Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: Week of September 24, 2018



Disposals:


Halliburton (NYSE:HAL) insider James S. Brown sold 15,989 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $40.53, for a total value of $648,034.17. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Shares of HAL stock traded up $0.35 during mid-day trading on Monday, hitting $41.06. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 7,406,300 shares, compared to its average volume of 8,873,424. Halliburton has a 52 week low of $35.75 and a 52 week high of $57.86. The company has a current ratio of 2.24, a quick ratio of 1.72 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.18. The firm has a market cap of $35.82 billion, a PE ratio of 33.67, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.53 and a beta of 1.01. Read more …

T-Mobile Us Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) CFO J Braxton Carter II sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $68.93, for a total value of $1,033,950.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available through this link. Shares of T-Mobile Us stock opened at $68.79 on Thursday. T-Mobile Us Inc has a 52 week low of $54.60 and a 52 week high of $69.77. The firm has a market capitalization of $58.39 billion, a PE ratio of 30.33, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.33 and a beta of 0.44. The company has a current ratio of 0.76, a quick ratio of 0.66 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.25. Read more …

T-Mobile Us Inc (NASDAQ:TMUS) EVP David A. Miller sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $70.00, for a total transaction of $350,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 117,523 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $8,226,610. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website.
David A. Miller also recently made the following trade(s):

On Thursday, July 5th, David A. Miller sold 5,000 shares of T-Mobile Us stock. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total transaction of $300,000.00.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL) VP Nicholas V. Flanagan sold 6,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Monday, September 24th. The stock was sold at an average price of $145.81, for a total transaction of $874,860.00. Following the sale, the vice president now owns 18,784 shares in the company, valued at $2,738,895.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Shares of CBRL stock opened at $145.26 on Thursday. The company has a current ratio of 0.84, a quick ratio of 0.41 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.69. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. has a 1 year low of $141.63 and a 1 year high of $179.12. The firm has a market capitalization of $3.49 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 16.40, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.27 and a beta of 0.59. Read more …

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of September 24, 2018



Upgrades:


Helmerich & Payne (NYSE:HP) was upgraded by equities research analysts at B. Riley from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, MarketBeat.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $83.00 price target on the oil and gas company’s stock, up from their prior price target of $68.00. B. Riley’s price objective indicates a potential upside of 20.85% from the company’s current price. A number of other research firms have also issued reports on HP. ValuEngine lowered shares of Helmerich & Payne from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of Helmerich & Payne from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, June 27th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. raised shares of Helmerich & Payne from an “underweight” rating to a “neutral” rating and upped their price target for the stock from $49.00 to $58.00 in a research note on Friday, September 14th. Cowen set a $57.00 price target on shares of Helmerich & Payne and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Piper Jaffray Companies set a $67.00 price target on shares of Helmerich & Payne and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research note on Sunday, July 29th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Helmerich & Payne currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $68.93. Read more …

Clorox (NYSE:CLX) was upgraded by research analysts at Argus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, The Fly reports. A number of other equities research analysts have also issued reports on CLX. Atlantic Securities started coverage on Clorox in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $151.00 target price on the stock. ValuEngine upgraded Clorox from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 26th. BMO Capital Markets restated a “buy” rating and issued a $153.00 price target on shares of Clorox in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Clorox from a “neutral” rating to a “sell” rating and decreased their price target for the company from $127.00 to $112.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 17th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Bank of America raised their price target on Clorox from $130.00 to $140.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $131.79. Read more …

Canadian National Railway (NYSE:CNI) (TSE:CNR) was upgraded by Citigroup from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, MarketBeat.com reports. The firm currently has a $100.00 target price on the transportation company’s stock. Citigroup’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 11.69% from the company’s current price. A number of other brokerages have also commented on CNI. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Canadian National Railway from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $101.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, July 30th. BMO Capital Markets lowered shares of Canadian National Railway from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating in a report on Wednesday, September 5th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Cowen reaffirmed a “buy” rating and set a $98.00 target price on shares of Canadian National Railway in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Loop Capital reaffirmed a “hold” rating on shares of Canadian National Railway in a report on Wednesday, July 25th. Finally, Macquarie raised shares of Canadian National Railway from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report on Thursday, September 20th. Eleven research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have given a buy rating to the company. Canadian National Railway currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $91.71. Read more …

B. Riley upgraded shares of Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has $39.00 price objective on the stock, up from their previous price objective of $34.00. B. Riley also issued estimates for Viacom’s FY2019 earnings at $4.47 EPS and FY2020 earnings at $4.51 EPS. VIAB has been the topic of several other research reports. BidaskClub lowered shares of Viacom from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a research note on Friday, July 20th. Macquarie upgraded shares of Viacom from a neutral rating to an outperform rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $34.00 to $37.00 in a research note on Thursday, September 20th. Barrington Research reiterated a hold rating on shares of Viacom in a research note on Wednesday, August 15th. Pivotal Research upgraded shares of Viacom from a hold rating to a buy rating and dropped their price objective for the stock from $34.00 to $32.00 in a research note on Tuesday, July 31st. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Cfra reiterated a hold rating and set a $35.00 price objective on shares of Viacom in a research note on Wednesday, June 27th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, seventeen have given a hold rating and eight have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. Viacom currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $34.38. Read more …

15 Safe Dividend Stocks to Buy for the Rest of 2018


Dividend stocks offer some much-needed stability for your portfolio



In early June of this year, J.P. Morgan strategist Marko Kolanovic made a startling statement. Since March, President Donald Trump’s tough stance on fair trade practices have evaporated more than $1 trillion in market value. Such a drastic impact exponentially raises interest in safe dividend stocks to buy.

Of course, since Kolanovic’s analysis went public, the markets have reasserted themselves. Since the start of the year, the Dow Jones index is up 7%. However, that still doesn’t take away from investor uneasiness with the White House’s economic policies.

Grabbing the spotlight, of course, is our ongoing trade war with China. Neither side shows any indication that the conflict will resolve anytime soon. Love him or hate him, we can all agree that Trump doesn’t have a conciliatory personality. And China can’t afford to look weak, not when their people are openly expressing dissent.

If only that were the sole problem we faced! Along with other geopolitical hotspots, our domestic standing has turned into shambles. Honestly, I cannot keep track of all the accusations and indictments flying around.


Trump recently claimed that if he were ever impeached, the markets will fall off the rails. I can’t say one way or another. What I do know for sure is that the markets prefer reasonable predictability. Right now, we’re experiencing anything but that. To better protect your portfolio, consider these 15 safe dividend stocks to buy:




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Analysis Collection


Starbucks Has Nowhere To Go But Grow


This week I'm seeking a prestigious and long-term dividend-paying stock from the consumer cyclical sector.


That cyclicals sector includes twenty-eight industries ranging from Advertising Agencies to Apparel, Autos, Broadcasting, Department Stores, Gambling, Leisure, Lodging, Packaging, Personal Services, Shoes, Restaurants, Rubber, Recreational Vehicles, Plastics, Textiles, and all such consumer aimed enterprises.

Today I'm reviewing a large-cap restaurant firm named Starbucks Corporation. Its trading ticker symbol is SBUX.

Starbucks Corp is the roaster, marketer and retailer of specialty coffee. Operating globally, it sells a variety of coffee and tea products. It sells goods and services under brands including Teavana, Tazo, and Seattle's Best Coffee.

The company operates in four segments: Americas; China/Asia Pacific; Europe, Middle East, and Africa; and Channel Development. Its stores offer coffee and tea beverages, roasted whole bean and ground coffees, single-serve and ready-to-drink coffee and tea products, and food and snacks.


The company also licenses its trademarks through licensed stores, and grocery and foodservice accounts. It offers its products under the Starbucks, Teavana, Tazo, Seattle's Best Coffee, Evolution Fresh, La Boulange, Ethos, Frappuccino, Starbucks Doubleshot, Starbucks Refreshers, premium Tazo, and Starbucks VIA brand names.

As of July 26, 2018, the company operated 28,720 stores.

Starbucks Corporation was founded in 1971 and is based in Seattle, Washington.

I use three key data points to gauge the value of any dividend equity or fund like Starbucks Corporation (SBUX):





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Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: Week of September 17, 2018



Disposals:


UnitedHealth Group Inc (NYSE:UNH) CEO Steven H. Nelson sold 8,142 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $265.00, for a total transaction of $2,157,630.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now directly owns 22,496 shares in the company, valued at $5,961,440. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this link.

Steven H. Nelson also recently made the following trade(s):
On Friday, September 7th, Steven H. Nelson sold 26,033 shares of UnitedHealth Group stock. The stock was sold at an average price of $270.65, for a total transaction of $7,045,831.45.

Shares of UNH opened at $265.33 on Thursday. UnitedHealth Group Inc has a 52 week low of $186.00 and a 52 week high of $271.16. The company has a market cap of $255.35 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.35, a P/E/G ratio of 1.58 and a beta of 0.71. The company has a current ratio of 0.75, a quick ratio of 0.75 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.63. Read more …

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) Chairman Charles Robbins sold 217,420 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.28, for a total transaction of $10,279,617.60. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this hyperlink. Read more …

Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) EVP David Goeckeler sold 63,050 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, September 20th. The stock was sold at an average price of $47.57, for a total value of $2,999,288.50. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 547,019 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $26,021,693.83. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link.

David Goeckeler also recently made the following trade(s):
On Friday, June 22nd, David Goeckeler sold 35,000 shares of Cisco Systems stock. The stock was sold at an average price of $43.27, for a total value of $1,514,450.00.

Shares of Cisco Systems stock traded up $0.45 during trading hours on Friday, hitting $48.18. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 634,881 shares, compared to its average volume of 16,422,581. Cisco Systems, Inc. has a twelve month low of $32.50 and a twelve month high of $48.06. The firm has a market cap of $227.77 billion, a PE ratio of 20.61, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.79 and a beta of 1.06. The company has a quick ratio of 2.22, a current ratio of 2.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.47. Read more …

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) insider Erin S. Sharp sold 25,314 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 18th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.00, for a total transaction of $734,106.00. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. KR stock traded up $0.11 on Thursday, hitting $28.99. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 379,713 shares, compared to its average volume of 10,620,930. Kroger Co has a 1 year low of $19.69 and a 1 year high of $32.74. The company has a market cap of $23.33 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 14.05, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.12 and a beta of 0.94. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.65, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.26. Read more …


SYSCO Co. (NYSE:SYY) Director Richard G. Tilghman sold 5,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, September 17th. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.71, for a total transaction of $368,550.00. Following the completion of the sale, the director now directly owns 61,137 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,506,408.27. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Shares of SYY stock traded up $0.50 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $73.42. 40,727 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,849,978. SYSCO Co. has a fifty-two week low of $52.30 and a fifty-two week high of $75.98. The company has a current ratio of 1.21, a quick ratio of 0.74 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.01. The company has a market capitalization of $37.97 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.21, a PEG ratio of 1.98 and a beta of 0.54. Read more …

International Paper Co (NYSE:IP) insider Jeanmichel Ribieras sold 10,000 shares of International Paper stock in a transaction on Wednesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.20, for a total transaction of $542,000.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this link. Read more …

International Paper Co (NYSE:IP) SVP John V. Sims sold 4,725 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $54.35, for a total transaction of $256,803.75. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at the SEC website. IP stock traded up $0.36 during trading on Thursday, reaching $54.58. 1,948,600 shares of the company were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,652,479. The company has a market cap of $21.96 billion, a P/E ratio of 15.72, a P/E/G ratio of 1.08 and a beta of 1.50. International Paper Co has a 52-week low of $50.00 and a 52-week high of $66.94. The company has a current ratio of 1.57, a quick ratio of 1.13 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.57. Read more …

Exxon Mobil Co. (NYSE:XOM) VP Bradley W. Corson sold 15,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, September 19th. The shares were sold at an average price of $84.02, for a total value of $1,260,300.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 214,774 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,045,311.48. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Shares of XOM stock traded up $0.34 during mid-day trading on Friday, reaching $85.16. The stock had a trading volume of 160,857 shares, compared to its average volume of 9,539,025. The company has a current ratio of 0.81, a quick ratio of 0.51 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.11. Exxon Mobil Co. has a one year low of $72.15 and a one year high of $89.30. The company has a market capitalization of $358.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 23.73, a P/E/G ratio of 1.42 and a beta of 0.86. Read more …

Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY) insider Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, September 20th. The shares were sold at an average price of $102.82, for a total transaction of $154,230.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 172,394 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,725,551.08. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink.

Michele Buck also recently made the following trade(s):
On Monday, August 20th, Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of Hershey stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $101.90, for a total transaction of $152,850.00.
On Friday, July 20th, Michele Buck sold 1,500 shares of Hershey stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $92.26, for a total transaction of $138,390.00.

Hershey stock traded up $0.24 during midday trading on Friday, hitting $103.69. The stock had a trading volume of 22,691 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,015,264. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.48 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.93, a P/E/G ratio of 2.19 and a beta of 0.32. Hershey Co has a 52-week low of $89.10 and a 52-week high of $115.82. The company has a current ratio of 0.94, a quick ratio of 0.58 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 3.05. Read more …



Acquisitions:


Energy Transfer Partners LP (NYSE:ETP) CFO Thomas E. Long purchased 10,000 shares of Energy Transfer Partners stock in a transaction dated Friday, September 14th. The stock was bought at an average cost of $22.33 per share, for a total transaction of $223,300.00. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Shares of ETP stock traded down $0.22 during trading on Monday, reaching $22.05. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 3,052,000 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,665,760. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.05, a quick ratio of 0.80 and a current ratio of 0.99. The stock has a market capitalization of $26.50 billion, a P/E ratio of 30.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.68 and a beta of 1.28. Energy Transfer Partners LP has a 1-year low of $15.06 and a 1-year high of $24.38. Read more …



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Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of September 17, 2018



Upgrades:


Broadcom (NASDAQ:AVGO) was upgraded by investment analysts at Nomura from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has a $300.00 price target on the semiconductor manufacturer’s stock, up from their prior price target of $225.00. Nomura’s target price suggests a potential upside of 25.14% from the company’s previous close. Other research analysts have also issued reports about the company. Longbow Research lowered Broadcom from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, July 12th. BidaskClub lowered Broadcom from a “strong-buy” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, June 28th. B. Riley lowered Broadcom from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and lowered their target price for the stock from $308.00 to $245.00 in a report on Thursday, July 12th. BMO Capital Markets lowered Broadcom from an “outperform” rating to a “market perform” rating and set a $230.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Friday, July 13th. Finally, Goldman Sachs Group cut Broadcom from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $300.00 to $220.00 in a research note on Wednesday, July 18th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and twenty-nine have assigned a buy rating to the company. Broadcom currently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $290.71. Read more …

Goldman Sachs Group upgraded shares of Mastercard (NYSE:MA) from a buy rating to a conviction-buy rating in a research report report published on Monday, The Fly reports. Other equities research analysts also recently issued reports about the company. Bank of America increased their price target on Mastercard from $210.00 to $230.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, July 17th. Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $207.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Friday, July 20th. Buckingham Research increased their price target on Mastercard from $194.00 to $222.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, June 26th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Mastercard in a research report on Wednesday, May 30th. Finally, Loop Capital increased their price target on Mastercard to $232.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Friday, July 27th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-seven have assigned a buy rating and two have given a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $208.56. Read more …

Edward Jones upgraded shares of Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:WFC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. Several other research analysts also recently weighed in on the company. Macquarie downgraded Wells Fargo & Co from an outperform rating to a neutral rating in a research note on Friday, September 7th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley reduced their target price on Wells Fargo & Co from $62.00 to $61.00 and set an equal weight rating for the company in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Susquehanna Bancshares set a $63.00 target price on Wells Fargo & Co and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, July 13th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Wells Fargo & Co from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Monday, July 30th. Finally, Keefe, Bruyette & Woods raised Wells Fargo & Co from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and upped their target price for the stock from $57.00 to $63.00 in a research note on Sunday, July 15th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have assigned a hold rating and fifteen have issued a buy rating to the company. Wells Fargo & Co currently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $63.28. Read more …

Raymond James upgraded shares of Bed Bath & Beyond (NASDAQ:BBBY) from an underperform rating to a market perform rating in a report issued on Monday morning, MarketBeat.com reports. BBBY has been the topic of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Bed Bath & Beyond from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a research note on Tuesday, June 12th. Wells Fargo & Co reaffirmed a sell rating and issued a $16.00 price target on shares of Bed Bath & Beyond in a research note on Wednesday, June 27th. BidaskClub raised Bed Bath & Beyond from a buy rating to a strong-buy rating in a research note on Thursday, June 28th. Wedbush set a $18.00 price target on Bed Bath & Beyond and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group set a $20.00 price target on Bed Bath & Beyond and gave the company a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 29th. Eight investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $20.00. Read more …

Robert W. Baird upgraded shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report released on Thursday, Marketbeat.com reports. Robert W. Baird currently has $158.00 target price on the industrial products company’s stock. Several other equities analysts also recently weighed in on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Caterpillar from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Friday, June 1st. Tigress Financial reaffirmed a buy rating on shares of Caterpillar in a research note on Friday, August 17th. Goldman Sachs Group downgraded Caterpillar from a conviction-buy rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, July 16th. UBS Group set a $185.00 price objective on Caterpillar and gave the company a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 5th. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $177.00 price target on Caterpillar and gave the stock a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, September 5th. Twelve investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and an average target price of $172.35. Read more…

20 Best Recession Proof Dividend Stocks



Preserving capital and generating safe income are core goals in retirement. So not surprisingly, conservative investors often worry about when the next recession will occur and how it will affect their portfolios.

Safe dividend-paying stocks can be an appealing choice for retirees who desire a predictable income stream that can hold its ground regardless of economic conditions and short-term stock price fluctuations.

In fact, over 240 dividend-paying stocks in our database maintained or increased their dividends each year during the financial crisis while also outperforming the S&P 500's 55% peak-to-trough plunge by more than 20%.

In other words, there were some excellent recession proof investments a risk averse income investor could have owned prior to the last downturn. But what about the next recession?

In this article, we analyzed 20 of the best recession proof dividend growth stocks. These companies have dividend yields near 3% or higher, stable business models, solid balance sheets, and proven commitments to maintaining and growing their dividends in all manner of economic, industry, and interest rate conditions. Each stock also meaningfully outperformed the S&P 500 during the financial crisis.


Simply put, these dividend growth stocks are worthy candidates to consider as part of a diversified portfolio to help you sleep well at night during the next recession, confident that your passive income is as safe as it can be and likely to keep growing your wealth over time.




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6 Monthly Dividend Stocks to Buy


These 6 stocks offer monthly payouts -- and potential upside



Most dividend stocks pay their shareholders quarterly, but a few dividend yielding stocks offer monthly distributions.

The group is small: less than 100, with many of the offerings being exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or closed-end actively managed funds. And so investors looking for monthly dividend stocks to buy are limiting their universe quite a bit.

Still, even in a market near all-time highs, there are attractive dividend-yielding stocks that pay out monthly. And several offer compelling cases for both their upside and safe dividends, with attributes that go beyond simply the timing of their distributions.


These six stocks all fit that bill, offering not only monthly dividends but potential share price appreciation and reasonable payout ratios.




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The Hershey Company: A Dividend Stock to Hold for the Next Century


1 Stock to Hold Forever


Since the Passive Monthly Income newsletter debuted in August 2015, we have added 52 stocks to the portfolio. We sold 13 of those picks over the period, nine of which were for large capital gains. The remaining 39 stocks still remain as active positions in the portfolio today.

Does that mean we have a preference for longer holding periods? For sure. I respect anyone that can flip equities for quick profits. But that’s not how we do things around here. Let others fiddle with the Fibonacci retracements, stochastic oscillators, and chart price patterns to predict stock movements for the next hour or so. Our investment horizon is over the next decade or more.

In paid newsletters, we seek out an elite group of businesses I’ve nicknamed “forever assets.” I highlighted several such firms in previous issues. These firms represent a group of stocks you could literally buy today and hold for the rest of your life.

Thanks to their entrenched market positions, such elusive companies throw off ample supplies of surplus free cash flow, which management generously shares with investors. This results in a growing stream of income (in addition to outrageous capital gains) that can roll in like clockwork for decades.


This month, I want to highlight another such forever asset: Hershey Co (NYSE:HSY). For decades, The Hershey Company has served up sweet treats for chocolate lovers. What’s less well known is that the candymaker has also delivered plenty of treats for income investors, too.




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Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of September 10, 2018



Upgrades:


Guggenheim upgraded shares of American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call. A number of other research firms have also issued reports on AEP. Zacks Investment Research lowered American Electric Power from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Wednesday, June 27th. ValuEngine upgraded American Electric Power from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 26th. Barclays initiated coverage on American Electric Power in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued an overweight rating and a $81.00 price objective on the stock. Goldman Sachs Group upgraded American Electric Power from a neutral rating to a buy rating and decreased their price objective for the company from $76.00 to $74.00 in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Finally, Morgan Stanley upped their price objective on American Electric Power from $67.00 to $73.00 and gave the company an overweight rating in a report on Monday, July 16th. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $75.25. Read more …

Bank of America upgraded shares of Novartis (NYSE:NVS) from an underperform rating to a buy rating in a research report sent to investors on Monday, Marketbeat reports. The firm currently has $74.71 price target on the stock. Other analysts have also issued research reports about the company. Barclays upgraded Novartis from an underweight rating to an equal weight rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Novartis from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, June 19th. Credit Suisse Group upgraded Novartis from an underperform rating to a neutral rating in a report on Friday, May 25th. ValuEngine upgraded Novartis from a strong sell rating to a sell rating in a report on Thursday, July 19th. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a neutral rating on shares of Novartis in a report on Thursday, May 17th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have issued a hold rating and three have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. Novartis presently has a consensus rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $87.24. Read more …

Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) was upgraded by stock analysts at Bank of America from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday, The Fly reports. Several other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on SNY. Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Sanofi from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, May 30th. ValuEngine cut shares of Sanofi from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research report on Saturday, June 2nd. TheStreet upgraded shares of Sanofi from a “c+” rating to a “b” rating in a research report on Thursday, July 12th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. restated a “neutral” rating on shares of Sanofi in a research report on Tuesday, July 31st. Finally, BNP Paribas upgraded shares of Sanofi from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have given a hold rating and six have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $47.00. Read more …


Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) was upgraded by stock analysts at Wells Fargo & Co from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report released on Monday, Marketbeat.com reports. The firm presently has a $58.00 target price on the athletic footwear retailer’s stock, up from their prior target price of $50.00. Wells Fargo & Co’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 19.10% from the stock’s previous close. Other research analysts have also recently issued research reports about the stock. Pivotal Research set a $64.00 target price on shares of Foot Locker and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 29th. Canaccord Genuity set a $66.00 target price on shares of Foot Locker and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 29th. Buckingham Research upped their target price on shares of Foot Locker from $54.00 to $61.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Tuesday, May 29th. UBS Group began coverage on shares of Foot Locker in a research report on Thursday, June 21st. They issued a “neutral” rating and a $59.00 target price on the stock. Finally, Telsey Advisory Group decreased their target price on shares of Foot Locker from $62.00 to $58.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research report on Monday, August 27th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have assigned a hold rating and sixteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has an average rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $56.33. Read more …

10 Super Safe Growth Stocks to Buy for Long-Lasting Dividends


These growth stocks also offer steady dividends for long-term security



Whenever the stock market marches higher, it pushes the prices of many companies higher along with it. But as investors bid up good and bad businesses alike, that can make it hard to discern which companies are the best dividend stocks for long-term investors.

That’s especially true in the world of dividend stocks, where income-starved investors face great temptation to reach for high-dividend stocks that offer juicy yields.

Fortunately, Simply Safe Dividends identified the 10 best dividend growth stocks that investors can rely on for secure, fast-growing income.

These companies all have very healthy Dividend Safety Scores, which measure a firm’s most important financial metrics to gauge how likely it is to cut its dividend in the future.


Let’s take a look at 10 of the safest dividend stocks in the market. These dividend-paying companies generate excellent free cash flow, maintain safe payout ratios, are committed to rewarding shareholders with healthy dividend increases and have bright long-term outlooks.





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7 Dividend Stocks to Buy Amid This Tough Market Environment


As geopolitics and broader economic concerns weigh on Wall Street, dividend stocks offer both upside potential and passive income



The markets have finally appeared to reassert themselves after suffering several months of wild choppiness. But even with this newfound bullishness, I’m angling for dividend stocks to buy. These aren’t merely empty words, as I’ll demonstrate later in this article.

This summer, my InvestorPlace colleague Vince Martin wrote an excellent piece detailing the nitty-gritty of dividend stocks, including why you want to buy them, what nuances to look out for and real-world examples of various income-paying companies. Before you dive into this sector, I highly recommend learning from Martin’s expertise.

Along with his factors for purchasing dividend stocks, I believe this present juncture provides enormous justification. With an income-bearing asset, you’re not entirely dependent on market performance for shareholder profitability. This is important because this optimism is largely a bull on paper. After all, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is only up 4.5% year-to-date.


Additionally, the markets must absorb significant ambiguities. President Trump and his policies cut multiple controversial lines. Agree or disagree, we have consensus that investors prefer predictability over uncertainty. With Trump, both supports and opponents don’t know what they’re going to get.

If it’s uncomfortable on Capitol Hill, it’s at least doubly so on Wall Street.

Again, this is the reason why I’m bullish on dividend stocks to buy. If things go well, you have the potential for capital returns and passive income. If the markets take an unexpectedly negative turn, dividend-paying companies tend to ride out bearish cycles better than less-generous organizations.

With this in mind, here are my ideas for dividend stocks to buy, ranging from safer options to speculative bets:




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Intel Corporation: 3 Reasons to Own INTC Stock


A Choppy Ride for Intel Stock



So far into 2018, the stock market seemed to have a hard time putting a price tag on Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC). The company started the year trading at $46.85 apiece, then went to as high as $57.03 in June, marking in 21.7% surge, before paring most of those gains in the last two months.

Where does that leave us? Well, as of this writing, Intel shares trade at $47.75 apiece, meaning that INTC stock returned just 1.9% year-to-date. To put it in perspective, the S&P 500 Index went up 7.2%.


That seems a bit disappointing. But before you cross Intel stock off your list, I want to show you three reasons why the company may still deserve a spot in an investor’s portfolio.



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Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: Week of September 3, 2018



Disposals:


Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) EVP T Richard Riney sold 13,708 shares of the stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.00, for a total value of $822,480.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this link. NYSE:VTR opened at $60.12 on Friday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.97. The stock has a market cap of $21.34 billion, a P/E ratio of 14.45, a PEG ratio of 3.91 and a beta of 0.12. Ventas, Inc. has a 52-week low of $46.55 and a 52-week high of $69.92. Read more …


Autoliv Inc. (NYSE:ALV) Director Jan Carlson sold 42,589 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, August 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $89.53, for a total transaction of $3,812,993.17. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 53,579 shares in the company, valued at $4,796,927.87. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Shares of ALV opened at $86.55 on Thursday. Autoliv Inc. has a twelve month low of $77.63 and a twelve month high of $115.37. The stock has a market cap of $7.76 billion, a PE ratio of 13.15, a P/E/G ratio of 0.67 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a current ratio of 1.23, a quick ratio of 0.97 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.84. Read more …

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 11,165 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, September 4th. The stock was sold at an average price of $31.35, for a total value of $350,022.75. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this link. Shares of BEN stock opened at $30.26 on Friday. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12 month low of $30.14 and a 12 month high of $45.96. The company has a market cap of $16.56 billion, a PE ratio of 9.91, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.52. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07, a current ratio of 3.37 and a quick ratio of 3.37. Read more …





Best Buy Co Inc (NYSE:BBY) insider Asheesh Saksena sold 26,309 shares of Best Buy stock in a transaction dated Wednesday, September 5th. The shares were sold at an average price of $80.07, for a total value of $2,106,561.63. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website.

Asheesh Saksena also recently made the following trade(s):
On Thursday, June 14th, Asheesh Saksena sold 18,570 shares of Best Buy stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $73.69, for a total value of $1,368,423.30.

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of September 3, 2018



Upgrades:


ABB (NYSE:ABB) was upgraded by analysts at Citigroup from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Tuesday, The Fly reports. ABB has been the topic of a number of other reports. ValuEngine raised shares of ABB from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 29th. Jefferies Financial Group raised shares of ABB from an “underperform” rating to a “hold” rating and set a $23.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, July 11th. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a “neutral” rating on shares of ABB in a research report on Monday, July 9th. Zacks Investment Research cut shares of ABB from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a research report on Wednesday, July 4th. Finally, DNB Markets initiated coverage on shares of ABB in a research report on Monday. They set a “buy” rating on the stock. Eight analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and four have issued a buy rating to the stock. The stock has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $27.00. Read more …

QUALCOMM (NASDAQ:QCOM) was upgraded by Macquarie from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report issued on Tuesday, MarketBeat reports. The brokerage currently has a $84.00 target price on the wireless technology company’s stock, up from their prior target price of $65.00. Macquarie’s price target would suggest a potential upside of 18.49% from the stock’s current price. Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the stock. Cowen boosted their target price on shares of QUALCOMM from $58.00 to $64.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Rosenblatt Securities raised shares of QUALCOMM from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and boosted their target price for the stock from $56.00 to $70.00 in a report on Monday, August 20th. BidaskClub raised shares of QUALCOMM from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Friday, August 3rd. KeyCorp boosted their target price on shares of QUALCOMM from $65.00 to $72.00 and gave the stock an “overweight” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. Finally, BMO Capital Markets boosted their target price on shares of QUALCOMM to $64.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a report on Thursday, July 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating and fifteen have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $69.13. Read more …

Raymond James upgraded shares of United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS) from a market perform rating to a strong-buy rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, Marketbeat Ratings reports. Several other research analysts have also commented on UPS. Bank of America raised shares of United Parcel Service from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research note on Monday, May 14th. Loop Capital lifted their price objective on shares of United Parcel Service to $139.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Wednesday, May 30th. ValuEngine lowered shares of United Parcel Service from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research note on Monday, July 2nd. UBS Group raised shares of United Parcel Service from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $125.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Monday, July 16th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised shares of United Parcel Service from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $126.00 price objective for the company in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have issued a hold rating, eight have given a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $122.99. Read more …





Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded shares of Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research note released on Tuesday, MarketBeat.com reports. Sanford C. Bernstein currently has $40.00 price target on the cell phone carrier’s stock. Other research analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. BidaskClub downgraded Vodafone Group from a sell rating to a strong sell rating in a report on Sunday, May 20th. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Vodafone Group from a strong sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Saturday, May 19th. Bank of America downgraded Vodafone Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, August 30th. UBS Group reiterated a buy rating on shares of Vodafone Group in a report on Tuesday, August 7th. Finally, Citigroup downgraded Vodafone Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a report on Thursday, May 17th. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, three have issued a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has given a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $33.36. Read more …

Ford Motor Company: Is Ford Stock’s 6.2% Yield Safe?


Ford Stock Takes a Beating



While the stock market was soaring past its all-time highs, Ford Motor Company (NYSE:F) seemed to have gotten left behind. Shares of this Dearborn, Michigan-based automaker fell six percent after its second-quarter earnings report in July. And then last week, Ford stock took another beating due to a ratings downgrade.

On Wednesday, August 29, Moody’s Investors Service downgraded Ford’s credit rating from Baa2 to Baa3, just one notch above junk bond status.

“The downgrade of Ford’s rating reflects the erosion in the company’s global business position and the challenges it will face implementing its Fitness Redesign program,” wrote Moody’s in a press release. (Source: “Moody’s downgrades Ford ratings to Baa3; outlook is negative,” Moody’s Investors Service, August 29, 2018.)

In particular, the rating agency noted several negative developments at the automaker, including shrinking profit margins in North America, a slowing business in China, and losses in Europe and South America.




And that’s not all. Moody’s also warned that if things don’t improve, there could be another downgrade next year:




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