Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of June 25, 2018



Upgrades:


Atlantic Securities upgraded shares of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, Marketbeat reports. A number of other brokerages also recently commented on MSFT. Argus restated a focus list rating and set a $116.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Wednesday, June 6th. Goldman Sachs Group restated a buy rating and set a $117.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Tuesday, June 5th. Barclays restated a buy rating and set a $108.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Thursday, June 14th. Stifel Nicolaus restated a buy rating and set a $107.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Wednesday, June 13th. Finally, Macquarie restated a neutral rating and set a $100.00 target price on shares of Microsoft in a report on Wednesday, June 13th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, five have given a hold rating, thirty-one have assigned a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $105.49. Read more …

Citigroup upgraded shares of Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report released on Monday, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage currently has $176.00 price target on the railroad operator’s stock. NSC has been the subject of a number of other reports. Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $145.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Tuesday, April 10th. TD Securities upped their price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern from $155.00 to $160.00 and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, April 26th. Cowen reissued a buy rating and issued a $167.00 price objective on shares of Norfolk Southern in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of Norfolk Southern from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group upped their target price on shares of Norfolk Southern from $155.00 to $165.00 and gave the company an outperform rating in a research note on Thursday, April 26th. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twelve have issued a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $148.67. Read more …

Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) was upgraded by stock analysts at Sanford C. Bernstein to an “outperform” rating in a note issued to investors on Tuesday, The Fly reports. Several other equities analysts also recently commented on the company. Barclays cut their target price on Kinder Morgan from $23.00 to $20.00 and set an “overweight” rating for the company in a research report on Tuesday, April 17th. Bank of America restated a “buy” rating and set a $16.17 target price (down previously from $20.00) on shares of Kinder Morgan in a research report on Thursday, April 19th. Stifel Nicolaus cut their target price on Kinder Morgan from $22.00 to $21.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Monday, April 30th. Wells Fargo & Co upgraded Kinder Morgan from a “market perform” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 20th. Finally, Deutsche Bank began coverage on Kinder Morgan in a research report on Thursday, April 19th. They set a “buy” rating and a $21.00 target price for the company. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have given a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $20.82. Read more …

Accenture (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by research analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Wednesday. Other analysts have also issued reports about the stock. ValuEngine upgraded shares of Accenture from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, April 2nd. Pivotal Research set a $180.00 target price on shares of Accenture and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Cantor Fitzgerald reiterated a “buy” rating and set a $180.00 target price on shares of Accenture in a research report on Wednesday, April 25th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Accenture from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $176.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, May 22nd. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus lifted their target price on shares of Accenture from $170.00 to $179.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have given a hold rating and seventeen have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Accenture currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $164.59. Read more …

7 Best Dividend Stocks With Loads of Cash in the Bank


These dividend-paying companies not only provide passive income, but they can reliably support it as well



Finding the best dividend stocks isn’t as easy as buying companies with the highest yield. Like anything in life, if something’s too good to be true, it usually is. In this case, eager investors are sometimes quick to jump on the yield bandwagon, only to discover later that the generous passive income exists for a reason.

To avoid severe disappointments down the road, you should always give the target company’s balance sheet a solid run-through. The best dividend stocks will feature ample amounts of cash, which obviously supports the payout cause. Moreover, anything can happen in the markets, especially at this juncture. Having a cash moat enables firms to pay their shareholders, even when the going is rough.


Additionally, a cash-rich organization allows management greater flexibility for future endeavors. You shouldn’t look at payouts as an ephemeral concept, but rather, a long-term relationship. Ultimately, the best dividend stocks are built for running marathons, not a 40-yard dash.

Here are my picks for the top seven dividend-paying companies with a boatload of cash!




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Best Dividend Paying Stocks For Dividend Growth Investors – June 2018


Dividend growth investing is a very popular approach which can fit within the ModernGraham methods. This article will look at companies reviewed by ModernGraham which have grown their dividends annually for at least the last 20 years. Out of over 900 companies covered by ModernGraham, only 71 have grown dividends annually for at least the last 20 years.

Defensive Investors are defined as investors who are not able or willing to do substantial research into individual investments, and therefore need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to do substantial research and can select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk.




The Elite


The following companies have been rated as undervalued and suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor:



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5 All-Star Dividend Stocks for Any Portfolio


There is no shortage of dividend stock lists out there. But what sets a good dividend stock apart isn’t simply the dividend payment. If you are going to invest in a dividend stock it should be a worthy investing proposition, period. Dividend or no dividend. This means that the business is going on the right track, and the fundamentals are looking strong.

Plus dividend stocks are perfect for the current bout of market volatility. “Dividends may help to mitigate portfolio losses when stock prices decline, and over long time horizons, stocks with a history of increasing their dividend each year have also produced higher returns with considerably less risk than non-dividend-paying stocks” says Bank of America.




Here I used TipRanks’ new stock screener to source five all-star dividend stocks. All five of these stocks score have a “Strong Buy” consensus rating from the Street’s top analysts. And don’t get me started on the upside potential. This is the upside from the current share price to the average analyst price target. Let’s take a closer look now at what makes these five dividend stocks so special:



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Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: June 18 - 22, 2018



Disposals:



Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) VP Richard A. Galanti sold 2,406 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $207.11, for a total transaction of $498,306.66. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 25,474 shares in the company, valued at approximately $5,275,920.14. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link. Read more …

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) VP Paul G. Moulton sold 5,585 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $206.83, for a total value of $1,155,145.55. Following the transaction, the vice president now owns 27,988 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $5,788,758.04. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Shares of Costco Wholesale traded up $1.26, hitting $207.47, during trading on Tuesday, according to MarketBeat. 96,365 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,064,656. The company has a quick ratio of 0.47, a current ratio of 1.01 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52. The stock has a market capitalization of $90.92 billion, a PE ratio of 35.60, a P/E/G ratio of 2.75 and a beta of 0.95. Costco Wholesale Co. has a 1 year low of $150.00 and a 1 year high of $208.11. Read more …


Dover Corp (NYSE:DOV) CFO Brad M. Cerepak sold 20,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction on Friday, June 15th. The shares were sold at an average price of $75.83, for a total transaction of $1,516,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 61,801 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,686,369.83. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Dover opened at $73.56 on Thursday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.68, a quick ratio of 0.95 and a current ratio of 1.42. Dover Corp has a fifty-two week low of $62.10 and a fifty-two week high of $88.11. The firm has a market cap of $11.51 billion, a PE ratio of 18.25, a P/E/G ratio of 1.19 and a beta of 1.29. Read more …

International Paper Co (NYSE:IP) insider W. Michael Jr. Amick sold 10,930 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, June 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $55.86, for a total value of $610,549.80. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 29,844 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,667,085.84. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Shares of International Paper traded down $0.72, reaching $55.14, during trading hours on Tuesday, according to MarketBeat. The stock had a trading volume of 30,407 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,337,083. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.48, a quick ratio of 1.17 and a current ratio of 1.63. The firm has a market capitalization of $22.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.01, a PEG ratio of 1.15 and a beta of 1.53. International Paper Co has a 52-week low of $50.00 and a 52-week high of $66.94. Read more …



UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) insider Larry C. Renfro sold 19,652 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 15th. The stock was sold at an average price of $254.55, for a total value of $5,002,416.60. Following the completion of the transaction, the insider now owns 153,679 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $39,118,989.45. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. UNH opened at $253.02 on Wednesday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.56, a quick ratio of 0.71 and a current ratio of 0.71. UnitedHealth Group Inc has a one year low of $182.22 and a one year high of $256.73. The stock has a market cap of $244.93 billion, a PE ratio of 25.13, a PEG ratio of 1.47 and a beta of 0.74. Read more …


Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) insider Michael H. Train sold 24,166 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, June 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $71.46, for a total transaction of $1,726,902.36. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now directly owns 121,626 shares in the company, valued at approximately $8,691,393.96. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Shares of EMR traded down $0.59 during trading hours on Thursday, reaching $69.80. 165,873 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,463,067. The firm has a market capitalization of $44.46 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 26.41, a PEG ratio of 2.10 and a beta of 1.20. The company has a current ratio of 1.30, a quick ratio of 0.98 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.39. Emerson Electric Co. has a 12 month low of $57.47 and a 12 month high of $74.45. Read more …



Acquisitions:


Nothing to mention:


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Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of June 18, 2018



Upgrades:


BlackRock (NYSE:BLK) was upgraded by stock analysts at Citigroup from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday, MarketBeat reports. Other analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Deutsche Bank reduced their price target on shares of BlackRock from $623.00 to $614.00 and set a “buy” rating for the company in a research report on Friday, April 6th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued an “overweight” rating and issued a $640.00 price target on shares of BlackRock in a research report on Wednesday, March 14th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of BlackRock from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 13th. ValuEngine downgraded shares of BlackRock from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, June 15th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group lifted their price target on shares of BlackRock from $672.00 to $678.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a research report on Thursday, April 5th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $576.33. Read more …

Raymond James upgraded shares of Chevron (NYSE:CVX) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday morning, MarketBeat reports. CVX has been the subject of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Chevron from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $147.00 price target for the company in a report on Wednesday, June 13th. Credit Suisse Group boosted their price target on shares of Chevron from $129.00 to $132.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Monday, April 30th. Vetr lowered shares of Chevron from a strong-buy rating to a buy rating and set a $122.05 price target for the company. in a report on Monday, February 26th. DZ Bank raised shares of Chevron from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Wednesday, March 7th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada reissued a hold rating and issued a $130.00 price target on shares of Chevron in a report on Friday, April 13th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $135.52. Read more …

Raymond James upgraded shares of Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report report published on Monday morning. Other research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Stifel Nicolaus reduced their target price on shares of Kinder Morgan from $22.00 to $21.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, April 30th. Deutsche Bank assumed coverage on shares of Kinder Morgan in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. They set a buy rating and a $21.00 price objective on the stock. Bank of America reissued a buy rating and set a $16.17 price objective (down previously from $20.00) on shares of Kinder Morgan in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Kinder Morgan from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $19.00 price objective on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, March 13th. Finally, UBS Group reissued a buy rating and set a $26.00 price objective (down previously from $28.00) on shares of Kinder Morgan in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, four have issued a hold rating and sixteen have given a buy rating to the company. Kinder Morgan presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $21.23. Read more …


Accenture (NYSE:ACN) was upgraded by stock analysts at Susquehanna Bancshares from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a report issued on Tuesday. A number of other research analysts have also commented on ACN. UBS Group raised Accenture from a “neutral” rating to a “positive” rating in a research report on Tuesday. Pivotal Research set a $180.00 target price on Accenture and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Monday, June 11th. Wedbush reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $180.00 target price (up previously from $165.00) on shares of Accenture in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. Zacks Investment Research lowered Accenture from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 5th. Finally, Robert W. Baird increased their target price on Accenture from $162.00 to $165.00 and gave the stock a “neutral” rating in a research report on Tuesday, March 20th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and seventeen have given a buy rating to the stock. Accenture currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $161.37. Read more …

8 Of The Top Packaged Food Stocks Today Ranked


For income investors one important factor for the decision of which stock to buy is dividend safety.

During economic upturns most companies benefit from rising profits, but during economic downturns some companies are hit harder than others. Recession resilience therefore is an important data point long-term focused investors should look at.

Stocks from the consumer staples industry are among the most resilient companies when it comes to dealing with the impact of recessions, which is not surprising, as their products are bought by customers whether the economy is doing well or not.

One sub-category of the consumer staples industry is the packaged food industry, which we will look at more closely in this article.

Packaged food stocks usually are not high-growth stocks, as demand for their products is not growing at an extraordinarily high pace. Through a combination of relatively high and secure dividends, some growth (through rising prices, international expansion or margin growth) and, in many cases, inexpensive valuations, they nevertheless have the potential to deliver attractive total returns.




In this article we will take a look at the 8 dividend stocks from the packaged food sector in our Sure Analysis Research Database that offer the highest expected returns over the coming five years.





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PepsiCo: Rare Opportunity To Buy At A Better Valuation


PepsiCo (PEP) is a Dividend Aristocrat, Champion and blue-chip stalwart that has increased its dividend for 46 consecutive years. Therefore, it should be no surprise that just as we saw with Procter & Gamble in part 5, this blue-chip stalwart has traditionally commanded a higher valuation (earnings multiple) than the average stock. Over the past couple of decades at least, it has been a very rare occurrence to be able to invest in this company at a valuation that would be considered reasonable or attractive.In fact, prior to current time, it took the Great Recession of 2008 and 2009 to bring PepsiCo down to reasonable valuation levels as measured by P/E ratios.

Although PepsiCo is not back to those recessionary levels, its current low blended P/E ratio of 19.8 has not been available since 2013. Consequently, although I do not consider it a screaming bargain, I do consider it attractive relative to historical norms. To put PepsiCo’s current valuation into perspective, this blue-chip can be purchased today with a 3.4% current dividend yield which is hovering around the highest it has been over the past two decades. Moreover, PepsiCo does provide the prudent investor with the opportunity for above-average capital appreciation going forward in addition to its high current and growing dividend yield.




Furthermore, PepsiCo appears attractively valued over virtually every rational valuation metric that prudent value investors might consider. Later in the FAST Graphs analyze out loud video I will value PepsiCo utilizing several different metrics.





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PPL Corp: Rock-Solid Utility Set to Grow Its 6.3% Dividend Yield


Overlooked Utility Stock Offers a Big Payout


In today’s market, the biggest challenge for conservative income investors is finding high-yield stocks with safe payouts. If you go with the most established blue-chip companies, chances are that the yield won’t be enough to meet your income requirements.

As a matter of fact, the average S&P 500 company pays just 1.8% at the moment. In other words, if you invest $100,000 in an S&P 500 portfolio, you would be collecting just $1,800 in dividends a year.

And that, my dear reader, is why I want to talk to you about PPL Corp (NYSE:PPL) stock.




Unless you are a direct customer of PPL Corp, this is probably the first time you’ve heard its name. Indeed, as a utility company, PPL Corp’s “boring” business never really makes headlines in the financial media.



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These 9 Dividend Growth Stocks Could Grow Earnings By 12%+ Per Year


Dividend investors are typically concerned with a stock’s current yield, dividend growth rate, or a combination of the two.

There are many companies that pay respectable and growing dividends and also offer shareholders high rates of earnings growth. This affords dividend investors the chance to not only collect income, but also to see strong total returns as a result of high rates of earnings growth.

This article examines nine stocks in our Sure Analysis Research Database that offer investors not only regular dividend payments, but also rates of growth of 12% or greater. Stocks are ranked in order of projected total returns, with #1 offering shareholders the highest projected total returns over the next five years.




Read on to see which high-growth stock offers the best-projected shareholder returns in the coming years.




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10 Undervalued Companies For The Defensive Dividend Stock Investor – June 2018


There are a number of great companies in the market today. I’ve selected the highest dividend yields among the undervalued or fairly valued* companies for defensive dividend stock investors reviewed by ModernGraham. Each company has been determined to be suitable for the Defensive Investor according to the ModernGraham approach.

*Please note that I’ve added fairly valued companies to this screen as the market’s current valuation did not allow for the usual screen of only undervalued companies.

Defensive Investors are defined as investors who need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to do substantial research and can select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk. Each company suitable for the Defensive Investor is also suitable for Enterprising Investors.


The companies selected for this list may not pay what some consider to be a huge dividend, but they have demonstrated strong financial positions through passing the rigorous requirements of the Defensive Investor and show potential for capital growth based on their current price in relation to intrinsic value.  As such, these defensive dividend stocks may be a great investment if they prove to be suitable for your portfolio after your own additional research.




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Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: June 4 - 8, 2018


Disposals:


Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) insider Luca Maestri sold 4,769 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $189.54, for a total transaction of $903,916.26. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 68,044 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $12,897,059.76. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink.

Luca Maestri also recently made the following trade(s):
On Friday, April 13th, Luca Maestri sold 39,122 shares of Apple stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $174.66, for a total transaction of $6,833,048.52.

Shares of Apple opened at $191.83 on Tuesday, according to MarketBeat Ratings. Apple has a 1-year low of $142.20 and a 1-year high of $193.42. The company has a current ratio of 1.46, a quick ratio of 1.37 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.80. The firm has a market capitalization of $965.28 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 20.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.41 and a beta of 1.29.  Read more …

Costco Wholesale Co. (NASDAQ:COST) Director John W. Meisenbach sold 3,000 shares of Costco Wholesale stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $195.45, for a total transaction of $586,350.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 8,654 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,691,424.30. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Shares of Costco Wholesale traded up $1.45, hitting $198.58, during trading hours on Monday, according to MarketBeat.com. The stock had a trading volume of 109,518 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,988,951. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.52, a current ratio of 1.01 and a quick ratio of 0.47. Costco Wholesale Co. has a fifty-two week low of $150.00 and a fifty-two week high of $201.77. The stock has a market cap of $86.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 34.13, a P/E/G ratio of 2.79 and a beta of 0.95. Read more …

Leggett & Platt, Inc. (NYSE:LEG) Director Robert Ted Enloe III sold 5,328 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $41.47, for a total value of $220,952.16. Following the completion of the sale, the director now owns 38,376 shares in the company, valued at $1,591,452.72. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Leggett & Platt opened at $41.95 on Tuesday, according to Marketbeat. The company has a market cap of $5.44 billion, a PE ratio of 17.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.90. Leggett & Platt, Inc. has a one year low of $39.57 and a one year high of $53.96. The company has a current ratio of 1.85, a quick ratio of 1.23 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.04. Read more …


American Express (NYSE:AXP) CFO Jeffrey C. Campbell sold 9,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, June 1st. The stock was sold at an average price of $98.79, for a total transaction of $889,110.00. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now directly owns 70,986 shares in the company, valued at $7,012,706.94. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. AXP opened at $101.48 on Friday. The company has a market cap of $86.87 billion, a PE ratio of 17.29, a PEG ratio of 1.36 and a beta of 1.10. American Express has a 52-week low of $79.62 and a 52-week high of $103.24. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.67, a quick ratio of 1.90 and a current ratio of 1.90. Read more …

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of June 4, 2018



Upgrades:


Anheuser Busch Inbev (NYSE:BUD) was upgraded by investment analysts at HSBC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday, The Fly reports. Other equities analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Sanford C. Bernstein set a $122.00 target price on Anheuser Busch Inbev and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, May 10th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $127.00 target price on Anheuser Busch Inbev and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, May 8th. Stifel Nicolaus reiterated a “buy” rating and issued a $124.00 target price on shares of Anheuser Busch Inbev in a research note on Thursday, April 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Anheuser Busch Inbev from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, February 16th. Finally, Societe Generale upgraded Anheuser Busch Inbev from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, March 2nd. Five analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, two have issued a hold rating and ten have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and an average price target of $122.79. Read more …

Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) (TSE:RY) was upgraded by equities research analysts at National Bank Financial from a “sector perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, The Fly reports. Other equities analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Royal Bank of Canada from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 30th. ValuEngine downgraded Royal Bank of Canada from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Thursday, March 8th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $97.20. Read more …

Whirlpool (NYSE:WHR) was upgraded by stock analysts at Credit Suisse Group from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday, MarketBeat reports. The brokerage currently has a $195.00 target price on the stock, up from their prior target price of $170.00. Credit Suisse Group’s target price indicates a potential upside of 31.37% from the stock’s current price. Several other analysts also recently commented on WHR. ValuEngine downgraded Whirlpool from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 2nd. MKM Partners increased their target price on Whirlpool to $179.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Friday, April 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. lowered their price target on Whirlpool from $210.00 to $180.00 and set an “overweight” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, June 1st. Goldman Sachs Group lowered their price target on Whirlpool to $130.00 and set a “sell” rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, April 25th. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $184.00 price target on Whirlpool and gave the company a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, April 23rd. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have assigned a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $176.14. Read more …


Citigroup upgraded shares of Occidental Petroleum (NYSE:OXY) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Tuesday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. A number of other research firms also recently weighed in on OXY. Piper Jaffray Companies raised shares of Occidental Petroleum from a neutral rating to an overweight rating and boosted their price target for the stock from $77.00 to $86.00 in a research note on Sunday, April 15th. Deutsche Bank raised shares of Occidental Petroleum from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $84.00 price target for the company in a research note on Friday, March 23rd. ValuEngine downgraded shares of Occidental Petroleum from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Thursday, March 1st. JPMorgan Chase & Co. dropped their price target on shares of Occidental Petroleum from $75.00 to $74.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a research note on Monday, April 9th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Occidental Petroleum from a strong-buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, March 13th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average target price of $77.47. Read more …

4 Popular Discount Retailer Stocks Ranked & Analyzed


Discount retailers have built strong businesses in the U.S. With a constant focus on selling products at the lowest prices possible, often in bulk, discount retailers have built a large customer base among bargain-hunting shoppers.

As a result, the four major publicly-traded discount retailers are highly profitable, with strong brands and durable competitive advantages. And, all of them pay dividends to shareholders, and grow their dividends each year.

Each stock mentioned in this article is on our list of 350 consumer staplesstocks that pay dividends to shareholders.


The rankings in this article are done in order of total returns, for the discount retail stocks found in the Sure Analysis Research Database. All four stocks pay dividends to shareholders, and thanks to their strong brands and high cash flow, can afford to raise their dividends at high rates each year.




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Buy or Sell AT&T Inc. Stock With Its 6% Dividend Yield?


How much more could T stock yield?



It hasn’t been the smoothest ride for AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T). In fact, after failing to push through $40 several times in 2016 and 2017, it’s been all downhill for T stock. Shares have already lost a whopping 15% so far on the year.

Investors in the name have to be getting fed up with this terrible performance. However, some are surely asking themselves if now may be the time to buy, not sell T stock — especially now that it’s dividend yield is a whopping 6.1%.


The payout for T stock has gotten extreme. I don’t mean extreme in the sense that — like General Electric Company (NYSE:GE) or Kinder Morgan Inc (NYSE:KMI) — AT&T will have to slash their payout. But rather, extreme in that the yield hasn’t been this high in years.

In fact, AT&T’s dividend yield hasn’t been this high since 2010. However, the data actually gets more interesting: T stock has only had a yield over 6.9% twice, hitting that market in 1988 and briefly topping 7% in 2008.




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3M Company: It Didn’t Take A Crystal Ball To See That It Was Overvalued


Regular readers of my work will attest to the fact that I am an avid proponent of valuation. So much so, that I cannot recall writing an article where I didn’t discuss the importance of only investing in a stock when it was fairly-valued, or better yet – undervalued. This obsession with valuation inspired one reader to dub me as “Mr. Valuation.” Frankly, it is a mantle that I covet proudly.  I bring this up for an important reason. Long-running bull markets like we’ve been in since the end of the Great Recession are very difficult markets for value-oriented investors to navigate.


The reasons are simple and straightforward. First, it is very difficult to find attractively valued stocks when investor sentiment is wildly optimistic. Rising stock prices lead to investor overconfidence which often further leads to complacency. Consequently, valuations based on fundamentals, even when they reach dangerous levels, are easily ignored. Rationalizations overtake logic; therefore, bull markets can persist far beyond reason.



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9 Undervalued Dividend Stocks You Should Consider Buying In June


These nine dividend stars need to be on your watchlist this summer



It’s a great time to go shopping for undervalued dividend stocks. The sudden rise in interest rates over the past few months has caused a great panic across the dividend-yield-seeking community. Investors have been dumping higher-dividend stocks with each ensuing Federal Reserve rate hike.

From panic comes opportunity.




Heading into June, there are plenty of undervalued dividend stocks out there. Be it in packaged foods companies, REITs, the energy sector or various other industries, plenty of great income companies are on sale.

Here are nine that should be on your radar this summer.




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