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2 FTSE 100 dividend stocks I’d aim to never sell

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I wouldn’t try to hold every single one of my investments forever. But there are at least a few FTSE 100 dividend stocks I’d aim to never sell.

Growth driven by the R&D pipeline

For example, pharmaceutical company AstraZeneca (LSE: AZN) strikes me as being a top-quality business operating in an attractive sector. And at the end of July, the company said in its interim results report that it’s “accelerating top-line growth with continued pipeline progress”.

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Indeed, the Research & Development (R&D) pipeline has offered plenty of potential for a number of years. But lately, the firm’s Regulatory News Service (RNS) feed has been vibrant with positive announcements.

AstraZeneca reckons the way the pipeline has been spitting out new cash-earning treatments and medicines “underpins the transition to long-term sustainable growth”. And there was a high-profile example of the capabilities of the business recently when it produced its Covid-19 vaccine and gave it to the world at cost price.

Meanwhile, with the share price near 8,635p, the forward-looking dividend yield for 2022 is around 2.4%. That’s not the highest FTSE 100 yield available. But I think the business is capable of driving increases in the years ahead. But, of course, as with all companies and stocks, there’s potential for setbacks as well as successes in the future. Nevertheless, I’d be inclined to focus on the quality of the enterprise and aim to hold some of the shares through thick and thin, way into the future.

A great sector for enduring FTSE 100 dividend stocks

And alongside AstraZeneca, I’d target Unilever (LSE: ULVR), the fast-moving consumer goods giant.

I think the branded consumable goods sector is a decent place to hunt for enduring investments. In theory, companies operating in the sector tend to generate stable cash inflow whatever the economy is doing. And I think that happens because people like to keep buying their favourite food, cleaning and other staples no matter how tough things become for them financially.

And Unilever is a London-listed behemoth in the sector. It has a long record of trading and financial success, driven by its well-loved brands such as Cif, Domestos, Hellman’s, Marmite and many others.

In July’s interim results report, chief executive Alan Jope said the company is making “good progress” developing the product portfolio into “high growth spaces”. Of course, nothing is certain, but I’m expecting Unilever to increase its shareholder dividends and its earnings by a modest, single-digit percentage each year. And if it doesn’t, and even if the share price declines and I lose money on paper, I’ll likely keep holding on to my stock.

Now, with the share price near 3,809p, the forward-looking dividend yield is around 3.3% for 2022. Again, that’s not the highest yield in the FTSE 100. But I like the way the firm’s consistent cash inflow backs up the shareholder payment.

I’m not guaranteed a positive investment outcome just because I like these two stocks now. Things can go wrong in both underlying businesses — all shares carry risks. But these are two FTSE 100 dividend stocks I’d aim to never sell.

I'm also hunting here:

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Kevin Godbold has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Unilever. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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