May 16, 2017

Kimco Realty: Retail Worries Are Overblown, The 5% Dividend Yield Is Safe

The rumored “death of the shopping mall” is not only wreaking havoc among retail stocks, but it is also dragging down REITs that own retail properties. Take, for example, Kimco Realty (KIM). Shares of Kimco have declined 25% so far in 2017. The stock is sitting at lows not seen in the past five years.

The biggest reason for the decline is that investors are concerned about the ripple-effects of the decline of brick-and-mortar retailers eventually spreading to the REITs that own the real estate. However, Kimco’s fundamentals have held up so far this year. The prolonged decline in the share price has pushed up Kimco’s dividend yield to 5.7% Kimco is one of 295 stocks with a 5%+ dividend yield.

This article will discuss why investors should not assume Kimco will suffer alongside the retail industry. If anything, its huge share price decline presents a compelling buying opportunity for income investors.

May 15, 2017

5 Blue Chips That Everyone Owns... And Shouldn't

When blue chips get too popular – like the five I’m going to show you today – these “safe stocks” can actually be dangerous to continue holding in your portfolio.

The problem with blue-chip stocks? Call it the “Curse of the Dow.” The Curse says a stock that joins the Dow Jones Industrial Average will essentially hit a wall, underperforming in the ensuing months compared to how it performed before ascension. It’s not perfect, but it’s close – since 1999, 15 of 16 stocks that have joined the Dow have averaged 1% gains over the next six months, but averaged 11% gains in the six months before inclusion.

Why? There are a few factors, but one of the most prevailing is that by the point a stock has joined the Dow, it’s typically nearing the end of its growth ramp and reaching the slower-growth “mature” part of the business cycle.

The same reasoning can be applied to many blue-chip stocks. A stock typically starts to be considered a blue chip after a long period of sustained growth, even if that growth begins to slow – and after that, a company never really loses the blue chip designation as long as the business doesn’t crumble.

The following five stocks are the worst kind of blue chips. They’re not crumbling, but it’d be better if they were -- because then the decision to leave them would be far more obvious. Instead, these large-caps tantalize investors with their stability and slightly above-average dividends, keeping investors just long enough to weigh them down with underperformance.

Make no mistake: Keeping your money invested in these blue-chip losers is a sure way to set your retirement plans back.

May 14, 2017

10 Dividend Aristocrats That Are Ready to Rally

These longtime dividend growers still have a boatload of fundamental quality. Expect them to flip the switch over the rest of 2017.

The year 2016 was marked by geopolitical unrest, volatile commodity prices and strong currency fluctuations, which resulted in many companies underperforming the S&P 500 over the past year. However, a number of Dividend Aristocrats that trailed the market over the past year are still excellent businesses that are only temporarily out of favor.

Dividend Aristocrats are S&P 500 companies that have raised their dividends for at least 25 years.

Today, we’re looking at 10 Dividend Aristocrats that have a favorable long-term outlook despite trailing the S&P 500’s return by at least 10% over the past year. In fact, nine of these 10 stocks have seen their stock prices decline while the S&P 500 has gained more than 15%. But we believe this recent underperformance and declines have made them “buy the dip” opportunities for long-term dividend growth investors.

Some of these companies are in our list of the best high dividend stocks, and all of them still have a lot of fundamental strength to offer. We expect each one of these to flip from underperformance to outperformance over the next year.

May 13, 2017

3 Cash-Rich Tech Stocks to Buy and Hold Forever

These tech stocks should deliver double-digit total returns every year

Fresh off reaching the 6,000 mark milestone since its inception 46 years ago, the Nasdaq Composite index — home to some of the world’s largest technology companies — is trading near all-time highs. So, good luck finding tech stocks that are trading at discount prices.

The current bull market, now in its eighth year and counting, has invited tons of new investors to the market. Indeed, there are tons of reasons to remain optimistic. Corporate earnings are on the rise and unemployment continues to fall. And not only is the housing market still booming, President Trump’s pro-growth policies have yet to kick in.

Nevertheless, all of these scenarios also mean that the next bear market is inching much closer.

To that end, protecting current gains is paramount. And how you construct your portfolio from this point forward matters. But you don’t have to sacrifice growth for protection, if you know where to look.

Today, we’re going to look at three tech stocks that you can buy now and forget about for the next decade, in large part because of their ability to generate and stash large piles of cash. Big war chests and high cash flow give these companies seemingly infinite options for game-changing acquisitions, as well as the ability to improve their dividends over time.

May 12, 2017

10 Dividend Growth Stocks For May 2017

David Fish maintains a list of stocks with at least five consecutive years of paying higher dividends. Colloquially called the CCC list, it contains more than 800 dividend growth stocks trading on U.S. exchanges. The CCC list and the accompanying spreadsheet is a wonderful source for dividend growth investors and I've been using it for years.

In my monthly 10 Dividend Growth Stock series, I identify 10 CCC stocks worthy of further research. To create the list, I trim the CCC list using various screens. I rank the trimmed list and assign a 7-star rating to each stock. Stocks rated 5 stars or better are worthy of further analysis.

May 10, 2017

20 Years In The Coca-Cola DRIP

20 years ago, I started buying Coca-Cola's (NYSE:KO) stock through the dividend reinvestment plan (DRIP) as an aspiring young investor on the notion that if Warren Buffett owned Coca-Cola, so should I.

On top of that, I was a Sprite addict in my youth. As a fan of Peter Lynch's writings, I wanted to own stock in companies I knew well.

Buffett, of course, is the first to advise against buying a stock just because he owns it. He bought Coca-Cola in 1988 after the stock market crash when the valuation was attractive.

Even when the stock was at sky-high levels during the late 1990s, Buffett didn't sell. His favorite holding period is forever.

Buffett holding a stock is not a reason for independent investors to buy a stock.

Two decades wiser, I've learned that just because someone famous and accomplished owns a stock, it doesn't guarantee returns. Coca-Cola has been a positive investment over the past 20 years, but it far underperformed the S&P 500 index.

I've participated in the Coca-Cola DRIP for 20 years now. In this article, I'll share the performance of my personal investment in Coca-Cola from April 1st, 1997, to the latest dividend received on April 3rd, 2017.

May 9, 2017

Stock Valuation Johnson And Johnson

The next stock valuation is about a stock, which is in every DGI portfolio. It will be about Johnson & Johnson one of my first stocks I ever bought and always looking to add more. But let’s have a look if an investment at the current share price makes sense.

Company Overview

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is a holding company that researches, develops, and manufactures a diversified range of products in the healthcare field. The company has three segments: Consumer, Pharmaceutical, and Medical Devices and Diagnostics. JNJ was founded in 1887, and is based in New Brunswick, NJ. It is paying dividend since 1963 and has increased the dividends every year. Recently it announced a further increase of 4 Cent per from 0.80 USD to 0.84 USD per quarter.

May 8, 2017

Vodafone Group: A High Dividend Opportunity Or Value Trap?

Telecom stocks such as AT&T (NYSE:T) and Verizon (NYSE:VZ) often serve as core holdings for income investors who have a low tolerance for risk, especially retirees living off dividends.

That makes sense because many telecom companies enjoy large, recurring streams of cash flow that support generous and slowly growing dividend payouts over time.

However, not all telecom giants make for good dividend investments. The industry is increasingly battling slow growth and increased competitive pressures, and some firms are better positioned than others.

Let's take a closer look at Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD), one of the world's largest telecom behemoths, to see if its 5.7% dividend yield is safe and appealing for our Conservative Retirees dividend portfolio, or if the company could be a value trap.

May 7, 2017

A Safe 7.8% Yielding Stock With Fantastic Growth Potential That's Also 46% Undervalued

Omega Healthcare Investors has long been the gold standard of skilled nursing facility REITs.

With 19 consecutive quarters of dividend growth, the REIT remains a favorite of high-yield dividend growth investors.

The latest earnings show the wisdom of management's long-term growth strategy.

That being said, 2017 is likely to be a far slower growth year, as numerous headwinds challenge the company.

However, with shares trading at a 46% discount to fair value and one of the best risk-adjusted total return profiles on Wall Street, Omega Healthcare remains a screaming buy.

May 4, 2017

Microsoft Earnings: Don’t Believe The Disappointment, Cloud Growth Explodes

Tech giant Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) reported fiscal-third quarter earnings on Thursday, April 27th. Judging by the market’s reaction, Microsoft’s quarter was a disappointment. The stock fell 2% after reporting. But, the stock quickly retraced its losses, as investors focused once again on the bigger picture: Microsoft is in growth mode.

The company’s cloud-based offerings like Office 365 and Azure are growing like weeds. These platforms represent the technology of the future, and will fuel Microsoft’s growth for many years ahead. In the meantime, Microsoft is an excellent dividend stock. It is a Dividend Achiever, a group of 265 companies in the S&P 500 Index that have raised their dividends for 10+ years in a row. 

Investors should not be fooled by the market’s initial reaction: Microsoft’s quarterly report was anything but disappointing. Its hardware sales came up slightly short of expectations, but more importantly, its cloud platform continued its explosive growth.

May 3, 2017

Buy Pfizer Inc. (PFE) Stock While Its Dividend Is on Sale

PFE beat earnings estimates, but fell short on revenue

Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is slipping in pre-market trading after announcing earnings that beat estimates on the bottom line, but missed on the revenue side. If you’re looking for growth, stay away from PFE stock. But if you’re looking to scoop up a dividend at a discount, Pfizer stock is for you.

Adjusted income was $4.19 billion, 69 cents per share, on revenue of $12.78 billion. This compared with net income of $4.17, 67 cents per share, and revenue of $13.01 billion during the same quarter a year ago.

Earnings beat analyst estimates by 2 cents per share, and even beat the “whisper number” of 68 cents. The revenue number, however, was well below the estimate of $13.05 billion, and even below last year’s figure.

As a result, PFE stock lost 35 cents per share, after dropping another 35 cents in trading on May 1. For those who buy stocks for capital appreciation, Pfizer once again proved a name to avoid.

May 1, 2017

3M Dividend History: The Story Behind an Impressive Growth Streak

The innovative conglomerate has put together an amazing track record of boosting its payouts to shareholders. Can it last?

3M (NYSE:MMM) is a company that most people know about but few fully understand. Going well beyond its most visible products like Post-It Notes and Scotch tape, 3M has its fingers in a huge number of different sectors of the economy, and its innovative spirit has enabled it to get profits from an impressive number of sources.

For dividend investors, 3M has been even more lucrative. With a streak of 59 straight years of dividend increases, 3M numbers among the elite dividend stocks in the entire U.S. stock market. Yet investors want to know if 3M's dividends are sustainable and whether its pace of dividend growth will continue into the future. Let's take a closer look at 3M and its dividend history to get some ideas about what's likely to come down the road.

April 30, 2017

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of April 24, 2017


Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK) was upgraded by stock analysts at JPMorgan Chase & Co. from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report issued on Monday. The firm presently has a $152.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock, up from their previous target price of $140.00. JPMorgan Chase & Co.’s price target indicates a potential upside of 11.05% from the stock’s current price. Continue reading here.

Argus upgraded shares of Travelers Companies Inc (NYSE:TRV) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning. They currently have $132.00 target price on the insurance provider’s stock. Continue reading here.

American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Nomura from a “reduce” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report released on Thursday. The brokerage presently has a $78.00 price target on the payment services company’s stock, up from their previous price target of $63.00. Nomura’s target price indicates a potential downside of 2.90% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) was upgraded by equities researchers at Credit Suisse Group AG from an “underperform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. The firm currently has a $40.00 price objective on the network equipment provider’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $27.00. Credit Suisse Group AG’s price objective points to a potential upside of 18.52% from the company’s previous close. Continue reading here.

McDonald's Co. (NYSE:MCD) was upgraded by analysts at Argus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. Continue reading here.


C R Bard Inc (NYSE:BCR) was downgraded by investment analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note issued on Monday. Continue reading here.

William Blair downgraded shares of W W Grainger Inc (NYSE:GWW) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report published on Monday. Continue reading here.

Wells Fargo & Co lowered shares of C R Bard Inc (NYSE:BCR) from an outperform rating to a market perform rating in a report released on Tuesday morning. Continue reading here.

Bank of America Corp downgraded shares of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Tuesday morning. The firm currently has $31.00 price objective on the conglomerate’s stock, down from their previous price objective of $35.00. Continue reading here.

Robert W. Baird cut shares of American Water Works Company Inc. (NYSE:AWK) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research report released on Wednesday. They currently have $82.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their prior price target of $69.41. Continue reading here.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc (NASDAQ:TROW) was downgraded by stock analysts at Argus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. Continue reading here.

Eli Lilly and Co (NYSE:LLY) was downgraded by research analysts at Argus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday. They currently have a $81.00 price objective on the stock, up from their prior price objective of $64.18. Argus’ price objective would indicate a potential upside of 0.05% from the company’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Mattel, Inc. (NASDAQ:MAT) was downgraded by stock analysts at Argus from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report issued on Friday. Continue reading here.

April 29, 2017

Starbucks Corporation Delivers Record Earnings, but 1 Important Metric Is Getting All the Attention

The global coffee giant continues to deliver solid growth, but comparable sales in U.S. stores aren't growing as fast as management expected.

Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) reported its second-quarter financial results on April 27, and it delivered a venti-sized portion of revenue and earnings per share, both of which were the best ever for a single quarter in the company's history.

But there's a problem -- though it's a bit of a "high-class" one -- with the company's growth in recent quarters: Management struggles to produce same-store sales growth in its core U.S. segment that meets expectations. Let's take a closer look at what's happening with Starbucks' business results, and what management says to expect going forward.

April 26, 2017

Qualcomm: 4.3% Dividend Yield, With NXP Acquisition A Major Growth Catalyst

A 4%+ dividend yield is hard to find in the technology sector, which makes Qualcomm (QCOM) that much more appealing.

Qualcomm stock possesses the rare combination of a high dividend yield, along with high dividend growth as well.

It recently raised its dividend by 7.5%, which pushed its dividend yield up to 4.3%.

Qualcomm is a Dividend Achiever, a group of 265 stocks with 10+ years of consecutive dividend increases.

The stock has been dragged down by a negative news flow. It has lost nearly 20% of its value year-to-date.

But long-term investors should not be swayed.

Qualcomm remains a high-quality company, with a strong industry position, high free cash flow, and an excellent balance sheet.

Its sagging share price—which has pushed its dividend yield to 4.3%–could be a great buying opportunity for long-term dividend growth investors.

April 25, 2017

3 Stocks Could Double Their Dividends -- But Shouldn't

A big dividend raise isn't always the right move for a business.

Everybody loves dividends. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love a stock that pays you cash as a thank-you for investing? Additionally, dividends are usually a solid indicator that a company is actually making money -- after all the financial finagling, it still has the cash to schedule payments to investors. Escalating dividends are often taken as a sign that management is particularly bullish on the company's future -- so much so that they're willing to hike how much they pay investors each quarter.

It's understandable, then, that the idea of a company doubling its dividend is exciting. To get paid literally double what you were previously being paid is great on its own, but it also means the company has the wherewithal to sustain all that extra cash going out the door -- a sure sign of its strength as a business.

But there's a big difference between "can" and "should" -- and while these three companies can give income investors a doubled dividend, here's why they shouldn't.

April 24, 2017

10 Dividend Stocks That Will Deliver Double-Digit Returns Every Year

These stocks already generate high annual income, so you need just a little growth to reach 10%-plus in annual returns

Today we’re going to take a look at 10 dividend stocks that look like solid bets to generate double-digit total returns every year, or at least every year on average.

Claiming a stock will deliver a double-digit return every year is a bold statement. After all, the “Siegel constant,” named after Wharton Professor Jeremy Siegel, says the stock market as a whole delivers total returns of around 7% per year after inflation. So, a stock that delivered a double-digit return every year would be one that consistently beat the market.

A 10% annual return is obviously not get-rich-quick money. But at that rate, you’re still doubling your money every seven years, and that’s not too shabby.

You know the old refrain: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. I can’t promise you that every stock on the list will deliver a double-digit return, particularly if we have weakness in the broad market. But I can tell you this: Based on current prices and dividend yields, these stocks are definitely priced well enough to make double-digit returns possible, which is better than what I can say for the vast majority of other stocks.

You’ll notice some common themes among this list of dividend stocks to buy. They all pay dividends, and most a long history of raising those dividends. Also, tech stocks or other companies I see as being at risk of disruption are also mostly left off the list.

April 23, 2017

IBM: Warren Buffett Is Holding On Despite The 5% Decline (And You Should Too)

Shares of International Business Machines (IBM) fell 5% on Wednesday, April 19, after the company posted a disappointing first-quarter earnings report.

Legendary investor Warren Buffett took a big hit from IBM’s decline. His investment conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B) is IBM’s largest shareholder.

At the end of 2016, Berkshire held 81.2 million shares of IBM, good for 8.5% of the company’s share count. Berkshire’s investment is worth approximately $13 billion. IBM is one of Buffett’s highest yielding holdings. After the 5% decline, Berkshire’s investment in IBM lost roughly $800 million in value.

IBM is a high-quality dividend stock. It is a Dividend Achiever, a group of 265 stocks with 10+ years of consecutive dividend increases. You can see the full Dividend Achievers List here. With four more years of dividend increases, IBM will join the ranks of the Dividend Aristocrats, a group of companies in the S&P 500 that have raised dividends for 25+ years.

Despite the one-day drubbing, Buffett likely has no intention to sell IBM—and neither should you.

April 19, 2017

Can Target Keep Growing Its 4.5 Percent Dividend Yield?

The numbers that signal Target’s ability to keep dividends on a growth path

Target (NYSE:TGT)’s share price has been on a steady, sharp downward spiral since the middle of 2015, and the company has lost nearly one-third of its valuation over the last 12 months. With a P/E ratio of just over ten, Target is trading at an extremely attractive price point, especially for a dividend investor because the yield is nearly 4.5%. But how sustainable is Target’s dividend capability, moving forward?

One of the main reasons Target’s share price collapsed was that comparable store sales remained extremely weak last year. Considering the state of the competition in the retail market, coupled with the steady rise of Amazon’s sales in the United States, Target found it extremely difficult to make more customers walk into its stores. Comparable sales decreased 0.5% in 2016, with traffic decreasing by 0.8%.

With Walmart and Amazon going to head to head, things are indeed very difficult for smaller players. Target, being a bigger player with 1,802 stores, still has a chance, but it will entirely depend how they can differentiate their offering from a crowded and fiercely competitive market.

April 18, 2017

3 Reasons Why Cisco Is a Better Dividend Growth Stock Than Intel

See why Cisco is a better buy at current prices for long-term dividend growth investors

The technology sector is a surprisingly good source of dividend stocks.

This wasn’t always the case. During the heyday of the tech sector, hardly any tech stocks paid dividends at all.

But after the tech bubble burst, investors began pushing for technology companies—many of which have high cash flow and huge amounts of cash on their balance sheets—to pay dividends.

Two of the highest-yielding stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average are Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) and Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC), both of which hail from the tech sector.

Neither Cisco nor Intel is a Dividend Achiever, which is a group of 265 stocks with 10+ years of consecutive dividend increases.

That said, Cisco and Intel are both highly profitable companies, with leadership positions in their respective industries.

However, Cisco is in a stronger position right now. This article will discuss three reasons why Cisco is likely to be the better dividend growth stock moving forward.

April 17, 2017

Top 4 Dividend Stocks To Hold Now

In my latest article, I’ve highlighted 4 popular dividend stocks to sell. As I wrote at the end of this article, I don’t appreciate when people criticize without bringing something on the table. For this reason, I’m offering you 4 interesting stock picks for 2017 that could easily replace the other bad seeds.

Let’s look, what is The Dividend Guy’s opinion about HON, LOW, DIS and BLK.

April 16, 2017

Why You Shouldn’t Count Qualcomm, Inc. (QCOM) Stock Out Just Yet

Qualcomm stock has a few catalysts heading its way

Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) has multiple catalysts ahead. The company already announced many of the positive developments yet the stock price hardly moved. The FTC’s antitrust case against the company is just beginning but improving fundamentals outweigh those risks.

An announcement from BlackBerry Ltd (NASDAQ:BBRY) and Qualcomm sent QCOM stock lower.

In an arbitration decision, Qualcomm will pay nearly $815 million to BlackBerry. The royalty over-payments will not hurt the relationship between the two companies, as both are vying to enter markets beyond smartphones. Therefore, QCOM stock investors should expect future collaborations and deals between the two companies despite the arbitration decision.

April 13, 2017

This 4% Yielder Has an Incredible Record of Dividend Growth

Dividend investing is not all about hunting for monster yields. It is about identifying those companies that have an established track record of making sustainable dividend payments coupled with regular dividend hikes. One Canadian company that stands out having an exceptional history of regularly growing dividend payments is diversified utility Canadian Utilities Limited (TSX:CU).

Many investors regard utilities as boring, stable stocks that, while having solid defensive credentials, lack the glamour of other, more growth-oriented stocks. While this may be true, Canadian Utilities is no lacklustre investment.

April 11, 2017

3 Value Stocks Senior Citizens Could Buy Right Now

Want to get the most out of an investment account in retirement? Take a look at CVS Health, Verizon Communications, and General Motors.

It is challenging for older investors to find reliable, income-paying stocks that trade at cheap valuations. The reason? Stable businesses with the ability to churn out a stream of growing dividend payments rarely go on sale. Every once in a while, though, a few of them fall out of favor, providing an opportunity to buy in at a good price.

So we asked our contributors if they see any stocks on sale today that would fit nicely in a senior citizen's portfolio. They came up with three: CVS Health (NYSE:CVS), Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ), and General Motors (NYSE:GM). Here's a look at why they are well suited for retirement accounts.

April 10, 2017

UPS Purchased To Meet These Specific Objectives

United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) currently offers a dividend yield in excess of 3%. Moreover, it is also available at a valuation that is slightly below historical norms. The company has provided a stable and growing dividend since it went public in 1999. However, the company did keep their dividend the same for fiscal years 2001 and 2002, but they did not cut it. Additionally, 2008 included five dividend payments due to a change in their dividend payment schedule. Nevertheless, their dividend growth rate since 1999 has averaged 13% per annum, but the dividend growth rate has slowed somewhat to 8.2% per annum since 2013.

United Parcel Service Inc. carries an A+ credit rating from S&P but does have a debt to capital ratio of 75% – which I consider a concern. However, the company generates significant revenues and produces ample cash flows to service and eventually retire its debt. Moreover, a significant portion of their debt is long-term, which does moderately alleviate my concerns. But more importantly, the debt they have recently taken on was used to fund numerous acquisitions since 2014 and to expand international services significantly. I see the latter as a huge opportunity that should bear fruit over the longer run.

April 8, 2017

Top 4 Popular Dividend Stocks To Not Hold

And I’m ready to take your tomatoes… even though I’m right.

Instead of making another list of great stock picks, I decided to do the opposite today. I actually wrote about these companies over the past 12 months telling investors to sell them now before it’s too late. What makes them special is that they have tons of fans as they are very popular dividend paying companies. They often ace the first filtering processes due to their competitive advantage and good fundamentals. Their “brand” as a dividend paying stock is strong among investors but I feel that they offer more smoke than anything else. Many investors are blinded by the story told by these companies and tend to ignore the story that will happen in the years to come.

Those companies are on my black list and I don’t see them returning to my watch list anytime soon. In fact, I think each of them is a BIG SELL at the moment.

April 7, 2017

3 Reasons to Buy Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Stock Right Now

Despite its unbelievable gains, it's not too late to jump into MSFT stock

When it comes to stocks, Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is as blue chip as they come. The technology giant has been a portfolio staple for decades and has powered generations of investors with long-term gains.

In fact, had you bought MSFT stock when it went public back in 1986, you would have made nearly 67,000% on your investment. No wonder why Bill Gates is the richest person on the planet.

And MSFT stock continues to impress investors. Mr. Softy was up an impressive 16% last year alone. With such an extraordinary returns history, the question is, can shares of Microsoft continue to make some serious money for its investors going forward?

With the following three catalysts in play, the answer is a resounding yes. Microsoft is still one of the better long-term buys in tech.

April 6, 2017

Buying Apple Inc. (AAPL) Stock for the Dividends? Don’t.

You can be bullish on AAPL stock because of its growth prospects, but income investors have far better options

Pacific Crest analyst Andy Hargreaves recently recommended that investors hold on to their Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares. But it’s not because of new iPhone sales, but rather, the impending Trump tax reform. That will enable Apple to repatriate foreign cash to be used for increased dividends to owners of AAPL stock.

“We see potential for further upside to our unit and gross profit dollar estimates in the coming iPhone cycle, but believe growth beyond that will slow substantially,” Hargreaves wrote in a note to clients. “Consequently, we believe tax reform and a subsequent increase to the dividend may be necessary to drive significant upside in AAPL.”

Seriously, if that’s why you’re hanging on to your Apple stock, do yourself a favor and sell now. There are better dividend stocks to own in industries with much less volatility and change.

April 2, 2017

3 Attractive Healthy Dividend-Paying Market Gems

With volatility continuing to bedevil the stock market, investors are necessarily looking for protection through stocks that are paying decent dividends. So, many investors have become dividend-seeking players, but the ultimate and difficult question is how and where to find such companies that provide attractive dividend yields.

From the many groups of analysts engaged in this search, Morningstar has come up with attractive and diverse ways and methods of analyzing the various opportunities in the dividend-yielding areas.

Three stocks among the beaten down healthcare sector appear the most tempting -- and sufficiently attractive.

They are Sanofi, which pays a dividend yield of 3.7%, Pfizer with 3.6%, and Novartis which also provides a yield of 3.6%.

April 1, 2017

3 Top Dividend Aristocrats to Buy in April

Income investors who seek stability should start and end their searches with Dividend Aristocrats. To qualify, a company has to have increased its dividend for at least 25 years in a row, which is an achievement that few businesses can replicate.

So what Dividend Aristocrats are great buys right now? We asked a team of Fools that very question. They picked 3M (NYSE: MMM), Medtronic (NYSE: MDT), and TransCanada (NYSE: TRP).

March 31, 2017

A Closer Look at Kimberly-Clark Corp.'s Dividend

What income investors can expect from one of the market's longest-running payouts.

Kimberly-Clark (NYSE:KMB) shareholders underperformed the market last year as the consumer products giant missed its growth targets. The owner of hit global brands like Huggies and Kleenex kept up its market-thumping dividend, though, and in fact boosted its payout at a faster rate than in the previous year.

Below, we'll look at the key metrics supporting Kimberly-Clark's dividend to see what income investors can expect from the company in the years ahead.

March 30, 2017

Has Gilead Sciences Lost Its Way?

Since John Milligan took over as the CEO of Gilead Sciences (NASDAQ:GILD) roughly one year ago, the biotech's shares have steadily marched lower to the tune of a 24% decline. And one of the biggest reasons why is Milligan's decision to invest heavily in share repurchases and forgo a large acquisition -- or a series of smaller acquisitions -- to bring in some much-needed revenue.

The $13.5 billion spent on share repurchases in the past year, after all, could have netted a handful of modestly sized acquisitions. For example, Japan's Takeda Pharmaceutical bought Ariad Pharmaceuticals and its leukemia drug portfolio for only $5.2 billion, and Jazz Pharmaceuticals grabbed Celator's acute myeloid leukemia drug Vyxeos for a mere $1.5 billion -- casting doubt on Milligan's prior assertion that valuations were simply too high to warrant an acquisition frenzy. 

The big picture issue is that the bottom has dropped out of the biotech's hepatitis C franchise in the past year, and 2017 is on track to produce another 40% dip in the biotech's hepatitis C sales, according to Gilead's own dismal forecast. Yet Gilead has stubbornly refused to buy a revenue-generating peer to address this issue head on -- despite exiting 2016 with $32.4 billion of cash, cash equivalents, and marketable securities and a biotech landscape that arguably sports a surfeit of worthwhile buyout targets.

March 29, 2017

CVS Health Is 22% Undervalued

CVS Health (NYSE: CVS) is the largest pharmacy services provider in the U.S. comprised of ~9,700 pharmacies and 1,139 minute clinics. CVS is one of the leading Pharmacy Benefit Managers ("PBMs") providing services such as mail-order, prescription plan management, and claims processing. With 1.6B claims processed in 2016, it is the largest PBM as Walgreens (NASDAQ: WBA) processed 740mm. CVS' size gives it premium negotiating power and scale advantages.

Over the last 12 months, CVS's share price is down 23%. I will argue that this selloff is overblown and positions CVS as a quality company that is attractively valued in widely overvalued market.

March 27, 2017

Hanesbrands: Underappreciated And Undervalued By 30%

Hanesbrands (NYSE:HBI) is one of America's iconic apparel brand manufacturers that is not getting a lot of love lately, which is a shame. Share prices have been weak as slower retail traffic in big box stores takes its toll. Several large brick and mortar retailers have announced sluggish sales and store closings as e-commerce continues to take retail customers away. Several are throwing in the towel altogether. As the battle over online shopping continues to heat up, there could be more pain for retailers as consumers continue to migrate to online shopping.

With such an undercurrent, why would I buy into an apparel maker? The answer is simple, its undervalued, offers strong business model differences, and has a proven track record of expansion through acquisition. Add a history of rewarding shareholders, and HBI would seem like a respectable mid-cap value selection.

March 26, 2017

Will Ventas Make It To The Final 4?

Last week Ventas, Inc. (VTR) was downgraded from “neutral” to “sell” by Goldman Sachs; however, other analysts have also recently downgraded the $12.6 billion healthcare REIT.

Mizuho cut Ventas from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and set a $63.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, November 21st. Evercore ISI cut Ventas from a “hold” rating to an “underperform” rating in a report on Friday, March 3rd. Zacks Investment Research cut Ventas from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, January 9th.

Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating and ten have given a hold rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $62.89

I have not reviewed any of the research reports from the other sell-side analysts, but I thought it would be a good time to take a deeper dive into Ventas to determine whether or not there is any reason to modify my current BUY recommendation.

Also, I’m gearing up for bracketology this week and I’ll be providing head-to-head analysis for Ventas and all other healthcare REITs. Consider this article somewhat of a scouting report, as I examine the pros and cons of Ventas as I determine whether or not the company will make it to the Final Four again this year.

March 25, 2017

Should You Buy McDonald's 2.0?

Over the last two years, McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has unleashed a stream of turnaround-related activities. The world's largest burger chain has simplified its menu while introducing all-day breakfast, closed underperforming stores, infused social consciousness into its brand, trimmed costs, streamlined its decision-making structure, and revised its reportable divisions.

Next up is an anticipated return to bona-fide growth, at least according to the "long-term global growth plan" McDonald's presented during its annual investor day earlier this month.

The plan consists of three major operational initiatives which themselves rest on three "strategic pillars." Taking a cue from the company's breakfast menu tweak last year, known as All Day Breakfast 2.0, we can think of this plan as a blueprint for a post-turnaround McDonald's 2.0.

In this two-part article series, we'll look at both the stated plan and the financial model behind it, to see if McDonald's is primed for both sales and profit resurgence.

March 24, 2017

Duke Energy Pays Steady Dividends For Retirement Portfolios

Duke Energy (DUK) is a popular holding in many retirement portfolios because of the company’s generous and dependable dividend.

Duke Energy has paid uninterrupted dividends for more than 90 years and increased its payout each calendar year since 2005.

With a dividend yield above 4%, a high Dividend Safety Score, and low stock price volatility, Duke Energy is worth a closer looks.

Let’s review Duke Energy’s business and dividend profile to see if the company is a solid candidate for investors living off dividends in retirement.

March 23, 2017

The 3 Best Big-Brand Stocks to Buy in 2017

How an investor can profit from global franchises including Tide, Listerine, and "Star Wars" this year.

It's no coincidence that the most successful companies on the planet often control the world's most valuable brands. Intellectual property -- particularly globally recognized and trusted franchises -- delivers higher profits and a defensible market position that translates into a huge competitive advantage for big-brand stocks.

With that in mind, here's why global brand powerhouses Walt Disney (NYSE:DIS), Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ), and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) deserve a top spot on investors' watch list for 2017.

March 21, 2017

3 Reasons Why General Electric Is No Match For Dividend King Emerson Electric

General Electric (GE) and Emerson Electric (EMR) are very similar companies. They operate in the industrial sector, and both are experiencing similar challenges right now, namely the strong U.S. dollar and weak commodity prices.

And, both stocks have attractive 3.2% dividend yields.

But Emerson Electric has one of the most impressive histories of raising dividends in the entire stock market. It has increased its shareholder payout for 60 years in a row.

As a result, it is a member of the Dividend Aristocrats, a group of companies in the S&P 500 that have raised dividends for 25+ years.

Not only that, but Emerson is also on the Dividend Kings list, which includes companies with 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases.

Emerson is one of just 19 Dividend Kings. You can see the entire list of Dividend Kings here.

This article will discuss three major reasons why I prefer Emerson stock over GE.

March 20, 2017

AT&T Vs. Verizon? It's Not Even Close

I have received several requests from my followers to compare and contrast AT&T (NYSE: T) versus Verizon (NYSE: VZ) over the past weeks as the wireless wars have heated up. In the past week I have spent an inordinate amount of time reviewing the two companies in order to answer this question.

I own both AT&T and Verizon stock currently at equal weights in my portfolio. I, like many of you, had come to the conclusion that the two companies were essentially a duopoly and the prudent thing to do would be to own both to diversify my portfolio and reduce risk. Nonetheless, after performing further due diligence, I have come to the conclusion that AT&T offers a much better investment opportunity going forward for dividend growth and income investors for several reasons. I went back through and read all the past articles comparing the two. Most were focused on the minutia and not the big picture. Most authors basically compare each fundamental statistic side by side and come to the conclusion there is no clear winner.

March 19, 2017

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of March 13, 2017


Occidental Petroleum Co. (NYSE:OXY) was upgraded by research analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. Continue reading here.

Invesco Ltd. (NYSE:IVZ) was upgraded by Goldman Sachs Group Inc from a “neutral” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research report issued on Wednesday. Continue reading here.

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was upgraded by investment analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. Continue reading here.

Barclays PLC (NYSE:BCS) was upgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. Continue reading here.

National Grid plc (NYSE:NGG) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Societe Generale from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. Continue reading here.

Aqua America Inc (NYSE:WTR) was upgraded by investment analysts at Barclays PLC from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report issued on Friday. The firm presently has a $36.00 target price on the stock, up from their previous target price of $33.00. Barclays PLC’s target price indicates a potential upside of 12.25% from the stock’s current price. Continue reading here.


Boeing Co (NYSE:BA) was downgraded by analysts at Morgan Stanley from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday. They currently have a $190.00 price objective on the aircraft producer’s stock. Morgan Stanley’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 6.32% from the company’s current price. Continue reading here.

American Water Works Company Inc (AWK) was Downgraded by HSBC Securities to ” Hold”. Earlier the firm had a rating of “Buy ” on the company shares. HSBC Securities advised their Clients and Investors in a research report released on Mar 15, 2017. Continue reading here.

Intel Co. (NASDAQ:INTC) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Credit Suisse Group AG from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. Continue reading here.

Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) was downgraded by research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group Inc from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Wednesday. Continue reading here.

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Morgan Stanley to an “underweight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Thursday. Continue reading here.

T. Rowe Price Group Inc (NDAQ:TROW) was downgraded by equities researchers at Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a report issued on Friday. Continue reading here.

March 18, 2017

Microsoft Corporations’s Dividend Payments Could Double Within 5 Years

Changes in the cloud continue to benefit MSFT and its shareholders

The technology sector isn’t known for paying out juicy dividends. Companies from the high-growth sector tend to re invest their cash into expanding instead of returning it to investors.

However, 17 years after the dot-com bubble popped in March of 2000, a group of former tech highflyers is quietly evolving into some of the best dividend payers in the S&P 500.

Apple, Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) is a great example. Apple began paying a dividend in 2012, and now offers a 1.6% yield after growing its dividend by 27% in the last three years.

With more than $200 billion in cash, I expect Apple to continue growing its dividend for years to come.

While those stats are impressive, another legendary tech stock offers a better dividend yield and growth. This global leader pays out a 2.4% yield, a 50% premium to Apple’s 1.6% yield. It has grown its dividend by 44% in the last three years, a 63% premium to Apple.

And finally, with just over $100 billion in cash on its balance sheet, I am expecting its dividend payment to grow more than 100% in the next five years.

March 17, 2017

10 Safe Dividend Stocks to Own During the Next Market Crash

The keys to protection? Fair price, high quality and dividend growth.

With the stock market now entering its ninth year of an epic bull run, and share prices at all-time highs, many investors are worried that dividend stocks, growth stocks — all stocks! — are trading at highly overvalued levels and set for a market crash.

While corrections are inevitable, at the same time history shows us that market timing is the absolute worst thing you can do. In fact, a recent study found that missing just 10 of the best market days in each of the past nine decades would have reduced one’s profits (owning the S&P 500) from 10,055% to just 38%!

In other words, trying to time the market can cripple your returns.

Long-term, buy-and-hold investing in dividend stocks is a great way to build your wealth and income, whether you want to simply live off dividends in retirement or some other life goal.

While the market’s valuation appears high relative to history, interest rates are also at very low levels — even after the Fed’s recent fed funds rate hike — making dividend stocks more attractive. It’s also true that no matter how high the market gets, something is on sale. Reasonably priced stocks with below average volatility also tend to decline less during market down periods, preserving capital.

Essentially, if you buy fairly priced, high-quality, low-volatility dividend growth stocks, such as dividend aristocrats, you can protect yourself from unpredictable market risk.

To help get you started, here are 10 great, safe dividend stocks to consider for your diversified dividend growth portfolio in the event of a market crash. We used our Dividend Safety Scores to identify many of these candidates. In order of yield … Continue reading here à