Today I’m running the rule over four FTSE-quoted dividend giants.

Global greatness

With earnings expected to explode this year and beyond, I reckon dividend hunters should give insurance star Standard Life (LSE: SL) more than a passing glance.

The business is rapidly expanding overseas to underpin future profits growth, a strategy that helped net inflows to more than double in 2015 to £12.6bn. Indeed, more than two-thirds of these inflows came from outside the UK.

With Standard Life’s leading position in the fast-growing savings and pensions markets paying off handsomely, a dividend of 18.36p per share in 2015 is expected to rise to 19.7p this year, and again to 21.2p in 2017. Consequently the insurer carries market-smashing yields of 5.4% and 5.8% for these years.

Motoring higher

Diversified insurer Esure (LSE: ESUR) is well placed to enjoy the end of the low-premium era, in my opinion. A backdrop of rising policy costs underpinned a 30% uptick in pre-tax profits last year, to £134m, and further hefty gains would appear to be on the cards.

Gross written premiums advanced 6.3% in 2015, and Esure expects premiums to advance between 10% and 15% in the current period. As well as benefitting from rising prices, Esure is also growing its customer base in the critical Motor segment.

The business was forced to cut the dividend in 2015 to build its capital pile, reducing the payment to 11.5p per share from 16.8p the previous year.

But with market conditions steadily improving, the City has chalked-in dividends of 13.2p for 2016 and 15.5p for next year. These figures create gigantic yields of 4.9% and 5.8%, respectively.

A mobile master

Telecoms titan Vodafone’s (LSE: VOD) heavy spending of recent years continues to deliver stonking returns. The company has thrown vast amounts into improving its data and voice capabilities, moves that have steadily improved its performance in its critical European marketplaces.

Vodafone’s Project Spring organic investment scheme has also enabled it to take advantage of surging demand across Asia, the Middle East and Africa. And sales from these regions should keep galloping amid exploding population growth and rising income levels.

With earnings expected to start moving higher again from next year, Vodafone is expected to fork out dividends of 11.5p per share for the periods concluding March 2016 and 2017, respectively, yielding a handsome 5.3%.

In good health

I believe the dependable nature of medicines demand should power earnings — and consequently dividends — at pharma giant AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) through the roof in the coming years.

Sure, the issue of patent losses on key labels is set to remain an anchor around the bottom line for some time yet — the City expects AstraZeneca to rack up further bottom-line slides in 2016 and 2017.

But AstraZeneca is pulling out all the stops to offset these losses, culminating in a 21% hike in R&D spend in 2015 alone. A subsequent improvement in the firm’s product pipeline should provide ample rewards as healthcare spend explodes across the globe, in my opinion.

The dividend is expected to remain locked at 280 US cents through to the close of next year. But this still yields a handsome 4.8%, and I expect this figure to march higher again in the years ahead as profits advance.

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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended AstraZeneca. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.