May 31, 2016

Stifel Nicolaus Upgraded Agrium Inc. (AGU)


Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) was upgraded by equities researchers at Stifel Nicolaus from a “sell” rating to a “buy” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

A number of large investors recently added to or reduced their stakes in AGU. ICON Advisers bought a new stake in Agrium during the third quarter worth approximately $1,235,000. Somerset Trust Co increased its stake in Agrium by 0.4% in the fourth quarter. Somerset Trust Co now owns 13,182 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,177,000 after buying an additional 58 shares in the last quarter. Raymond James Trust increased its stake in Agrium by 11.2% in the fourth quarter. Raymond James Trust now owns 14,125 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,262,000 after buying an additional 1,425 shares in the last quarter. Parsec Financial Management Inc. increased its stake in Agrium by 10.0% in the fourth quarter. Parsec Financial Management Inc. now owns 96,051 shares of the company’s stock worth $8,581,000 after buying an additional 8,750 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Great West Life Assurance Co. Can increased its stake in Agrium by 20.1% in the fourth quarter. Great West Life Assurance Co. Can now owns 1,238,462 shares of the company’s stock worth $110,935,000 after buying an additional 207,145 shares in the last quarter.



UBS Upgraded Deere & Company (DE)


According to a research report issued by UBS Securities on Tuesday, shares of Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) had their rating upgraded by analysts to ‘Buy’.

The analyst said the brokerage has set a price target of 94 on shares of NYSE:DE. Based on the brokers price target of 94, this means UBS Securities believes there is a potential increase of 16.77% from the current stock price of 80.5.

Deere & Company has 314,258,000 shares which are currently owned by shareholders with a price of 80.5 calculating Deere & Company’s market capitalisation at 25.30B USD.



Berenberg Bank Downgraded Lockheed Martin Co. (LMT)


Lockheed Martin Co. (NYSE:LMT) was downgraded by Berenberg Bank from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. They presently have a $260.00 target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of $250.00. Berenberg Bank’s target price suggests a potential upside of 8.29% from the stock’s current price.

The analysts wrote, “We favour Lockheed’s portfolio positioning, particularly with the US Department of Defense (DoD) programmes such as the F-35 which continues to ramp up, and anticipate strong demand for higher-margin missile programmes in 2016.”

Several hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the stock. Vanguard Group Inc. boosted its stake in Lockheed Martin by 0.8% in the fourth quarter. Vanguard Group Inc. now owns 17,430,560 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,785,047,000 after buying an additional 137,067 shares in the last quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP boosted its stake in shares of Lockheed Martin by 5.9% in the first quarter. Wellington Management Group LLP now owns 10,282,849 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,277,650,000 after buying an additional 571,953 shares during the period. Boston Partners boosted its stake in shares of Lockheed Martin by 1.3% in the fourth quarter. Boston Partners now owns 2,966,282 shares of the company’s stock worth $644,128,000 after buying an additional 37,925 shares during the period. Wells Fargo & Company MN boosted its stake in shares of Lockheed Martin by 1.9% in the fourth quarter. Wells Fargo & Company MN now owns 2,837,204 shares of the company’s stock worth $616,099,000 after buying an additional 53,098 shares during the period. Finally, Geode Capital Management LLC boosted its stake in shares of Lockheed Martin by 5.8% in the first quarter. Geode Capital Management LLC now owns 2,276,461 shares of the company’s stock worth $503,268,000 after buying an additional 125,321 shares during the period.



Stifel Nicolaus Downgraded Potash Co. of Saskatchewan (POT)


Potash Co. of Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT) was downgraded by stock analysts at Stifel Nicolaus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report released on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on POT. Vetr lowered Potash Co. of Saskatchewan from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $18.00 price target on the stock. in a research report on Monday, February 1st. Cowen and Company reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Potash Co. of Saskatchewan in a research report on Monday, February 1st. Barclays reduced their price target on Potash Co. of Saskatchewan from $21.00 to $16.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, February 2nd. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed a “buy” rating and issued a $23.00 price target (down previously from $24.00) on shares of Potash Co. of Saskatchewan in a research report on Friday, February 19th. Finally, Susquehanna reduced their price target on Potash Co. of Saskatchewan from $17.00 to $14.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, February 22nd. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have issued a hold rating and two have assigned a buy rating to the stock. Potash Co. of Saskatchewan currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $18.83.




May 30, 2016

3 Dividend-Growth Stars With Yields Over 3% to Consider Today


As history has shown, owning a portfolio of dividend-paying stocks is the best way to build wealth over the long term, and this investment strategy generates the highest returns when you invest in stocks with high yields that raise their payouts every year. With these criteria in mind, let’s take a look at three stocks with high and safe yields of 3-5% and active streaks of annual dividend increases, so you can determine if you should buy one or more of them today.

Continue reading to find out these three…



Wait! Don't Sell These 3 'Dividend Traps' Just Yet

Nothing scares income investors like a dividend trap, but here are three that you can probably hold on to for a while.



Dividend traps are high-yield stocks that boast unsustainably high dividend payouts. On paper, they look like attractive income investments, but in reality, the high likelihood of a dividend cut would be catastrophic for share prices. A recent article pointed out three popular dividend traps and recommended selling them.

But not so fast. When it comes to investing, timing is everything. And most investors would probably agree that it's a good idea to hang on to an overpriced stock as long as that hefty price tag keeps going higher until you sell it.

Just like income investors shouldn't look solely at dividend yield, it's a huge mistake to ignore what's happening on the tape. After all, there are plenty of examples of "dividend traps" from a few years ago that have gone onto post substantial rallies in the intervening years.

Here's why you should wait to sell three popular dividend traps…


Source: TheStreet

Danger Lurks for These 3 High-Yield Dividend Stocks

Seagate, Las Vegas Sands, and BP currently boast eye-popping dividend yields. But investors could be in for a rude awakening.



For investors, few things are more attractive than a large dividend payment. Stocks that yield 2%, 3%, or even 4% can provide a steady stream of income and reliable, consistent performance.

But it is possible to have too much of a good thing. Stocks boasting excessively high dividend yields (5% or more) should be viewed skeptically, as the prospects of the underlying businesses might be dubious. After all, if it was as easy as buying a stock and collecting 7% a year, almost everyone would do it. If they did, the share price of the stock would rise, and the yield would fall, eventually reaching a level commensurate with other stocks on the market.

A high dividend yield, then, can paradoxically serve as a powerful warning sign. The market isn't always right -- indeed, it's frequently wrong -- and these stocks can make solid investments if their businesses continue to perform. But investors should certainly tread carefully.

Seagate (NASDAQ:STX), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) and BP (NYSE:BP) are three such stocks with high dividend yields and uncertain futures…



These 5 Big Pharma Stocks Are Ridiculously Cheap

Looking for cheap big pharma stocks? These five deserve some attention.



It's hard to believe, but over the past year, the pharmaceutical industry has fared worse in the stock market than the energy sector. Some sword-rattling from political candidates sent the SPDR S&P Pharmaceutical ETF (NYSEMKT: XPH) crashing to a level it hasn't seen since late 2013.

Despite the recent drop, the ETF tracking bigger pharmas is still miles ahead of the broad market. And although the industry as a whole has fallen out of favor recently, I believe once the dust settles after November this group will continue its march upwards.

In the meantime, a handful of big pharmas are trading at ridiculously low prices based on their forward earnings estimates. Shares of Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Merck & Co. (NYSE:MRK), Novartis (NYSE:NVS), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and Roche (NASDAQOTH:RHHBY) are trading at clearance rack prices.

Let's take a closer look at some of the individual bargains…



May 29, 2016

3 Dividend Growth Stocks to Buy in June

Our Foolish contributors think that Merck, Nestle, and 3M are all good dividend growth stocks to add to your portfolio. Here's why.



Every portfolio should hold at least a few dividend growth stocks. The problem is that it's not always easy to identify worthwhile contenders. To help, we asked three of our Foolish contributors to share income-generating stocks that might be worth picking up in June. Here's what they had to say.

Source: The Motley Fool

3 Defensive Stocks in Case of Brexit


With the EU referendum less than a month away, there’s a realistic chance that Britain could exit the EU. Whether you think this is a good or bad thing, the chances are that in the short term at least, the FTSE 100 will fall. That’s because investors tend not to like uncertainty and with Britain exiting the EU being an unprecedented event, it would be likely to cause a degree of fear in the short run.

As such, buying defensive stocks could prove to be a wise move. While many cyclical stocks may be hit hard, companies with robust and resilient business models may outperform their index peers as investors seek a perceived store of wealth.

Let’s take a closer look for those 3 defensive stocks in case of Brexit: National Grid plc, SSE plc and Severn Trent plc…

Source: The Motley Fool

Five Dividend Stocks Hedge Funds Love


Oil baron and America’s first billionaire John D. Rockefeller once said, ‘do you know the only thing that gives me pleasure? It’s to see my dividends coming in’. With tens of millions of more Americans invested in the stock market than in the early 1900’s, it is safe to say that dividends are giving more people pleasure than in the 1900’s. Given the importance of dividends to a security’s total return, we use recently filed 13F filings to take a closer look at some of the hedge fund world’s favorite dividend stocks, including Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE), Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC), Merck & Co., Inc. (NYSE:MRK), General Motors Company (NYSE:GM), and AbbVie Inc (NYSE:ABBV).

Hedge fund sentiment is an important metric for assessing the long-term profitability. At Insider Monkey, we track over 760 hedge funds, whose quarterly 13F filings we analyze and determine their collective sentiment towards several thousand stocks. However, our research has shown that the best strategy is to follow hedge funds into their small-cap picks.

Let’s look closer those five favorite stocks…

Source: Insider Monkey

7 Major Analyst Upgrades Too Big to Ignore


The stock market had a solid week, and the notion of “sell in May and go away” seems to have not prevailed so far in 2016. Investors keep proving that they will buy the dips, even after the crazy selling in the first six weeks of 2016. The Dow was up 400 points from its lows of the week at one point on Friday, and the index is now positive for the year.

24/7 Wall St. reviews dozens of analyst research reports each morning of the week. This ends up being hundreds of calls each week. Our goal is to find new investing and trading ideas for our readers. Some of these analyst reports cover stocks to buy, and other reports feature stocks to sell or to avoid.

Of those reports with Buy ratings, many of these analyst calls end up having upside targets or having opinions that are just too big to ignore. The typical Dow or S&P 500 Index upgrade or new Buy rating typically comes with upside projections of 10% to 15%, so you have to consider that when an analyst is telling you to look for upside considerably higher. Some of these analyst calls stood out because they were just different from the consensus views.

Before chasing any analyst call, investors must understand that this should be only a starting point rather than an end decision. After all, analysts often have no more information than the rest of us. They also can end up being seriously wrong in their assumptions. Other times predictions fail just because things change or they just don’t work out.

These were seven top analyst upgrades, which mostly came from blue-chip companies or industry leaders, for the week ending May 27.


Source: 24/7 Wall St.

Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Christopher C. Capossela Sells 5,337 Shares of Stock


Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 5,337 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $50.89, for a total transaction of $271,599.93. Following the transaction, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 270,548 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,768,187.72. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website.



Intel Co. (INTC) CEO Sells 71,413 Shares of Stock


Intel Co. (NASDAQ:INTC) CEO Brian M. Krzanich sold 71,413 shares of Intel stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $30.35, for a total value of $2,167,384.55. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 462,054 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $14,023,338.90. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link.


Source: Ticker Report


Halliburton Company (HAL) EVP Eric Carre Sells 10,425 Shares


Halliburton Company (NYSE:HAL) EVP Eric Carre sold 10,425 shares of the stock in a transaction on Friday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $40.47, for a total value of $421,899.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now directly owns 156,368 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,328,212.96. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink.


Source: Ticker Report


Breitburn Energy Partners LP (BBEP) Director Sells 187,622 and SVP Sells 111,566 Shares


Breitburn Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ:BBEP) Director Donald D. Wolf sold 187,622 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $0.09, for a total transaction of $16,885.98. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 8,892 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $800.28. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink.

Source: Ticker Report


Breitburn Energy Partners LP (NASDAQ:BBEP) SVP Willis Jackson Washburn sold 111,566 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, May 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $0.09, for a total value of $10,040.94. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 2,615 shares in the company, valued at approximately $235.35. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.


Source: Ticker Report

American Express Company (AXP) CEO Sells $52,561,345.20 in Stock


American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) CEO Kenneth I. Chenault sold 838,968 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, May 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.65, for a total transaction of $52,561,345.20. Following the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 1,444,572 shares in the company, valued at approximately $90,502,435.80. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website.


Source: Ticker Report

Apple Inc. (AAPL) SVP Sells $9,997,374.00 in Stock


Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) SVP D Bruce Sewell sold 103,300 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, May 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $96.78, for a total transaction of $9,997,374.00. Following the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 239,432 shares in the company, valued at approximately $23,172,228.96. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website.


Source: Ticker Report

May 28, 2016

3 Retirement Stocks to Buy in June


Plenty of studies suggest Americans getting close to retirement can expect to live longer than generations past. That's great news -- if you have a steady form of income you can depend on throughout your golden years.

One of the best ways to make it rain money throughout your retirement is by investing in companies with strong competitive advantages that should allow them to steadily grow profits for decades.

We reached out to three Motley Fool contributors to see which stocks they feel are positioned for long-term profit growth, and prepared to return a steadily growing slice to their shareholders. Read on to see which retirement stocks they like best…




Dividend Growth Investors, Consider Starbucks

Despite its lower-than-average yield, Starbucks could be a big dividend payer in the future.



The dividend growth formula (something I just made up) is pretty simple. There are only two parts: current dividend yield and potential dividend growth. The best stocks score high on both, but those are few and far between. More often, investors have to make compromises, and in those cases I prefer to look at stocks with relatively low current yields but massive potential for dividend growth.

While the S&P 500 currently offers an average yield around 2.1%, it's often worthwhile to look at stocks yielding well below that average due to their growth potential. Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) currently yields just 1.4%, but in five years its dividends could easily double, producing an average annual yield on your original investment above today's current market average.

Here's a look at why Starbucks makes sense in a dividend growth portfolio…



3 Stocks To Buy For Big Summer Dividend Hikes


The dog days of summer are here, and you may be tempted to put your portfolio on autopilot and check out for the next three months. That would be a big mistake, though, because you could miss out on some of the year’s biggest dividend hikes.

Case in point: the four companies below, all of which are getting set to juice their payouts this summer—but I only see three as buys right now.

Let’s look closer those companies…


Source: Forbes


3 Mid-Cap Dividend Stocks Every Income Seeker Should Own

Looking for dividend stocks? Don't ignore marvelous mid-caps.



Many investors looking for dividend stocks tend to focus solely on larger multinationals. Presumed quality, cash flows and safety are among the reasons why dividend investors tend to go big. However, they might want to head down the market-cap ladder when stuffing their portfolio full of dividend stocks.

Mid-cap stocks — or those firms within the $2 billion and $10 billion market cap range — can be among the best dividend investments you can make. For starters, they tend to have equally as stable business models as large-caps. That affords many of them the ability to pay just as juicy dividends as their larger peers.

The kicker is that their slightly smaller size still means that there is plenty of growth in the tank.  That has many mid-caps outperform large-caps by a decent margin.

That combination of dividends and capital appreciation makes mid-caps one of the best drivers for total returns around.

Here’s three mid-cap dividend stocks that are great buys today…


Source: InvestorPlace

4 Dividend-Paying Stocks to Help Ride Out the Coming Volatile Summer


The rally that took place this week has been great, and the reasons from strategists are many, but one thing is for sure: things could get a little more dicey this summer. The first consideration of course is whether the Federal Reserve will raise rates in June or July — one of the two looks like a lock. Secondly, will the United Kingdom exit the European Union? That looks like a jump ball. Lastly, politics. All summer long into the conventions, the rhetoric is going to get louder, and if we have continued civil disorder, that will stir the pot as well.

We know that it is a nonstarter for most investors to just “move to cash,” given commissions, tax gains/losses and other items. One good idea may be to switch from higher beta stocks to lower ones, especially dividend leaders. They will respond better to higher volatility and fare better in a sell-off. We screened the Merrill Lynch research universe for Buy-rated dividend stocks with the firm’s best volatility rating.

These four look like good bets now…


Source: 24/7 Wall St.


May 26, 2016

Better Buy: Gilead Sciences Inc. vs. Johnson & Johnson

Which of these two healthcare giants is the better pick for investors?



They're two of the biggies in healthcare. Gilead Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ:GILD) grew to become the largest biotech in the world over the last decade on the back of its HIV and hepatitis C franchises. Meanwhile, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) has remained the biggest healthcare company overall for years with its consumer products, medical device, and prescription drug segments.

The companies both cooperate with and compete against each other. Gilead and J&J teamed up to develop HIV drugs Complera and Eviplera. In the hepatitis C market, though, Gilead's Sovaldi and Harvoni clobbered J&J's Olysio.

Which of these two giants is the better pick for investors right now?...



4 High Dividend Tech Stocks Boosting Their Payouts

These high dividend tech stocks have an average yield over 3% and most recently grew their dividend payouts by an average of 13%. Each has a P/E ratio below 15.



Many large technology companies generate gobs of cash that can either be reinvested for growth or returned to shareholders in the form of debt reductions, share repurchases, or high dividend payments.

The four technology companies identified here dominate their markets, trade at an average high dividend yield over 3%, and have stepped up their dividend growth rates to reward income investors.

Many of these companies are attractive options for this Top 20 Dividend Stocks portfolio, which focuses on buying high quality companies trading at reasonable prices.

Importantly, each of these tech titans offers more than just an attractive dividend yield =- they all trade at a price-to-earnings multiple (P/E) that is meaningfully less than the broader market's P/E ratio.

Let’s look closer those four…


Source: TheStreet

May 25, 2016

These 5 Dividend Stocks Want to Pay You More Money

These five big stocks could be about to increase their dividend payments in the coming months.



This week marks a year since the big S&P 500 index reached its all-time intraday high of 2,134.72 -- and the intervening 12 months haven't exactly been a good time to be a stock market investor. Since the market peaked last May, the S&P has lost just shy of 4% of its market value, grinding sideways in a wide range.

That's the bad news. The good news is that factoring dividends into the equation changes the picture quite a bit. For instance, the S&P 500 Total Return Index, which includes the impact of reinvested dividends on the S&P's price, actually set a new record price just a month ago. Simply put, companies are making up for the lack of price performance in this stock market environment by chipping in to investors' portfolios with dividend payouts.

Here's a look at five big stocks that could be about to increase their dividend payments in the coming months. Think of it as your dividend preview…


Source: TheStreet


5 Dividend Blue Bloods to Boost Your Income Every Year


As we head into the summer months leading up to the culmination of a tumultuous presidential election year, investors seem to be climbing a wall of worry.  Common sense would indicate that it might be the right time to strengthen your portfolio’s defensive posture with five proven dividend blue bloods.  These companies have increased their dividends every year for decades.  And in one case, every year since 1957!  All five companies are household names — you use or see their products every day.  Consider these stocks as core holdings … stocks you can safely buy, hold and pass on to your kids.

Let’s look closer those five…


Source: Forbes


4 Safe Stocks With Dividend Yields Above 5%

Below-average volatility and above-average yields are music to dividend investors' ears.



Investing in the stock market can sometimes be a test of investors' patience. Over the past 15 years, the broad-based S&P 500 has plunged by more than 50%, only to completely erase these losses within a matter of years twice (the dot-com bubble and the Great Recession). Long-term investors are well aware that the stock market tends to go up over the long-term, and has returned about 7% annually -- but that doesn't make it any easier holding onto stocks when the broad market indexes nosedive. This is where dividend stocks come in.ge yields are music to dividend investors' ears.

Dividend stocks offer a bounty of advantages over non-dividend stocks, which makes them attractive long-term holds. The obvious difference is that dividends provide a hedge during a downturn. The average yield of the S&P 500 is just over 2%, and while that won't negate a stock market correction lower, it's better than nothing.

Let’s take a look at four safe stocks with healthy dividend yields north of 5%. By "safe," I mean companies with below-average volatility and proven business models that won't leave you sleepless at night…



2 Dividend Stocks to Stay Away From -- and 1 Worth Buying

When you're looking at a troubled industry, it's best to stick with the best.



The steel industry has been hard hit by an oversupply of the metal. That's left industry giants like ArcelorMittal SA (NYSE:MT) reeling and sent the shares of iconic companies like United States Steel (NYSE:X) into a tailspin. Some recent strength in the industry has lifted the prospects, and the share prices, of these companies. But I still wouldn't buy these dividend payers. Nucor (NYSE:NUE) is a much better option.

Let me explain…



4 UBS Most Preferred Pharmaceutical Stocks That Pay Big Dividends


Needless to say, the health care sector, especially pharmaceuticals and biotech, have taken a rhetorical beating from politicians looking to force the blame for high drug prices on some of the top companies. While prices on some are indeed high, and perhaps should be lowered, the fact of the matter is, it is incredibly expensive to get a new drug to approval and the market. The selling of these stocks could give investors a great entry point.

One of the firms we cover here at 24/7 Wall St. is UBS, and it is cautiously positive on the overall health care sector. The analysts have the sector rated moderate overweight, and the preferred segments are pharmaceuticals and healthcare providers and services. We found four stocks in the Most Preferred Pharmaceuticals list that pay top dividends.

Continue to read…


Source: 24/7 Wall St.


5 Stocks to Hold Forever


If you want to be a successful long-term investor, you need to diversify your portfolio. When you diversify, one stock’s losses can be made up for with the other stocks’ gains and dividends.

Dividends are important for many investors because you’re being paid regardless of how the stock performs. If a stock is performing poorly, then you’re being paid to wait until it recovers. When the stock eventually recovers, you have accumulated all those dividend payments and will now see appreciation. However, it’s not always that easy.

If a company is not fundamentally sound and lacks positive cash flow, a strong balance sheet or isn’t profitable, then you could be in for a world of hurt. In these cases, you will often see a high yield, which can be a red flag. If the company’s stock is plunging, the yield will move higher. Additionally, some faltering companies will actually raise their dividend and increase their buyback in order to maintain investor interest despite the underlying company’s woes. Fortunately, you don’t have to worry about that with the stocks mentioned here. They have been chosen because of their strong fundamentals.

The five stocks mentioned here…


Source: Investopedia


3 Popular Dividend Traps to Sell Immediately

Everyone loves high income, but investors should dump these dividend dogs before they get burned.



What are the common factors among CenturyLink, Chimera Investment and HSBC Holdings?

They are all sitting on a dividend time bomb that is set to explode any time. They sport unsustainably high yields and payout ratios and are saddled with dull expectations for earnings per share growth over the next half a decade.

Let's take a look at each one…


Source: TheStreet

Jefferies Upgraded Monsanto Company (MON)

Monsanto Company (MON) is Upgraded by Jefferies to Buy



Monsanto Company (MON) was Upgraded by Jefferies to ” Buy”. Earlier the firm had a rating of “Hold ” on the company shares. Jefferies advised their investors in a research report released on May 25, 2016.

Many Wall Street Analysts have commented on Monsanto Company. Shares were Reiterated by Deutsche Bank on Apr 7, 2016 to “Buy” and Lowered the Price Target to $ 100 from a previous price target of $105 .Monsanto Company was Downgraded by Citigroup to ” Neutral” on Mar 14, 2016. Monsanto Company was Downgraded by Goldman to ” Sell” on Mar 4, 2016.


Source: Market Digest

May 24, 2016

3 Boring Dividend Stocks To Add To Your Retirement Portfolio


In the technology industry, it can be exciting to chase the current hot stocks with the promise to become a household giant such as Google, Microsoft, or Apple.  But for every Facebook, there is a MySpace.  For every Google, there is an Ask Jeeves.  When we are looking for stocks that can protect our retirement assets, sometimes boring companies that make the products that run in the background of the technology industry can provide solid long term cash flow that can grow our retirement funds with more stability than a company dependent on the next hot product.  We want companies that are a bit safer yet participate in the overall growth in the industry.  We are looking for stocks that can provide both current income through a solid dividend and appreciation potential for our portfolios through free cash flow growth.

The first step is to look for companies that will provide us with a good yield in this low rate environment and have a history of growing that dividend.   We are starting with stocks that have a current yield above 2% and have grown that dividend over the past 5 years…


Source: Forbes

Goldman Sachs Downgraded General Mills, Inc. (GIS)

General Mills, Inc. (GIS) Cut to Sell at Goldman Sachs



General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) was downgraded by equities researchers at Goldman Sachs to a “sell” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday.

Shares of General Mills (NYSE:GIS) opened at 62.70 on Tuesday. The stock has a market capitalization of $37.27 billion and a PE ratio of 25.62. The stock’s 50 day moving average is $62.61 and its 200 day moving average is $59.27. General Mills has a 12 month low of $47.50 and a 12 month high of $65.49.

General Mills (NYSE:GIS) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Wednesday, March 23rd. The company reported $0.65 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $0.62 by $0.03. The firm earned $4 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $4.09 billion. During the same period last year, the business earned $0.70 EPS. The firm’s revenue was down 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. Analysts anticipate that General Mills will post $2.87 earnings per share for the current fiscal year.



Cowen Upgraded Microsoft Co. (MSFT)

Microsoft Co. (MSFT) Lifted to “Outperform” at Cowen and Company



Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) was upgraded by analysts at Cowen and Company from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

Several institutional investors have made changes to their positions in MSFT. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.3% in the first quarter. McQueen Ball & Associates Inc. now owns 8,429 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $466,000 after buying an additional 25 shares during the last quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.4% in the first quarter. Palisade Capital Management LLC NJ now owns 6,744 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $372,000 after buying an additional 27 shares during the last quarter. Burt Wealth Advisors increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.5% in the fourth quarter. Burt Wealth Advisors now owns 7,393 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $410,000 after buying an additional 40 shares during the last quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.3% in the fourth quarter. Quadrant Capital Group LLC now owns 25,922 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $1,430,000 after buying an additional 71 shares during the last quarter. Finally, BKS Advisors LLC increased its position in shares of Microsoft by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. BKS Advisors LLC now owns 14,705 shares of the software giant’s stock valued at $816,000 after buying an additional 84 shares during the last quarter.


BMO Upgraded Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM)

Archer Daniels Midland Company (ADM) Stock Rating Upgraded by BMO Capital Markets



Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) was upgraded by stock analysts at BMO Capital Markets from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports.

In other Archer Daniels Midland Company news, VP John P. Stott sold 1,756 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, May 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $37.68, for a total transaction of $66,166.08. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 37,017 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,394,800.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website.



BMO Upgraded Deere & Company (DE)

Deere & Company (DE) Upgraded to “Outperform” at BMO Capital Markets



Deere & Company (NYSE:DE) was upgraded by research analysts at BMO Capital Markets from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports.
A number of hedge funds and institutional investors have added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. raised its position in Deere & Company by 34.2% in the fourth quarter. Berkshire Hathaway Inc. now owns 22,884,150 shares of the company’s stock worth $1,745,375,000 after buying an additional 5,832,040 shares during the period. Norges Bank acquired a new position in Deere & Company during the fourth quarter worth $282,171,000. Alecta Pensionsforsakring Omsesidigt acquired a new position in Deere & Company during the first quarter worth $160,139,000. Generation Investment Management LLP raised its position in Deere & Company by 31.4% in the fourth quarter. Generation Investment Management LLP now owns 6,101,813 shares of the company’s stock worth $465,385,000 after buying an additional 1,457,917 shares during the period. Finally, Capital World Investors raised its position in Deere & Company by 17.4% in the fourth quarter. Capital World Investors now owns 9,705,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $740,200,000 after buying an additional 1,435,000 shares during the period.



May 22, 2016

3 of the Most Undervalued Tech Stocks Today

It's not often that tech shares sell on the cheap. Here are three great, and extremely undervalued, options.



It's not often an investor comes across a technology company that continues to grow and invest in innovation while meeting commonly accepted criteria that universally apply to "value stocks." And for good reason: What are traditionally known as value stocks are companies trading at low ratios to their earnings, tangible book value, and so on.

Ben Graham, Warren Buffett's mentor, created the value-investing methodology, while Buffett and scores of his peers are fine-tuning it to this day.

Technology companies, for better or worse, trade based not on historic cash flows and assets, but on the hope of future profits from major, and hopefully in-demand, technological advances. Measuring such leaps is, inevitably, more or less impossible. Imagine trying to calculate the future market value for Microsoft's products when it went public in 1986. In hindsight, we know that Microsoft went on to monopolize the desktop PC software market, but no one knew that would happen in 1985.

However, once in a while, a tech company with strong chances of future growth happen to trade at what many a value investor might call "undervalued." These names are elusive but not impossible to find. With that in mind, some of The Motley Fool's best and brightest put their heads together to identify three names to get you on your way to finding the most undervalued tech stocks on the market today.

Read on to learn why the companies they identified -- IBM (NYSE:IBM), Skyworks Solutions (NASDAQ:SWKS), and Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO), are the most undervalued technology stocks in the market today…



3 Dividend Aristocrats You Shouldn't Buy

Dividend aristocrats are supposed to be safe, but here are a few to avoid.



Dividends have made up a sizable, not-to-be-ignored chunk of historic investor returns over the past century. The bottom line? Ignore dividend-paying stocks at your peril.

But like most things that are worth it in life, such a task is easier said than done. Just when you think you've found a winner, the stock you thought would help fund your monthly retirement expenses decides to cut or even drop its dividend in the interests creating "long-term shareholder value."

Enter the dividend aristocrat: a company that not only has at least 25 years' worth of history paying a steady dividend, but of raising it on an annual basis year-in and year-out. Sounds attractive, right? Of course, but while perusing the list of companies with such a record, investors need to keep one sobering fact in mind: The list is compiled by looking at the past -- not the future. It takes a certain type of company to pay an increasing dividend payment for 50 years, which is what would be required of current list members to remain as such.

It won't be an easy task, but to get the Foolish reader started, we thought we would try something new: look for dividend aristocrats to avoid, thus narrowing the search. So, without further ado, here are three dividend aristocrats to avoid…



This 4-Stock Dividend Retirement Portfolio Yields 7.3%


I’m sure I don’t have to tell you how tough it is to build a dividend retirement portfolio that provides a decent yield these days.

Many investors make utility stocks a cornerstone, but that strategy is less appealing this year, with many utilities’ valuations stretched and their yields well below long-term averages.

Take Duke Energy (DUK), America’s biggest utility by market value, whose trailing-twelve-month P/E ratio has climbed to 20.1 from 17.8 at the start of the year. Meantime, its yield has slumped to 4.1% from 4.5%.

But fear not, there’s another group of investments boasting even higher yields than utilities; I’m talking payouts of 6% and up. Better yet, many trade at deep discounts—and most investors completely ignore them.

I’m talking about closed-end funds (CEFs). They’re often confused with open-end funds—or what most people call mutual funds—but they’re way better than those stodgy old standbys. One reason why is that CEFs trade on the stock market, just like regular stocks.

If you are interested, continue reading ...


Source: Forbes

These 4 Stocks Are Safe Bets to Outperform the Market in 2016


Safe dividend stocks will most likely be your best bets to beat the market this year. Facing a profit recession, stalling global demand, and falling margins, stocks that pay hefty dividends and have some upside potential should be the only stocks you’re buying right now.

Goldman Sachs came out this week and stated it saw little upside for the overall market during the next 12 months. This confirms the same view I have articulated on these pages since the back half of 2015. The overall market sells at a bit over historical valuations which would be fine if we were seeing decent growth both from an economic and earnings perspective. Unfortunately, that growth has not materialized at the present moment.

Global demand sits at levels not seen since 2009, and both the European and Japanese central banks are experimenting with negative interest rate policies to ignite growth and with little result so far. Domestically, GDP posted just a .5% reading in the first quarter. Although, growth should pick up in coming quarters; we are still looking at below trend growth in what continues to be the bleakest post-war recovery recorded here in the United States.

So, what looks like some good picks in the market right now?...




2 Undervalued Stocks with Safe and Growing Dividends


Lock in historically high dividend yields from these two safe and undervalued stocks now while they are still cheap. Market volatility may be here to stay, but these two stocks can shield your portfolio while also returning above average income.

I just got back from the Money Show conference in Las Vegas where I delivered a couple of presentations. I gave one on the state of the biotech sector and another one on where I am finding value in what I believe to be at least a slightly overbought market with no earnings growth to speak of.

I found my audience was a bit more somber than in years past; although, they seem to be maintaining their resiliency despite the challenging market of the last year and a half. This contrasted to the mood at the nearby SALT conference in the Bellagio which is an annual hedge fund confab. After years of underperforming the market and seeing an increasing out-migration of both governmental and corporate pension funds, this meeting of the financial “Masters of the Universe” was almost a wake. At least I hear it was, I think my invite might have got lost in the mail this year.

All kidding aside, it has been a rough go for both the retail and professional investor ever since the Federal Reserve drew down its last “quantitative easing” program in the fall of 2014…



May 21, 2016

These 3 Dividend Stocks Could Slash Their Payouts

Don't chase these high dividend yields. They might not last.



Investors looking for dividend stocks need to be careful not to chase yield. Investing in some high-yielding stocks could be a recipe for disaster as those high-yield stocks turn into low-yield stocks if management decides to cut the dividend. That's why investors need to ensure those dividends are safe and well within the means of the businesses paying them out.

The three dividend stocks examined in this article -- Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX), Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS), and Mattel (NASDAQ:MAT) -- are all in danger of cutting their dividends in the near future.

Let’s take a closer look to see why…



Don't Be In a Rush to Buy These 4 Dividend Tech Stocks Based on Charts

Dividend-paying tech stocks may have investment appeal, but the charts on these four stocks suggest otherwise.



As a chartist, I don't have a problem with buying or suggesting stocks that pay a dividend, whether they come from the technology sector or anywhere else. However, when I recommend stocks I like to see that they are in uptrends or coming out of a base pattern.

These four stocks are not.

Let's look more closely what Bruce Kamich think of Qualcomm, Cisco, Intel, and IBM...


Source: TheStreet

9 Reasons to Love High-Yield Dividend Stocks

There's a lot to like about high-yield dividend stocks. Here are nine reasons why I love them



If you're like me, you have an affinity for shares of companies that pay dividends -- especially dividends with a little heft to them. There are many reasons why dividend investing is a good idea. Here are nine that top my list.


Continue to read at The Motley Fool to find out Brewers' list… 

May 20, 2016

4 High-Yield Dividend Stocks That Pay You Every Month

Take a look at these four high-yield dividend stocks that pay out dividends every month.



You will probably agree that getting monthly dividends is preferable to receiving quarterly dividends. For those living off their dividends, monthly payments make more sense. After all, your living expenses don't happen quarterly; most bills come in monthly.

Wouldn't it be great to invest in some of the best monthly dividend stocks that also have high yields? That way you could have the best of both worlds: high dividend income that comes in monthly instead of quarterly.

Today we'll look at four high-yield monthly dividend stocks for monthly income. Three of them are real estate investment trusts. REITs are required by law to pay out at least 90% of their income to shareholders. One of the REITs we'll examine has a long dividend history, long enough to be one of only 274 Dividend Achievers, stocks with or more years of consecutive dividend increases.

Continue reading to look closer to those four…


Source: TheStreet

Grab A Second Monthly Paycheck With 3 Monthly Dividend Payers


Times are tough for seniors, savers and income investors.  The Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy (ZIRP) has wreaked havoc on average investors.  One-year CDs currently pay an average 1.25% and money market accounts pay an average of 0.11%.  Average investors just can’t afford to live on Social Security and those minuscule yields.

However, there is one way to smooth out the wrinkles in the monthly budget and cope with the ongoing bills.  You can add some monthly dividend payers to your portfolio.  I’ve identified three stocks that will give you a second, reliable paycheck to supplement your Social Security check and/or your salary.

Continue reading to look closer to those three…


Source: Forbes

May 18, 2016

McDonald’s Corporation Stock Up 40%: Can the Rally Continue?

The Golden Arches are delivering impressive performance on the back of product and service innovations. Can the company sustain this bull run going forward?



McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) has been firing on all cylinders lately. Shares of the fast food giant are up more than 40% from their lows of the past 12 months, putting the stock at historical highs as sales growth accelerates. Let's look at the main drivers behind this impressive rally and, perhaps more importantly, what the stock has to offer for investors looking ahead…



Is Cisco Systems' Dividend Sustainable?


Networking giant Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) has been a bit of an underperformer over the past year. The stock has fallen about 9% compared with the S&P 500, which has dropped 2%. Although the stock has struggled, the business performance has been better.

Over the 12 months ended in late January, when Cisco last reported earnings, the company has been able to grow revenue a little over 3% and take much more of that growth to the bottom line. Earnings per share grew nearly 22% over the same period. Return on equity came in at an impressive 17.3%.

The company's five-year performance hasn't been too shabby, either. Revenue and EPS have grown an annualized 4.2% and 5.6%, respectively. The stock has more or less mimicked the S&P 500's returns, increasing 50% over the past five years. It's not knock-it-out-of-the-ballpark performance, but the slow and steady progress has allowed the company to increase its annualized dividend from $0.12 per share in 2011 to $1.04 today.

An increasing dividend coupled with a falling stock price has resulted in a stock that is paying a 3.9% dividend yield as of this writing. While this may be impressive, it is also worrisome at first glance. As the dividend yield creeps up to 4%, it would be prudent to analyze if Cisco's payout is sustainable.