3 Scorching Hot Dividend Stocks -- Are They Buys Right Now?

Big gains and healthy dividends are the investing world's version of good looks and a great personality, but there are stocks out there that fit the bill. A reasonable payout doesn't eliminate the possibility of market-thumping capital appreciation.

I've run a screen looking for stocks that have risen by at least 30% this year with yields north of 1.5%. It generated just a few dozen results, but some big names stood out. Let's take a look at three of the stocks with decent payouts that have been roaring this year.

Carnival (NYSE: CCL) -- Up 33% with a yield of 2.3%

Cruising is as popular as ever, and the world's largest cruise-ship operator is making the most of a growing consumer appetite to hit the high seas. Revenue and adjusted earnings rose a mere 6% in its latest quarter, but the fundamentals are rosier than the numbers suggest. Advance bookings continue to improve, and it boosted its profit outlook for all of 2017 in its latest quarter.

A whopping 25.8 million people will board a cruise ship this year, according to the Cruise Line Industry Association, but we're still just scratching the surface. More travelers will embrace the charms and convenience of cruise vacations where you only need to pack once to enjoy various exotic ports of call. Carnival remains the value leader, and it keeps strategically building out its fleet. The gains should continue, as passengers and investors set sail on Carnival.

Best Buy (NYSE: BBY) -- Up 45% with a yield of 2.1%

The country's leading consumer-electronics chain reports quarterly results next week, and it hit it out of the ballpark the last time out. Best Buy surprised the market by posting positive comps at a time when analysts were holding out for a decline. The chain has beaten Wall Street's profit targets consistently over the past year.

Best Buy has had its challenges. The stock stumbled this summer after the leading online retailer struck a partnership to start selling Kenmore appliances, potentially eating into Best Buy's appliance business. Best Buy has also had to debunk the boo birds arguing that it's on borrowed time, as digital delivery of media and cheaper online retailers threaten to make it obsolete. Best Buy is a survivor, and right now, it's growing again. Best Buy's long-term prospects remain challenging, but it's hard to deny the near-term momentum.

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) -- Up 40% with a yield of 1.6%

The world's most valuable tech company has gotten even more valuable this year. Investors have known that 2017 will be special for Apple as it puts out its next-gen iPhone in the coming weeks, but usually the market won't bid up the obvious hype stories.

There's risk in Apple here despite its reasonable earnings multiple in the high teens. There's a lot riding on the iPhone 8, and that means high consumer acceptance and a flaw-free bar-raising smartphone. Apple is usually good for the hype, but with so much of its business relying on the iPhone, it can't afford to come up short on its 10th anniversary model.

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Rick Munarriz owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Apple. The Motley Fool recommends Carnival. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.