set to pay a 2015 final dividend of US$0.335 on May 9 2016.

4. Tahoe Resources (TSX:THO,NYSE:TAHO)

Tahoe Resources operates the Guatemala-based Escobal mine, which was the second top primary silver mine in the world as of the end of 2014. Escobal put out 20.3 million ounces of the white metal that year, also recording gold, lead and zinc output. As of January 2016, proven and probable mineral reserves for the mine sat at 29.1 million tonnes at an average silver grade of 332 grams per tonne containing 310 million ounces of silver.

On April 7 2016, Tahoe declared its ninth monthly dividend of the year. It came in at US$0.02 per share. The monthly US$0.02 dividend was originally declared on November 14, 2014, and has continued since that time.

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5. Hecla Mining (NYSE:HL)

In addition to being the the largest primary silver producer in the US, Hecla is also an emerging gold producer. It is the oldest precious metals miner in North America, and owns two primary silver mines in Alaska and Idaho, as well as a Quebec-based gold mine.

Hecla’s most recent dividend payment came to $0.0025 per share on March 18, 2016. Its highest dividend payment on record is $0.0125 per share, last paid on March 25, 2013. The company’s dividends are based on its average realized silver price for the preceding quarter; it also pays an annual minimum common stock dividend of $0.01 per share. More details can be found on Hecla’s website.

Did we miss a dividend-paying silver stock? Let us know in the comments! And don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates.

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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article. 

This article was originally published on the Investing News Network on September 24, 2015.

Related reading: 

3 Top Primary Silver Mines

10 Top Silver-producing Countries

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