Here are five solid dividend-paying stocks loved by top analysts amid the sell-off


You can forget about a Santa-Claus rally. That's the message from the market this December. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 are in correction territory, and are heading for their worst December performance since the Great Depression.

With the markets this perilous, top analysts are recommending dividend stocks as a way for savvy investors to hedge their bets. Regardless of market conditions, the dividend payment provides a steady source of income every quarter which, investors hope, should increase over time.

Here we turn to TipRanks' Stock Screener to pinpoint the best dividend stocks out there right now. TipRanks uses a natural language processing algorithm to rank analysts based on their success rate and average return. That allows us to filter for high dividend stocks with a 'strong buy' consensus from only the top-performing analysts.




Let's take a closer look at their five top dividend picks now:


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



Disposals:


Accenture Plc (NYSE:ACN) CEO Pierre Nanterme sold 37,846 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Monday, December 24th. The shares were sold at an average price of $135.16, for a total value of $5,115,265.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief executive officer now owns 368,212 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $49,767,533.92. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through the SEC website.

Pierre Nanterme also recently made the following trade(s):
On Monday, October 1st, Pierre Nanterme sold 30,117 shares of Accenture stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $173.45, for a total value of $5,223,793.65.

NYSE:ACN opened at $140.41 on Friday. The firm has a market cap of $88.79 billion, a PE ratio of 20.83, a P/E/G ratio of 1.80 and a beta of 1.01. Accenture Plc has a fifty-two week low of $132.63 and a fifty-two week high of $175.64. Read more …

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) insider Christopher T. Hjelm sold 18,564 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Friday, December 21st. The stock was sold at an average price of $28.25, for a total value of $524,433.00. Following the sale, the insider now owns 262,727 shares in the company, valued at approximately $7,422,037.75. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Shares of KR opened at $27.73 on Thursday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.73. The firm has a market capitalization of $21.22 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.59, a PEG ratio of 1.84 and a beta of 0.79. Kroger Co has a twelve month low of $22.85 and a twelve month high of $32.74. Read more …



Acquisitions:


Charles Schwab Co. (NYSE:SCHW) CEO Walter W. Bettinger bought 93,090 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 24th. The shares were purchased at an average price of $39.09 per share, with a total value of $3,638,888.10. Following the acquisition, the chief executive officer now directly owns 335,093 shares in the company, valued at approximately $13,098,785.37. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Read more …

Charles Schwab Co. (NYSE:SCHW) insider Walter W. Bettinger acquired 124,669 shares of Charles Schwab stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, December 26th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $38.81 per share, with a total value of $4,838,403.89. Following the transaction, the insider now owns 335,093 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $13,004,959.33. The purchase was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Charles Schwab stock traded up $0.50 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $41.06. The company had a trading volume of 8,412,375 shares, compared to its average volume of 7,130,750. Charles Schwab Co. has a 1 year low of $37.83 and a 1 year high of $60.22. The company has a current ratio of 0.29, a quick ratio of 0.29 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.32. The stock has a market cap of $51.65 billion, a PE ratio of 25.04, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 0.96 and a beta of 1.45. Read more …



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



Upgrades:


Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) was upgraded by analysts at Capital One Financial from an “underweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The firm presently has a $18.17 price objective on the oil and gas development company’s stock. Capital One Financial‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 4.67% from the company’s current price. A number of other research analysts have also issued reports on the stock. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an “overweight” rating on shares of Noble Energy in a research note on Friday, September 28th. Morgan Stanley set a $38.00 target price on shares of Noble Energy and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 12th. Oppenheimer assumed coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a research report on Wednesday, October 3rd. They set a “market perform” rating and a $43.00 price target on the stock. Stifel Nicolaus set a $46.00 price target on shares of Noble Energy and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, Mizuho set a $28.00 price target on shares of Noble Energy and gave the stock a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, November 28th. One equities research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have given a hold rating and twenty have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The stock has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $40.53. Read more …

Standpoint Research upgraded shares of Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) from a sell rating to an accumulate rating in a report issued on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. They currently have $117.85 target price on the industrial products company’s stock. A number of other brokerages have also issued reports on CAT. Credit Suisse Group cut their target price on Caterpillar from $210.00 to $183.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Robert W. Baird set a $171.00 target price on Caterpillar and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Daiwa Capital Markets set a $120.00 target price on Caterpillar and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, October 25th. UBS Group set a $160.00 target price on Caterpillar and gave the company a buy rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 24th. Finally, Zacks Investment Research raised Caterpillar from a hold rating to a strong-buy rating and set a $163.00 target price on the stock in a research report on Tuesday, October 16th. Two research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eleven have assigned a hold rating, seventeen have issued a buy rating and two have assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The company currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $157.19. Read more …

Mastercard (NYSE:MA) was upgraded by investment analysts at Edward Jones from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday, MarketBeat reports. Several other brokerages have also recently weighed in on MA. Zacks Investment Research cut Mastercard from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, November 20th. Piper Jaffray Companies reaffirmed an “overweight” rating and issued a $245.00 price target on shares of Mastercard in a research note on Friday, December 21st. Barclays assumed coverage on Mastercard in a research note on Wednesday, November 14th. They issued an “overweight” rating and a $240.00 price target on the stock. Loop Capital set a $232.00 price target on Mastercard and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 31st. Finally, BMO Capital Markets upped their price target on Mastercard from $238.00 to $248.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a research note on Thursday, November 1st. Three equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, twenty-seven have assigned a buy rating and two have issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $222.55. Read more …

Standpoint Research upgraded shares of Target (NYSE:TGT) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report released on Wednesday morning, Marketbeat Ratings reports. The brokerage currently has $62.30 price target on the retailer’s stock. Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Citigroup dropped their target price on Target from $84.00 to $78.00 and set a neutral rating on the stock in a report on Monday, December 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Target from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Monday, November 26th. Morgan Stanley dropped their target price on Target from $70.00 to $60.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a report on Friday, November 23rd. Credit Suisse Group dropped their target price on Target from $94.00 to $79.00 and set an outperform rating on the stock in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. Finally, Deutsche Bank set a $82.00 target price on Target and gave the company a hold rating in a report on Wednesday, November 21st. One analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, thirteen have given a hold rating, ten have issued a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and an average target price of $87.59. Read more …


Downgrades:


Autoliv (NYSE:ALV) was downgraded by equities research analysts at Evercore ISI from an “in-line” rating to an “underperform” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, MarketBeat reports. A number of other brokerages also recently weighed in on ALV. Daiwa Capital Markets downgraded shares of Autoliv from an “outperform” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Tuesday, December 18th. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Autoliv from a “strong sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Wednesday, December 5th. Morgan Stanley downgraded shares of Autoliv from an “overweight” rating to an “equal weight” rating and set a $100.00 price target for the company. in a report on Thursday, December 6th. Longbow Research downgraded shares of Autoliv from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a report on Thursday, November 1st. Finally, Barclays reduced their price target on shares of Autoliv from $72.00 to $70.00 and set a “sell” rating for the company in a report on Tuesday, October 30th. Six research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eighteen have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $107.86. Read more …


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Is Costco A Bargain After Its Recent Correction?


Costco (COST) has incurred a 17% correction since it peaked, about three months ago. Every correction of the stock throughout its history has proved a great investing opportunity. Therefore, the big question is whether the stock has now become a bargain.

The Reasons Behind The Correction

A part of the correction of Costco can be attributed to the correction of the broad market. Since the stock peaked, S&P has lost 12% due to fears of an economic slowdown and the possibility of a recession in 2019 or 2020.

While the broad market correction has certainly affected the stock price of Costco, half of the losses of Costco have materialized after its recent earnings report. In the third quarter, the retailer grew its same-store sales by 7.5% and its earnings per share by 19% over last year. Nevertheless, the market punished the stock with an 8% plunge on the day of its earnings release. The adjusted earnings per share of $1.61 were marginally lower than the analysts’ consensus of $1.62. Moreover, the operating margin shrank from 3.0% to 2.7%, with management admitting that it is facing increasing competitive pressure, not only from supermarkets, but also from Sam’s. As Costco already operates at razor-thin margins, the market fears that the heating competition in the retail sector may soon begin to have a strong negative effect on the bottom line of the company.







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American Tower Corp: This Dividend Could Double Again


Stock Pays Out More and More



Earlier this month, I told you about one of the biggest trends in the country: fifth generation mobile technology (“5G”).

The switch promises to boost Internet speeds 100-fold from today’s levels. That could make a host of new technologies possible, such as smart cities, self-driving cars, and the “Internet of Things.”

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE:VZ) CEO Lowell McAdam says 5G could spark America’s “fourth industrial revolution.” Some analysts predict 5G revenues could top more than $12.0 trillion per year worldwide. But even if the market only ends up being a fraction of what the industry expects, the prize here is still huge. (Source: “Verizon’s Lowell McAdam: 5G will usher in the fourth industrial revolution,” CNBC, September 14, 2017.)

I told you the best way to invest is to buy companies selling “picks and shovels” to the 5G gold rush. Some of these stocks have already posted explosive gains. But if you’re sitting on the sidelines, it’s not too late to get invested.




Last week, shares of American Tower Corp (NYSE:AMT) hit an all-time high.




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



Disposals:


Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) VP Michael Joseph Donnelly sold 27,400 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction on Thursday, December 13th. The stock was sold at an average price of $29.60, for a total value of $811,040.00. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. KR opened at $28.23 on Thursday. Kroger Co has a 1 year low of $22.85 and a 1 year high of $32.74. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.06 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 13.84, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 0.79. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a quick ratio of 0.25 and a current ratio of 0.73. Read more …

Kroger Co (NYSE:KR) insider J Michael Schlotman sold 20,546 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Tuesday, December 18th. The shares were sold at an average price of $28.86, for a total transaction of $592,957.56. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. NYSE:KR opened at $27.68 on Friday. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 0.73 and a quick ratio of 0.25. The company has a market cap of $22.77 billion, a P/E ratio of 13.57, a P/E/G ratio of 1.97 and a beta of 0.79. Kroger Co has a fifty-two week low of $22.85 and a fifty-two week high of $32.74. Read more …

Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE:HBI) Director Jessica Tuchman Mathews sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, December 14th. The shares were sold at an average price of $13.57, for a total transaction of $203,550.00. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 139,693 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,895,634.01. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

Jessica Tuchman Mathews also recently made the following trade(s):
On Monday, November 12th, Jessica Tuchman Mathews sold 2,115 shares of Hanesbrands stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $16.54, for a total transaction of $34,982.10.

Shares of NYSE:HBI traded down $0.60 during trading on Monday, reaching $12.97. The company had a trading volume of 9,314,340 shares, compared to its average volume of 6,353,495. The firm has a market cap of $4.90 billion, a P/E ratio of 6.72, a P/E/G ratio of 0.78 and a beta of 0.37. Hanesbrands Inc. has a twelve month low of $12.85 and a twelve month high of $23.33. The company has a current ratio of 1.84, a quick ratio of 0.79 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 4.44. Read more ...


Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) Director Richard Haythornthwaite sold 5,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $192.00, for a total value of $960,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now directly owns 40,183 shares in the company, valued at $7,715,136. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through this hyperlink. MA stock opened at $191.61 on Wednesday. Mastercard Inc has a twelve month low of $149.89 and a twelve month high of $225.35. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.01, a quick ratio of 1.55 and a current ratio of 1.55. The stock has a market cap of $196.70 billion, a PE ratio of 41.84, a P/E/G ratio of 1.63 and a beta of 1.21. Read more …

Exxon Mobil Co. (NYSE:XOM) VP Bradley W. Corson sold 15,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction on Wednesday, December 19th. The stock was sold at an average price of $72.84, for a total value of $1,092,600.00. Following the completion of the sale, the vice president now directly owns 223,461 shares in the company, valued at $16,276,899.24. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this link. Exxon Mobil stock traded down $1.89 during mid-day trading on Thursday, reaching $68.89. 11,631,432 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 13,331,555. The stock has a market cap of $305.10 billion, a PE ratio of 19.19, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 0.84. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.10, a quick ratio of 0.54 and a current ratio of 0.83. Exxon Mobil Co. has a 12-month low of $70.30 and a 12-month high of $89.30. Read more …

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



Upgrades:


JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report report published on Monday, MarketBeat reports. The brokerage currently has $415.00 price objective on the specialty chemicals company’s stock, up from their prior price objective of $380.00. A number of other equities research analysts have also recently weighed in on SHW. Zacks Investment Research cut Sherwin-Williams from a buy rating to a hold rating in a report on Thursday, October 18th. Deutsche Bank raised Sherwin-Williams from a hold rating to a buy rating and raised their price target for the company from $400.00 to $465.00 in a report on Tuesday, December 4th. Credit Suisse Group dropped their price target on Sherwin-Williams from $500.00 to $467.00 and set a buy rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 26th. Longbow Research began coverage on Sherwin-Williams in a report on Friday, November 30th. They set a neutral rating for the company. Finally, Buckingham Research dropped their price target on Sherwin-Williams from $425.00 to $410.00 and set a neutral rating for the company in a report on Friday, October 26th. Ten research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Buy and an average target price of $465.60. Read more …

UBS Group upgraded shares of Vodafone Group (NASDAQ:VOD) from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a report published on Monday, The Fly reports. A number of other analysts have also recently commented on the company. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Vodafone Group from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report on Saturday, August 25th. Bank of America cut Vodafone Group from a buy rating to a neutral rating in a research report on Thursday, August 30th. Sanford C. Bernstein upgraded Vodafone Group from a market perform rating to an outperform rating and set a $40.00 price objective for the company in a research report on Tuesday, September 4th. Citigroup upgraded Vodafone Group from a neutral rating to a buy rating in a research report on Thursday, September 6th. Finally, Standpoint Research upgraded Vodafone Group from a reduce rating to a buy rating in a research report on Tuesday, September 11th. Six investment analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, nine have issued a buy rating and one has assigned a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock currently has an average rating of Buy and an average price target of $33.36. Read more …

Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) was upgraded by investment analysts at BTIG Research from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Tuesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has a $119.00 target price on the restaurant operator’s stock. BTIG Research’s price objective would suggest a potential upside of 18.25% from the company’s current price. DRI has been the subject of several other reports. Canaccord Genuity upped their price target on Darden Restaurants from $120.00 to $125.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Friday, September 21st. Zacks Investment Research upgraded Darden Restaurants from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $121.00 target price for the company in a research report on Friday, October 5th. Mizuho increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $115.00 to $125.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. SunTrust Banks increased their target price on Darden Restaurants to $137.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their target price on Darden Restaurants from $110.00 to $112.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, September 21st. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating and nineteen have issued a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has an average rating of “Buy” and a consensus price target of $120.03. Read more …




JPMorgan Chase & Co. upgraded shares of Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC) from a neutral rating to an overweight rating in a research report report published on Tuesday, Marketbeat reports. The firm currently has $203.00 target price on the railroad operator’s stock, up from their previous target price of $198.00. NSC has been the subject of several other research reports. Zacks Investment Research raised Norfolk Southern from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $169.00 price target for the company in a report on Monday. TD Securities raised Norfolk Southern from a hold rating to a buy rating in a report on Thursday, October 25th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Morgan Stanley set a $113.00 price target on Norfolk Southern and gave the company a sell rating in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Bank of America upped their price target on Norfolk Southern from $183.00 to $187.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Monday, October 1st. Finally, Barclays reaffirmed a hold rating and issued a $190.00 price target on shares of Norfolk Southern in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. One investment analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, ten have given a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Hold and an average price target of $177.37. Read more …

7 Safe Dividend Stocks to Buy Now


Worried about recent market volatility? These seven stocks will help calm your nerves.



Most investors can accept that the market often tanks right around Halloween, but December is supposed to be a cheerful time of year! It doesn’t appear we’re getting a Santa Claus rally after all. Value, growth, dividend stocks — everything is on edge.

While the American economy remains robust, other headwinds are causing investors to panic. Causing perhaps the most concern, the new Federal Reserve Board Chair — Jerome Powell — seems inclined to keep hiking interest rates regardless of what markets do. That is in stark contrast to Ben Bernanke and Janet Yellen, who would always back off whenever markets showed weakness.

On top of that, trade war problems are continuing to mount. We’re seeing increasing cost pressures in this earnings season.

Add it all up, and things are starting to get tense. That leaves investors wondering where they can go for safety.


After years of tech outperforming everything, earnings misses from Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL), Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and numerous semiconductor companies have people bailing on growth as well. That leaves safe-haven dividend stocks as a more favorable alternative. Here are seven worth taking a look at today.




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Boeing Company Increases Quarterly Dividend $BA



  • Boeing (NYSE:BA) declares $2.06/share quarterly dividend, 20.2% increase from prior dividend of $1.71.
  • Forward yield 2.6%
  • Payable March 1; for shareholders of record Feb. 8; ex-div Feb. 7.


Use Altria's High Dividend For Retirement Portfolios


The stock price of Altria (MO) is down over 27% this year. This has clearly been a painful year for equity holders of this once-stable company. But continuing declines in smoking rates in the United States has sparked fears that there is no way Altria can continue its earnings growth over the long run.

The big drop in Altria’s stock price is the bad news, at least for current holders of the stock. But there is a lot of good news for those looking to invest in solid dividend-paying stocks: First and foremost, Altria’s current dividend yield is 5.9%.

It isn’t easy to find a 5.9% dividend yield from a company with a long history of never cutting its dividend. Also, Altria increased its dividend this year by 14% compared to 2017. For those looking for dividend income over the long-run, Altria could be the perfect fit.


How Altria Can Continue To Grow


The decline in U.S. smoking is definitely bad news for this company. But Altria understands they need to diversify and they have been making moves. They recently bought a $1.8 billion stake in Canadian marijuana company Cronos. Altria knows that the tide has turned for legalized marijuana both here in the U.S. and Canada, and they want to get on board early.




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Abbott Laboratories Increases Quarterly Dividend $ABT



  • Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) declares $0.32/share quarterly dividend, 14.3% increase from prior dividend of $0.28.
  • Forward yield 1.81%
  • Payable Feb. 15; for shareholders of record Jan. 15; ex-div Jan. 14.


Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: Week of December 10, 2018



Disposals:



Ventas, Inc. (NYSE:VTR) EVP T Richard Riney sold 15,676 shares of Ventas stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $65.00, for a total transaction of $1,018,940.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website.

T Richard Riney also recently made the following trade(s):
On Tuesday, November 20th, T Richard Riney sold 15,288 shares of Ventas stock. The stock was sold at an average price of $62.50, for a total transaction of $955,500.00.

Shares of Ventas stock opened at $63.13 on Thursday. Ventas, Inc. has a twelve month low of $46.55 and a twelve month high of $65.70. The company has a quick ratio of 0.56, a current ratio of 0.56 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.00. The stock has a market capitalization of $23.34 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.18, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 4.85 and a beta of 0.06. Read more …

Comcast Co. (NASDAQ:CMCSA) Director Kenneth J. Bacon sold 7,636 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $37.04, for a total transaction of $282,837.44. Following the completion of the transaction, the director now owns 33,603 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $1,244,655.12. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through the SEC website. Comcast stock traded down $0.50 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $36.85. 2,059,890 shares of the company’s stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 18,604,142. The company has a market cap of $173.75 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.96, a PEG ratio of 1.18 and a beta of 0.92. The company has a quick ratio of 1.18, a current ratio of 1.18 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.96. Comcast Co. has a 12-month low of $30.43 and a 12-month high of $44.00. Read more …

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,000 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $105.50, for a total value of $422,000.00. Following the sale, the executive vice president now owns 169,931 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $17,927,720.50. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link. Shares of NASDAQ:MSFT opened at $108.59 on Wednesday. The firm has a market capitalization of $807.09 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 27.99, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.90 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a quick ratio of 2.85, a current ratio of 2.92 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88. Microsoft Co. has a 1 year low of $83.83 and a 1 year high of $116.18. Read more …


Eli Lilly And Co (NYSE:LLY) SVP Myles O’neill sold 25,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 10th. The shares were sold at an average price of $112.92, for a total value of $2,823,000.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the senior vice president now directly owns 26,562 shares in the company, valued at $2,999,381.04. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is accessible through this link. LLY traded up $0.20 during midday trading on Thursday, reaching $114.54. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 107,165 shares, compared to its average volume of 4,102,320. The firm has a market capitalization of $121.29 billion, a P/E ratio of 26.78, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.78 and a beta of 0.31. The company has a quick ratio of 1.53, a current ratio of 1.91 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.83. Eli Lilly And Co has a twelve month low of $73.69 and a twelve month high of $119.84. Read more …

Dominion Energy Increases Quarterly Dividend $D



  • Dominion Energy (NYSE:D) declares $0.9175/share quarterly dividend, 9.9% increase from prior dividend of $0.835.
  • Forward yield 4.8%
  • First increased quarterly dividend will be payable in March 2019.


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



Upgrades:


ABB (NYSE:ABB) was upgraded by research analysts at HSBC from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, The Fly reports. A number of other analysts also recently issued reports on ABB. JPMorgan Chase & Co. reaffirmed a “neutral” rating on shares of ABB in a research note on Thursday, August 23rd. ValuEngine raised ABB from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Wednesday, August 29th. DNB Markets started coverage on ABB in a research note on Monday, September 3rd. They issued a “buy” rating on the stock. Citigroup raised ABB from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th. Finally, Societe Generale raised ABB from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note on Thursday, September 13th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and six have issued a buy rating to the company. ABB currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $24.34. Read more …

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP) was upgraded by Wolfe Research from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, The Fly reports. Other equities analysts also recently issued research reports about the company. Mizuho reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $82.00 price target on shares of ConocoPhillips in a report on Monday, October 22nd. Zacks Investment Research upgraded ConocoPhillips from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $88.00 price target on the stock in a report on Monday, October 8th. Piper Jaffray Companies reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $66.00 price target on shares of ConocoPhillips in a report on Monday, November 19th. Royal Bank of Canada downgraded ConocoPhillips from an “outperform” rating to a “sector perform” rating and set a $90.00 price target on the stock. in a report on Thursday, September 20th. They noted that the move was a valuation call. Finally, Morgan Stanley increased their price target on ConocoPhillips from $83.00 to $84.00 and gave the company a “buy” rating in a report on Thursday, August 16th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and fourteen have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock currently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average target price of $75.22. Read more …

DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH (NYSE:DLR) was upgraded by stock analysts at Jefferies Financial Group from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The brokerage presently has a $136.00 target price on the real estate investment trust’s stock, up from their previous target price of $124.00. Jefferies Financial Group’s target price would indicate a potential upside of 16.45% from the stock’s previous close. A number of other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the stock. BMO Capital Markets set a $120.00 price target on shares of DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, October 26th. Citigroup decreased their price target on shares of DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH from $131.00 to $126.00 and set a “buy” rating on the stock in a research note on Tuesday, November 6th. Guggenheim raised shares of DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and set a $125.00 price target on the stock in a research note on Monday, October 22nd. Royal Bank of Canada decreased their price target on shares of DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH from $131.00 to $124.00 and set an “outperform” rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 5th. Finally, Berenberg Bank began coverage on shares of DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. They set a “hold” rating and a $127.00 price objective on the stock. Five equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and twelve have issued a buy rating to the stock. DIGITAL RLTY TR/SH has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $126.20. Read more …



Jefferies Financial Group upgraded shares of Sanofi (NYSE:SNY) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note published on Tuesday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Jefferies Financial Group also issued estimates for Sanofi’s Q4 2018 earnings at $0.58 EPS, FY2018 earnings at $3.06 EPS, FY2019 earnings at $3.13 EPS, FY2020 earnings at $3.51 EPS, FY2021 earnings at $3.76 EPS and FY2022 earnings at $4.00 EPS. Several other equities analysts have also weighed in on SNY. Argus increased their price objective on Sanofi from $46.00 to $48.00 and gave the company a buy rating in a report on Friday, August 24th. Zacks Investment Research raised Sanofi from a sell rating to a hold rating in a report on Tuesday, August 28th. Bank of America raised Sanofi from a neutral rating to a buy rating and set a $55.00 price objective for the company in a report on Monday, September 10th. Guggenheim initiated coverage on Sanofi in a report on Monday, October 8th. They set a neutral rating for the company. Finally, JPMorgan Chase & Co. reissued a neutral rating on shares of Sanofi in a report on Monday, October 15th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and seven have given a buy rating to the stock. Sanofi presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $49.50. Read more …

Pfizer Inc. Increases Quarterly Dividend $PFE



  • Pfizer (NYSE:PFE) declares $0.36/share quarterly dividend, 5.9% increase from prior dividend of $0.34.
  • Forward yield 3.3%
  • Payable March 1; for shareholders of record Feb. 1; ex-div Jan. 31.


AT&T Inc. Increases Quarterly Dividend $T



  • AT&T (NYSE:T) declares $0.51/share quarterly dividend, 2% increase from prior dividend of $0.50.
  • Forward yield 6.82%
  • Payable Feb. 1; for shareholders of record Jan. 10; ex-div Jan. 9.



10 Can’t-Miss Dividend Growth Stocks to Buy


These stocks have grown payouts up to 733% in a decade


Dividend growth stocks have obvious appeal. After all, dividend investing is based on buying and holding a stock for the payouts. So if a company can consistently increase its distributions to investors over time, all the better.

Unlike traditional growth investing, where you depend on a stock increasing in value based on profits or sales trends, dividend investing focuses on the payouts above all else. The best dividend stocks to buy offer regular deposits into your bank account, but the best dividend stocks are committed to making those paychecks larger every year.

Think of it this way: If you pay $40 a share and get a $1 annual dividend, you have a 2.5% yield on your investment. But if that payout increases to $1.40 annually after a few years your yield is now 3.5% based on your cost to buy the stock … and if the income growth continues to $1.80 annually, you’re now making 4.5% yield. And all by keeping your money in the same place and depending on bigger payouts!

That’s the power of dividend growth investing in 2018. Not only are you getting a stable return on your initial investment, but your payouts continue to increase over time.


So what are some of the most impressive income-growing plays on Wall Street as we enter 2018? Here are 10 to consider:




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Analysis Collection


Franklin Resources, Inc. Increases Quarterly Dividend $BEN



  • Franklin Resources (NYSE:BEN) declares $0.26/share quarterly dividend, 13% increase from prior dividend of $0.23.
  • Forward yield 3.3%
  • Payable Jan. 11; for shareholders of record Dec. 31; ex-div Dec. 28.

Enbridge Inc. Increases Quarterly Dividend $ENB



  • Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) declares CAD 0.738/share quarterly dividend, 10% increase from prior dividend of CAD 0.671.
  • Forward yield 7.02%
  • Payable March 1; for shareholders of record Feb. 15; ex-div Feb. 14.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide Increases Quarterly Dividend $CHRW



  • C.H. Robinson Worldwide (NASDAQ:CHRW) declares $0.50/share quarterly dividend, 8.7% increase from prior dividend of $0.46.
  • Forward yield 2.28%
  • Payable Dec. 31; for shareholders of record Dec. 17; ex-div Dec. 14.

Pentair plc Increases Quarterly Dividend $PNR



  • Pentair (NYSE:PNR) declares $0.18/share quarterly dividend, 2.9% increase from prior dividend of $0.175.
  • Forward yield 1.81%
  • Payable Feb. 8; for shareholders of record Jan. 25; ex-div Jan. 24.

10 Super Safe Growth Stocks for Long-Lasting Dividends


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



Despite the recent volatility, stocks are still mostly up for the year. When 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 dividends.

In this income-centric world, 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.




In case you interested of stock analysis of other bloggers, click on link below:


Analysis Collection


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



Disposals:


Ecolab Inc. (NYSE:ECL) Director Leslie S. Biller sold 2,811 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, November 30th. The stock was sold at an average price of $160.40, for a total value of $450,884.40. Following the transaction, the director now directly owns 57,842 shares in the company, valued at approximately $9,277,856.80. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through this hyperlink. Ecolab stock opened at $156.74 on Thursday. The company has a quick ratio of 0.90, a current ratio of 1.34 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.79. Ecolab Inc. has a 52 week low of $125.74 and a 52 week high of $162.91. The firm has a market cap of $45.28 billion, a PE ratio of 33.42, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.33 and a beta of 0.88. Read more …

Franklin Resources, Inc. (NYSE:BEN) EVP Craig Steven Tyle sold 10,216 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $34.26, for a total transaction of $350,000.16. The sale was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through this link.

Craig Steven Tyle also recently made the following trade(s):
On Tuesday, September 4th, Craig Steven Tyle sold 11,165 shares of Franklin Resources stock. The shares were sold at an average price of $31.35, for a total transaction of $350,022.75.

BEN opened at $33.27 on Thursday. Franklin Resources, Inc. has a 12-month low of $28.12 and a 12-month high of $45.96. The company has a quick ratio of 3.71, a current ratio of 3.71 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.07. The company has a market cap of $17.07 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 10.43, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.17 and a beta of 1.30. Read more …

Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) CMO Christopher C. Capossela sold 10,000 shares of the stock in a transaction on Monday, December 3rd. The shares were sold at an average price of $111.77, for a total value of $1,117,700.00. Following the sale, the chief marketing officer now directly owns 177,931 shares in the company, valued at $19,887,347.87. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available through this hyperlink. Read more …
Microsoft Co. (NASDAQ:MSFT) EVP Christopher C. Capossela sold 4,000 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Thursday, December 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $108.00, for a total value of $432,000.00. Following the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 173,931 shares in the company, valued at approximately $18,784,548. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Microsoft stock traded down $4.37 during midday trading on Friday, reaching $104.82. The stock had a trading volume of 44,227,347 shares, compared to its average volume of 30,332,729. Microsoft Co. has a 1-year low of $83.33 and a 1-year high of $116.18. The firm has a market cap of $835.58 billion, a PE ratio of 27.02, a P/E/G ratio of 1.96 and a beta of 1.25. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.88, a quick ratio of 2.85 and a current ratio of 2.92. Read more …




QUALCOMM, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) President Cristiano R. Amon sold 18,323 shares of the firm’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, December 3rd. The stock was sold at an average price of $60.23, for a total value of $1,103,594.29. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which is available through this link. NASDAQ:QCOM traded down $1.41 during mid-day trading on Tuesday, reaching $57.73. The stock had a trading volume of 15,801,409 shares, compared to its average volume of 12,743,625. The company has a quick ratio of 1.40, a current ratio of 1.55 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 16.56. The company has a market cap of $70.62 billion, a P/E ratio of 18.10, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.67. QUALCOMM, Inc. has a twelve month low of $48.56 and a twelve month high of $76.50. Read more …