A blue-chip stock is stock of a company that has been operating successfully for many years and has a market capitalization in the billions. Most blue-chip companies are leaders in their industry. Blue chip is a reference to the game of poker, in which blue chips are the most expensive poker chips. Because blue-chip companies are established and mature, they tend to be the type of company that pays regular dividends that often increase from year to year. Investors who seek regular, dependable dividends, and don’t like to risk their investments are drawn to blue-chip stocks. Some blue-chip companies have paid dividends for over 20 years in a row. Blue-chip companies are considered to be the best of the best. In addition to the dividend payouts, blue-chip stock is what investors seek when searching for the highest quality stocks that hold their value. While blue-chip stocks are not immune from market downturns, they tend to recover faster than other, less quality stocks. There is no formal list of blue-chip stocks, but many of the company names are well known. They include Intel, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wal-Mart, IBM, American Express, Pfizer Inc., and DuPont.