February 28, 2017

Why Starbucks Corporation (SBUX) Stock Is Right for Income Hunters

Double-digit increases to the dividend on SBUX stock are worthy of your attention



Who doesn’t like a juicy dividend yield between 3% and 4%? I know I sure do. And while a number of companies — like The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) — sport such a yield, the valuations surely don’t appear to be a bargain. I’m not here to argue the merits of these stocks though. Instead, I’m more excited by a trio like Visa Inc (NYSE:V), MasterCard Inc (NYSE:MA) and Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX).

Despite mediocre earnings growth, Coca-Cola and PG trade with respective forward price-to-earnings ratios of 21 and 22. Similarly, V, MA and SBUX stock trade with forward P/E ratios of 23, 22 and 23, respectively. However, they are often times lauded as being highly overvalued despite their strong brands and growth.

Specifically with Starbucks, a number of investors now claim its growth run is over. Why? Because its recent same-store sales grew less than 5% in the U.S. While 23 times expected earnings is not cheap, I don’t agree that Starbucks stock is overvalued given its growth, brand and dividend.




February 27, 2017

Pfizer Inc. (PFE) Invest For Attractive Valuation And The 4% Dividend Yield


Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical firms with sales exceeding $50 billion. The company is currently attractively valued at a blended P/E ratio of 13.3, offering a current dividend yield of 4%. Pfizer is awarded an S&P credit rating of AA and possesses a modest debt to capital ratio of 28%.

Prior to 2004, the company could have been described as a fast-growing dividend paying stock. However, since 2004, operating earnings growth has slowed considerably. Therefore, Pfizer was once a powerful total return producer that has morphed into a high-yielding blue-chip dividend paying stock offering only moderate growth potential and an above-average current yield.

Consequently, I believe that Pfizer Inc. (NYSE:PFE) is best suited for the prudent income-oriented investor seeking above-average current yield and safety. Therefore, Pfizer might be especially interesting to the retired investor looking for an above-average level of income in order to fund their retirement needs. However, I also intend to demonstrate that capital appreciation potential might also be surprisingly good going forward.



February 26, 2017

This Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: February 20-24, 2017

Disposals


GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON:GSK) insider Patrick Vallance sold 32,996 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 16th. The stock was sold at an average price of GBX 1,624 ($20.23), for a total value of £535,855.04 ($667,648.94). Continue reading here.






Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) insider Charles D. Lake II sold 8,693 shares of Aflac stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.85, for a total value of $615,899.05. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 28,756 shares in the company, valued at $2,037,362.60. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Continue reading here.


Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) Director Robert B. Johnson sold 1,975 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.45, for a total value of $141,113.75. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 15,306 shares in the company, valued at $1,093,613.70. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website. Continue reading here.


Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc (NYSE:DPS) insider Angela A. Stephens sold 2,100 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, February 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $94.05, for a total transaction of $197,505.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now directly owns 8,505 shares in the company, valued at $799,895.25. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Continue reading here.

Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc (NYSE:DPS) insider James J. Johnston, Jr. sold 33,314 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $94.63, for a total value of $3,152,503.82. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 7,861 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $743,886.43. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Continue reading here.

Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) insider David Zapolsky sold 503 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $850.00, for a total value of $427,550.00. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 2,523 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,144,550. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Continue reading here.


Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) Director Tom A. Alberg sold 590 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $850.00, for a total transaction of $501,500.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 22,525 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $19,146,250. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Continue reading here.

General Dynamics Corporation (NYSE:GD) insider S. Daniel Johnson sold 5,219 shares of General Dynamics Corporation stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $189.31, for a total value of $988,008.89. Following the sale, the insider now owns 65,243 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,351,152.33. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Continue reading here.

The Travelers Companies, Inc. (NYSE:TRV) SVP Douglas K. Russell sold 2,187 shares of The Travelers Companies stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 21st. The shares were sold at an average price of $121.80, for a total transaction of $266,376.60. Following the sale, the senior vice president now owns 17,540 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,136,372. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Continue reading here.



Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) insider Johny Srouji sold 13,207 shares of Apple stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $136.37, for a total value of $1,801,038.59. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 98,012 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,365,896.44. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Continue reading here.



International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) insider Jeanmichel Ribieras sold 14,500 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 22nd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.05, for a total value of $754,725.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Continue reading here.


International Paper Company (NYSE:IP) insider William P. Hoel sold 22,502 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $52.63, for a total value of $1,184,280.26. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Continue reading here.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) insider G Mason Morfit sold 4,616,000 shares of Microsoft Corporation stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, February 23rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $64.40, for a total value of $297,270,400.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at the SEC website. Continue reading here.



Norfolk Souther Corporation (NYSE:NSC) EVP Marta R. Stewart sold 2,331 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Tuesday, February 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $124.43, for a total value of $290,046.33. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 16,156 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $2,010,291.08. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Continue reading here.


Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) insider Raymond S. Napolitan, Jr. sold 12,400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $63.74, for a total value of $790,376.00. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 73,885 shares in the company, valued at $4,709,429.90. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. Continue reading here.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) EVP Chris Dedicoat sold 34,597 shares of Cisco Systems stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $34.12, for a total transaction of $1,180,449.64. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now directly owns 229,344 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $7,825,217.28. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through the SEC website. Continue reading here.


Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) insider John T. Chambers sold 295,538 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.06, for a total value of $10,066,024.28. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 1,220,581 shares in the company, valued at $41,572,988.86. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Continue reading here.

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) Director Roderick C. Mcgeary sold 10,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.07, for a total value of $340,700.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 122,721 shares in the company, valued at approximately $4,181,104.47. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Continue reading here.

Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK) insider James J. Cannon sold 7,473 shares of Stanley Black & Decker stock in a transaction dated Friday, February 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $106.70, for a total value of $797,369.10. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 31,875 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $3,401,062.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Continue reading here.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) major shareholder Jim C. Walton sold 4,375,337 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, February 23rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $71.79, for a total value of $314,105,443.23. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 10,507,127 shares in the company, valued at $754,306,647.33. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Major shareholders that own 10% or more of a company’s stock are required to disclose their sales and purchases with the SEC. Continue reading here.

Waste Management, Inc. (NYSE:WM) VP Jeff M. Harris sold 28,490 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 22nd. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.76, for a total transaction of $2,072,932.40. Following the transaction, the vice president now directly owns 19,418 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,412,853.68. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Continue reading here.

Acquisitions:


American Express Company (NYSE:AXP) Director John Joseph Brennan purchased 4,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, February 22nd. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $79.74 per share, with a total value of $318,960.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 4,000 shares in the company, valued at $318,960. The acquisition was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. Continue reading here.

Caterpillar, Inc. (NYSE:CAT) insider Lange Bob De purchased 1,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, February 21st. The shares were purchased at an average cost of $99.32 per share, for a total transaction of $99,320.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 10,230 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,016,043.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Continue reading here.


February 25, 2017

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of February 20, 2017


Upgrades:


Royal Bank of Scotland Group plc (LON:RBS) was upgraded by stock analysts at Barclays PLC to an “equal weight” rating in a note issued to investors on Monday. The firm presently has a GBX 250 ($3.12) target price on the financial services provider’s stock, up from their previous target price of GBX 200 ($2.50). Barclays PLC’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 3.14% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Royal Bank Scotland PLC (The) (NYSE:RBS) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Barclays PLC from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. Continue reading here.

Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) upgraded shares of Rolls-Royce Holding PLC (LON:RR) to a buy rating in a report issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has GBX 1,030 ($12.83) target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of GBX 743 ($9.26). Continue reading here.

TotalFinaElf, S.A. (NYSE:TOT) was upgraded by equities researchers at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) from a “buy” rating to a “conviction-buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. Continue reading here.

Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) was upgraded by equities research analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co from a “neutral” rating to an “overweight” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. The firm presently has a $173.00 price target on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 12.56% from the company’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Morgan Stanley upgraded VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) from Underweight to Equalweight with a price target of $50.00 (from $48.00). Continue reading here.

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) was upgraded by research analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $88.00 target price on the retailer’s stock, up from their prior target price of $76.00. Bank of America Corp’s price target points to a potential upside of 22.72% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Home Depot, Inc. (The) (NYSE:HD) was upgraded by Morgan Stanley from an “equal weight” rating to an “overweight” rating in a report released on Thursday. Continue reading here.

Unilever NV (NYSE:UN) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Societe Generale from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Thursday. Continue reading here.

Deutsche Bank upgraded Franklin Resources (NYSE: BEN) from Sell to Hold with a price target of $41.00 (from $37.00). Continue reading here.

Downgrades:


Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) downgraded shares of Royal Dutch Shell PLC (NYSE:RDS.A) from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. Continue reading here.

United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Bank of America Corp from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. They presently have a $114.00 price objective on the stock. Bank of America Corp’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 7.93% from the company’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Reynolds American Inc (NYSE:RAI) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Wells Fargo & Company from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report issued on Thursday. Continue reading here.

February 24, 2017

These Are the 5 Perfect Dividend Stocks for Today's Market


The nearly decade-long era of ultra-low interest rates has been kind for dividend-paying stocks. Not only have they often offered payouts that are more robust than the yield on 10-Year Treasuries, but they have also racked up spectacular share price gains.

The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF for example, has rallied an impressive 215% since the market bottomed out in March, 2009.

But income-oriented investors now face a changing backdrop. Rising bond yields are now surpassing the payout levels of many dividend producers. To stay ahead of the curve, you need to focus on firms that have a long history of rising dividends in any economic climate. That means "dividend aristocrats."

Here are five that currently offer dividend yields ahead of the 10-Year Treasury rate.




February 23, 2017

Why This Billionaire Just Shelled Out $1.1 Billion on 4 Drug Stocks

Allergan, Mylan, Pfizer, and Teva attract a lot of attention and cash from David Tepper's hedge fund, Appaloosa Management.



"A billion here, a billion there, and pretty soon you're talking about real money."

It's debatable who first uttered that phrase. What isn't debatable, though, is that David Tepper and Appaloosa Management are accustomed to throwing around plenty of real money. The multibillion-dollar hedge fund run by Tepper spent over $1.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2016 on just four drug stocks: Allergan (NYSE:AGN), Mylan (NASDAQ:MYL), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), and Teva (NYSE:TEVA).

Why so much money on these stocks? And should ordinary investors follow the billionaire's lead? Let's look at what makes these particular pharmaceutical stocks so attractive.




February 22, 2017

Best Dividend Stocks For 2017


With interest rates near-zero and bonds yields paltry, dividend stocks enjoyed a strong run in 2016. This has changed in 2017. Dividend stocks have fallen out of favor.

Investors expect interest rates to rise as President Trump's plan to spur economic growth stokes inflation. A substantial number of investors, however, need income. Although interest rates may rise, they are unlikely to shoot up dramatically anytime soon.

Studies repeatedly show dividend-paying stocks that consistently increase dividends outperform non-dividend paying stocks. As such, this is a good time to scout for high-quality dividend stocks worth investing.

Here are some ideas:




February 21, 2017

3 Utility Stocks That Will Pay You To Invest In Them


Ever since the Great Recession, the Federal Reserve has kept interest rates artificially low. So low that investors who typically invest in bonds for the interest income they provide have had to look elsewhere. Unfortunately, there weren’t many places to look. As a result, most investors turned to blue chip companies that were a relatively safe investment and paid a nice dividend. Enter utility stocks.

But not all utility stocks are equal. If you are looking for a safe place to park your money while earning a nice dividend, you have some research to do. Luckily that is where this post enters. There are 3 utility stocks out there that are a good place to put your money and they will pay you to own them through healthy dividend payments.

Understand that since these are stocks, you can lose money when the market drops. But they are solid companies and should not be as volatile as the market as a whole. And since they have had a pullback recently, now could be the time to get in. So what are these 3 utility stocks?




February 20, 2017

Why The Coca-Cola Co (KO) Dividend Star is Waning

Patience may pay off for KO holders, but beware...


The Coca-Cola Co (KO) manufactures, distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. This dividend king has paid uninterrupted dividends on its common stock since 1893 and increased payments to common shareholders every for 55 years in a row. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc.‘s (BRK.A,BRK.B) is the largest shareholder of the world’s largest beverage company.

The company’s last dividend increase was in February 2017 when the Board of Directors approved an 5.70% increase to 37 cents per share. Coca-Cola’s largest competitors include PepsiCo, Inc. (PEP), Dr Pepper Snapple Group Inc. (DPS) and Monster Beverage Corporation (MNST).

Over the past decade this dividend growth stock has delivered an annualized total return of 8.90% to its shareholders.




February 18, 2017

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

Upgrades:


Morgan Stanley upgraded Nucor (NYSE: NUE) from Equalweight to Overweight with a price target of $78.00. Continue reading here.

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Under Armour, Inc. (NYSE:UAA) from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning. Continue reading here.

J P Morgan Chase & Co upgraded shares of Petroleo Brasileiro S.A.- Petrobras (NYSE:PBR) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. Continue reading here.

Devon Energy Corporation (NYSE:DVN) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Societe Generale from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday. The firm currently has a $55.00 price target on the energy company’s stock. Societe Generale’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 24.69% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Parker-Hannifin Corporation (NYSE:PH) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Wednesday morning. Bank of America Corporation currently has $180.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $157.00. Continue reading here.

Fortis Inc. (NYSE:FTS) was upgraded by investment analysts at CIBC from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Thursday. Continue reading here.

Hershey Company (The) (NYSE:HSY) was upgraded by investment 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.

Downgrades:


Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) (TSE:AGU) was downgraded by stock analysts at Scotiabank from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a research note issued on Monday. Continue reading here.

Reynolds American Inc (NYSE:RAI) was downgraded by stock analysts at Royal Bank Of Canada from an outperform rating to a sector perform rating in a note issued to investors on Monday. They currently have a $60.00 price target on the stock, up from their prior price target of $54.00. Royal Bank Of Canada’s price objective would indicate a potential downside of 0.94% from the company’s current price. Continue reading here.

Jefferies & Co has downgraded Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI) from Buy to Hold in a report released on Friday February 17, 2017. Continue reading here.

Argus lowered shares of Johnson Controls International PLC (NYSE:JCI) from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report issued on Tuesday morning. Continue reading here.

Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was downgraded by research analysts at Credit Suisse Group from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Friday. They presently have a $56.00 target price on the financial services provider’s stock. Credit Suisse Group’s target price suggests a potential downside of 3.65% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Illinois Tool Works Inc. (NYSE:ITW) was downgraded by investment analysts at Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The) from a neutral rating to a sell rating in a report issued on Friday. They currently have a $121.00 price target on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. (The)’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 7.11% from the stock’s current price. Continue reading here.

February 16, 2017

7 Stocks Warren Buffett Is Buying or Selling

Love 'em or hate 'em, the 'Oracle of Omaha' has had his hands in 'em



U.S. equities are drifting higher again on Wednesday, notching fresh new highs as the “Trumpflation” rally looks all but unstoppable. Yet breadth remains mixed, with pockets of strength in financials and Big Tech stocks, but areas of weakness including energy and utilities.

For the first time in years, it’s a stock picker’s market as cross asset correlations diminish and stocks stop rising and falling in unison — based, as it was, largely on what the Federal Reserve was doing — and instead shifting based on the individual dynamics of each industry and sector group. In the lingo of the trade: We’re seeing a return of investing based on idiosyncratic catalysts instead of “macro” investing.

For those looking for new trading ideas, the latest batch of 13F filings reveals what moves hedge funds are making (with a 45-day delay since the end of the last quarter).

Superficially, let’s take a look at what Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) has been up to:




February 15, 2017

4 High-Yield Dividend Stocks You Don't Have to Babysit

Looking for a top-notch income stock to buy and hold? Our team of Fools thinks you should give these four companies a closer look.



Most income investors are naturally drawn to the stocks that offer up high yields. That's understandable, but oftentimes, a market-topping yield can be a sign that a business is in trouble. For that reason, investors need to be picky about which dividend stocks they choose to buy.

To aid you in your search, we asked a team of Fools to share a high-yield stock they think is a great buy-and-hold candidate. Read on to see why they highlighted Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM), Brookfield Property Partners (NYSE:BPY), Pfizer (NYSE:PFE), NextEra Energy Partners (NYSE:NEP).




February 14, 2017

4 REITs For Retirement


Last week I attended The Money Show in Orlando where I spoke to many retirees who were seeking reliable sources of income.

As I walked across the exhibit floor, I was amazed to see such a diverse number of companies – some considered dividend stalwarts and others that had the aura of the “selling swampland in Florida” pitch. I went from booth-to-booth and I was taken away by the fear that many retirees must have as they seek out the most reliable sources of income.

While retirement is meant to suggest a happy time to enjoy the "golden years" in life, the fear of losing money is oftentimes the culprit that detracts from a quality lifestyle - retirement satisfaction appears positively correlated with income, net worth, and health.

As the editor of The Forbes Real Estate Investor, I am keenly focused on helping retirees reduce investment risk and sleep well at night. In fact, I created the SWAN portfolio (SWAN stands for sleep well at night) specifically to assist investors with building a nest egg that grows in size.

REIT (real estate investment trust) income should be a part of the retirement process and investors should take a closer look at the asset class that offers an outsized dividend yield along with very predictable sources of income.

However, REITs should not be painted by the same brush - just because you are an investor in a REIT does not guarantee that the dividend income will be sustainable. Most all retirees are counting on the income to fund expenses or enjoy their quality of living, a dividend cut could mean be devastating.




February 13, 2017

Better Buy: AbbVie Inc. vs. Eli Lilly

Which drug stock wins in a head-to-head match-up between AbbVie and Eli Lilly?



At the beginning of 2016, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) and Eli Lilly (NYSE:LLY) were nearly exactly the same size in terms of market cap. However, AbbVie's stock outperformed Lilly throughout most of the year, making AbbVie the bigger company now.

Size doesn't matter much, though, when it comes to selecting the better stock for the future. The important things are each company's product lineup, pipeline potential, and financial condition. Here's how AbbVie and Eli Lilly compare on these key criteria.



February 12, 2017

This Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: February 6-10, 2017

General Electric Company (GE) Vice Chairman David Leon Joyce Sells 159,662 Shares


General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) Vice Chairman David Leon Joyce sold 159,662 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, February 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.56, for a total value of $4,719,608.72. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 738,907 shares in the company, valued at approximately $21,842,090.92. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link.

Shares of General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) traded down 0.34% during mid-day trading on Tuesday, hitting $29.56. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 23,776,169 shares. The company has a market cap of $259.98 billion, a PE ratio of 32.99 and a beta of 1.20. General Electric Company has a 12-month low of $27.10 and a 12-month high of $33.00. The stock has a 50-day moving average of $31.06 and a 200-day moving average of $30.56.




February 10, 2017

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of February 6, 2017


Upgrades:


Credit Suisse Group upgraded Sysco Corporation (SYY) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research note published on Monday. The brokerage currently has $55.00 target price on the stock. Continue reading here.

Sysco Corporation (SYY) was upgraded by analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday. The firm currently has a $57.00 target price on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s target price would suggest a potential upside of 9.97% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Caterpillar (CAT) received an upgrade by Barclays PLC from Equal Weight to Overweight. The current consensus rating on Caterpillar (CAT) is Hold (Score: 2.30) with a consensus target price of $85.12 per share. Continue reading here.

Walt Disney Company (The) (DIS) was upgraded by Goldman Sachs Group, Inc. to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Tuesday. The brokerage presently has a $134.00 price objective on the entertainment giant’s stock. Goldman Sachs Group, Inc.’s price target suggests a potential upside of 22.94% from the stock’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Walt Disney Company (The) (DIS) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a report released on Wednesday morning. Continue reading here.

Morgan Stanley upgraded shares of Nokia Corporation (NOK) from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating in a research note published on Tuesday. They currently have $4.87 price target on the technology company’s stock, up from their previous price target of $4.75. Continue reading here.

Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of National Oilwell Varco, Inc. (NOV) from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday. They currently have $40.00 price objective on the oil and gas exploration company’s stock. Continue reading here.

Downgrades:


International Paper Company (IP) was downgraded by research analysts at Barclays PLC from an “equal weight” rating to an “underweight” rating in a research note issued on Monday. They presently have a $45.00 price target on the stock, down from their previous price target of $50.00. Barclays PLC’s price target would suggest a potential downside of 13.68% from the company’s previous close. Continue reading here.

Daimler AG (NASDAQ:DDAIF) was downgraded by investment analysts at Citigroup Inc. from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday. Continue reading here.

Gilead Sciences (GILD) was Downgraded by Citigroup to  Neutral. Earlier the firm had a rating of Buy on the company shares. Citigroup advised their Clients and Investors in a research report released on Feb 8, 2017. Continue reading here.

Mondelez International, Inc. (MDLZ) was downgraded by research analysts at Citigroup Inc. from a “positive” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report issued on Wednesday. Continue reading here.

February 9, 2017

4 Reasons Dividend Growth Investing Rules!


There are many investment strategies and styles that investors utilize to fulfill their dreams of financial freedom. Everything works for someone - that is part of the fun!

As a dividend growth investor, there are 4 reasons why I think a dividend growth strategy works for me. These same reasons (or others) may/may not resonate with you.

If one is considering a dividend growth portfolio, picking which companies to build on can be daunting. Here are 4 blue chips with proven records, and remaining potential ahead.

Alternative view points encourage learning for everyone. I encourage fellow dividend growth investors to share the reasons they have found so much satisfaction in their portfolios, and share core stocks.

Investing is one of the most effective ways an individual can alter their future despite any circumstances you were born into. To convert time invested into one's career, job, hobby, etc. (money earned) into passively building wealth can be life changing, and self fulfilling to the highest degree. Part of the fulfillment I feel in this process is the control I can take in it. My affinity for dividend growth investing has taken me on a short - yet fascinating journey thus far with the "Dividend Growth Portfolio To Grow Old With". For those who are not familiar, or are - and haven't considered a dividend growth investing strategy - the following reasons are why I am a dividend growth investor.




February 8, 2017

What Investors Can Expect From Starbucks Corporation in 2017

Slower but still robust growth is in store for the coffee titan.



Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) stock is off to a rocky start in 2017. Shares declined following a first-quarter earnings announcement that raised some big questions about its growth trajectory. Specifically, a customer traffic slowdown could threaten the coffee giant's goal of double-digit revenue gains right as founder Howard Schultz steps away from the Chief Executive role.

With those major risks in mind, here's what investors should look for as Starbucks progresses through its new fiscal year.




February 7, 2017

The Effect Of Rising Interest Rates On Dividend Stocks


On December 14, the Federal Reserve announced that they were hiking the Fed Funds rate by 0.25%. This is the rate that financial institutions lend money to each other overnight and has a trickle-down effect other interest rates in the domestic economy.

This increase is indicative of a larger trend – it comes after an equal-sized interest rate increase in December 2015. Further, the Federal Reserve indicated in the announcement to expect 3 additional hikes over the next twelve months.

If each of the 3 hikes in 2017 will be of the same magnitude, then the year will finish at a 1.5% Fed Funds rate. This presents a dramatic change to our interest rate environment given that short-term rates have been held near zero since December of 2008 to provide economic stimulus.

Investors should make themselves aware of the effects that these rate increases may have on their portfolio, as interest rates have a large effect on the price of real assets.

This article will discuss the effects of rising interest rates on dividend stocks.




February 6, 2017

Top Tech Stocks to Buy in 2017

There are no shortage of investment opportunities in the tech sector, but a few stand out.



Whether investors are in search of growth and income, value, or long-term appreciation, the tech sector has sound alternatives. The digitization of the world around us, including the Internet of Things, the cloud, and multiple touch points driving an unprecedented amount of data has resulted in market opportunities with nearly unlimited potential.

The solutions needed to take advantage of the fast-changing tech marketplace include comprehensive data analytics from the likes of IBM (NYSE:IBM) and powering cloud data centers, a market dominated by underappreciated Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). The cloud is also home to Adobe Systems (NASDAQ:ADBE), which has transformed it into a financially rock-solid business with skyrocketing recurring revenue.



February 5, 2017

Eaton Corporation, PLC (ETN) Downgraded by J P Morgan Chase & Co

Eaton Corporation, PLC (NYSE:ETN) was downgraded by research analysts at J P Morgan Chase & Co from an “overweight” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued on Friday. They currently have a $70.00 price target on the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co’s target price would indicate a potential downside of 0.03% from the stock’s previous close.

A number of other brokerages also recently commented on ETN. Avondale Partners assumed coverage on Eaton Corporation, PLC in a research report on Wednesday. They issued a “mkt perform” rating and a $72.00 price objective for the company. RBC Capital Markets set a $67.00 price objective on Eaton Corporation, PLC and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 4th. Bank of America Corporation raised Eaton Corporation, PLC from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, January 9th. Aegis assumed coverage on Eaton Corporation, PLC in a research report on Tuesday, December 6th. They issued a “buy” rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Eaton Corporation, PLC from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, December 20th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, fifteen have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $66.22.




CVS Health Corporation (CVS) downgraded by Robert W. Baird

Robert W. Baird downgraded shares of CVS Health Corporation (NYSE:CVS) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a report issued on Thursday morning. The firm currently has $77.00 target price on the pharmacy operator’s stock, down from their prior target price of $86.00.

Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. Vetr upgraded shares of CVS Health Corporation from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $86.87 target price for the company in a research note on Monday, January 23rd. Guggenheim reiterated a buy rating and issued a $90.00 target price on shares of CVS Health Corporation in a research note on Wednesday, December 28th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of CVS Health Corporation in a research note on Monday, December 19th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. set a $88.00 price objective on shares of CVS Health Corporation and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Sunday, December 18th. Finally, Jefferies Group LLC assumed coverage on shares of CVS Health Corporation in a research note on Monday, December 12th. They set a hold rating and a $82.00 price objective for the company. Seven analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have given a buy rating to the stock. CVS Health Corporation has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $100.27.




United Parcel Service, Inc. (UPS) Downgraded by BMO Capital Markets

United Parcel Service, Inc. (NYSE:UPS) was downgraded by equities researchers at BMO Capital Markets from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. They presently have a $115.00 price target on the stock. BMO Capital Markets’ price objective would suggest a potential upside of 7.53% from the company’s current price.

UPS has been the topic of several other research reports. Barclays PLC reaffirmed a “hold” rating and issued a $122.00 target price on shares of United Parcel Service in a report on Tuesday, January 10th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of United Parcel Service from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 31st. Vetr downgraded shares of United Parcel Service from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $119.82 target price on the stock. in a report on Monday, January 9th. Sanford C. Bernstein reaffirmed an “outperform” rating and issued a $116.00 target price on shares of United Parcel Service in a report on Friday, November 25th. Finally, Deutsche Bank AG initiated coverage on shares of United Parcel Service in a report on Wednesday, November 2nd. They issued a “hold” rating and a $117.00 target price on the stock. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the company. United Parcel Service presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $115.07.




Ventas, Inc. (VTR) Downgraded by BMO Capital Markets

BMO Capital Markets downgraded shares of Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) from a market perform rating to an underperform rating in a research note released on Tuesday.

VTR has been the topic of a number of other reports. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Ventas from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Monday, January 9th. Jefferies Group LLC raised shares of Ventas from a hold rating to a buy rating and lifted their price target for the stock from $65.00 to $75.00 in a research note on Thursday, October 20th. Mizuho cut shares of Ventas from a buy rating to a neutral rating and set a $63.00 price target for the company. in a research note on Monday, November 21st. Finally, Hilliard Lyons raised shares of Ventas from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, November 11th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have assigned a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $62.80.



QUALCOMM Incorporated (QCOM) Downgraded by Morgan Stanley

Morgan Stanley cut shares of QUALCOMM Incorporated (NASDAQ:QCOM) from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report published on Tuesday.

Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed an overweight rating and set a $70.00 price target (up previously from $63.00) on shares of QUALCOMM in a research note on Monday, October 3rd. Cowen and Company reaffirmed an outperform rating and set a $74.00 price target on shares of QUALCOMM in a research note on Monday, November 7th. Susquehanna Bancshares Inc initiated coverage on shares of QUALCOMM in a research note on Tuesday, December 20th. They issued a positive rating and a $80.00 price objective for the company. Vetr downgraded shares of QUALCOMM from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $73.01 price objective for the company. in a research note on Thursday, December 22nd. Finally, BMO Capital Markets reduced their price objective on shares of QUALCOMM from $70.00 to $67.00 and set a market perform rating for the company in a research note on Thursday, November 3rd. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have given a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $67.82.




Franklin Resources, Inc. (BEN) Downgraded by Deutsche Bank AG

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) was downgraded by stock analysts at Deutsche Bank AG from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report released on Tuesday.

BEN has been the subject of several other research reports. Barclays PLC reissued a “sell” rating and issued a $31.00 price target on shares of Franklin Resources in a research report on Tuesday, October 11th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Franklin Resources from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, November 25th. Jefferies Group LLC raised their price objective on shares of Franklin Resources from $34.00 to $36.00 and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a report on Tuesday, October 11th. Credit Suisse Group reaffirmed a “sell” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Thursday, November 10th. Finally, J P Morgan Chase & Co reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of Franklin Resources in a report on Thursday, January 12th. Four analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the company. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $37.28.




Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (TEVA) Upgraded by Bank of America Corporation

Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited (NYSE:TEVA) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report released on Tuesday morning.

TEVA has been the topic of a number of other research reports. Deutsche Bank AG cut their price objective on shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited from $68.00 to $54.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 16th. Morgan Stanley cut shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited from an overweight rating to an equal weight rating and cut their price objective for the stock from $63.00 to $42.00 in a report on Sunday, December 4th. Jefferies Group LLC reissued a hold rating and set a $36.00 price objective on shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited in a report on Monday, January 9th. Royal Bank Of Canada cut their target price on shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited from $71.00 to $58.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Monday, November 14th. Finally, BTIG Research cut shares of Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Limited from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Sunday, December 4th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have issued a hold rating, fifteen have assigned a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $55.85.




International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) Upgraded by Bank of America Corporation

Bank of America Corporation upgraded shares of International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday morning.

Other analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Cantor Fitzgerald set a $162.00 target price on shares of International Business Machines Corporation and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Saturday, October 15th. Oppenheimer Holdings, Inc. reaffirmed a hold rating on shares of International Business Machines Corporation in a report on Saturday, January 21st. Jefferies Group LLC reaffirmed a sell rating and issued a $125.00 target price on shares of International Business Machines Corporation in a report on Friday, January 20th. Citigroup Inc. reaffirmed a neutral rating on shares of International Business Machines Corporation in a report on Friday, January 20th. Finally, Argus reaffirmed a buy rating and issued a $185.00 target price (up previously from $175.00) on shares of International Business Machines Corporation in a report on Monday, January 23rd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have assigned a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $162.98.




Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD) Downgrades by Robert W. Baird

Robert W. Baird cut shares of Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning. Robert W. Baird currently has $140.00 price objective on the stock, down from their prior price objective of $146.00.

Several other brokerages have also recently commented on APD. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on shares of Air Products and Chemicals in a research report on Monday, October 3rd. They issued an outperform rating on the stock. Monness Crespi & Hardt upgraded Air Products and Chemicals from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $167.00 price objective on the stock in a report on Wednesday, December 21st. Jefferies Group LLC restated a neutral rating on shares of Air Products and Chemicals in a report on Monday, January 23rd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Air Products and Chemicals from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, December 5th. Finally, Citigroup Inc. upgraded Air Products and Chemicals from a neutral rating to a buy rating and boosted their price objective for the stock from $139.00 to $165.00 in a report on Monday, December 5th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $153.20.