5 Top Dividend Stocks to Buy Now


These five income-generating stocks could power your portfolio to market-beating returns.



There's no shortage of stock selection criteria that investors can use in pursuit of market-beating returns, but no strategy has more reliably created wealth than buying quality dividend stocks, setting the payments to reinvest, and holding for the long term.

Whether an investor is young or old, new to the market or a seasoned pro, income-generating stocks can play a key role in elevating portfolio performance and paving a path to financial freedom. Owning a collection of dividend stocks shouldn't be thought of as a way to generate great returns without work, research, or risk, but dividend investing does present a blueprint that the average investor can thrive with once he or she knows what to look for and has a solid foundation to build on.

Understanding the basics of dividends
When you buy a stock, you're purchasing an ownership stake in that business, and some companies will opt to distribute a portion of earnings to their shareholders in the form of cash dividends. Not every company chooses to pay a dividend -- with some instead preferring to reinvest cash flows into growing the business, pay down debts, or build capital reserves in accordance with their needs.

Depending on the state of the business and its growth needs, returning income to shareholders isn't always the best use of capital. Companies that are in relatively early growth stages tend to be better served by funneling profits back into expanding the business, but there are clear reasons many investors flock to income-generating stocks.




Companies that are in a position to pay regular dividends tend to have dependable earnings, and this characteristic in conjunction with the power of compounding and reinvestment have led dividend stocks as a category to outperform their non-income-generating counterparts over the long term. That doesn't mean investors should just select dividend stocks at random and expect to beat the market, however.




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Meredith is in Transition, But 25-year Dividend Growth Streak Continues


Meredith (MDP) is one of the nation's oldest media and publishing companies, having been founded in 1902 as an agricultural publisher. More impressively, the firm has paid uninterrupted dividends for 71 consecutive years and has increased its dividend in each of the last 25 years.

At its core, Meredith provides consumers with the content they want by leveraging print, digital, mobile, video, and broadcast TV media platforms. Advertising is the company's largest source of revenue.

Meredith organizes its various media businesses into two segments:


  1. Local Media (31% of sales, 66% of operating profits): owns 17 local TV stations including: seven CBS affiliates, five FOX affiliates, two MyNetworkTV affiliates, one NBC affiliate, one ABC affiliate, and two independent stations. This segment also includes 12 websites and about 30 applications focused on news, sports, and weather-related information. The local TV stations reach 11% of all U.S. households.
  2. National Media (69% of sales, 34% of operating profits): publishes magazines targeted to women, including well known titles such as: People, Better Homes & Gardens, InStyle, Allrecipes, Real Simple, Shape, Southern Living, and Martha Stewart Living. This segment also runs approximately 60 websites and over a dozen smartphone applications hosting special interest publications.




Nationally, the firm reaches over 175 million American consumers directly, has more than 120 million magazine readers, paid circulation in excess of 40 million subscribers, and 140 million monthly unique visitors to its websites. Meredith also reaches 80% of all millennial women, and 65% of all Latinas.




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Week's Most Significant Insider Trades: Week of November 5, 2018


Disposals:


American Express (NYSE:AXP) Chairman Stephen J. Squeri sold 12,500 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $103.84, for a total value of $1,298,000.00. Following the sale, the chairman now owns 209,957 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $21,801,934.88. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is accessible through this hyperlink. Shares of NYSE AXP traded up $1.50 during mid-day trading on Monday, reaching $105.21. The company had a trading volume of 2,697,676 shares, compared to its average volume of 3,579,099. American Express has a twelve month low of $87.54 and a twelve month high of $111.77. The company has a current ratio of 1.88, a quick ratio of 1.88 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 2.58. The company has a market capitalization of $88.60 billion, a PE ratio of 17.92, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 1.40 and a beta of 1.06. Read more …

NextEra Energy Inc (NYSE:NEE) CEO Armando Pimentel, Jr. sold 4,920 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, November 6th. The stock was sold at an average price of $170.11, for a total transaction of $836,941.20. Following the completion of the transaction, the chief executive officer now owns 59,969 shares in the company, valued at $10,201,326.59. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. NextEra Energy stock traded down $0.80 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $172.74. 92,364 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,866,117. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.72, a current ratio of 0.65 and a quick ratio of 0.57. NextEra Energy Inc has a 12 month low of $145.10 and a 12 month high of $176.82. The stock has a market cap of $81.95 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 25.74, a PEG ratio of 2.64 and a beta of 0.13. Read more …

Becton Dickinson and Co (NYSE:BDX) Director Timothy M. Ring sold 42,000 shares of Becton Dickinson and stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The stock was sold at an average price of $237.07, for a total value of $9,956,940.00. Following the sale, the director now directly owns 93,688 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $22,210,614.16. The transaction was disclosed in a document filed with the SEC, which is available at this hyperlink. Shares of BDX traded up $4.60 during midday trading on Thursday, hitting $241.46. The company’s stock had a trading volume of 259,633 shares, compared to its average volume of 1,330,895. Becton Dickinson and Co has a one year low of $209.91 and a one year high of $265.87. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.95, a quick ratio of 0.81 and a current ratio of 1.23. The firm has a market cap of $64.40 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.93, a PEG ratio of 1.44 and a beta of 1.19. Read more …

Becton Dickinson and Co (NYSE:BDX) EVP James C. Lim sold 5,189 shares of the stock in a transaction on Thursday, November 8th. The shares were sold at an average price of $242.36, for a total value of $1,257,606.04. Following the completion of the sale, the executive vice president now owns 13,318 shares of the company’s stock, valued at $3,227,750.48. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which is available at this link. Read more ...

Hasbro, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS) EVP Wiebe Tinga sold 6,000 shares of the company’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Wednesday, November 7th. The shares were sold at an average price of $99.80, for a total transaction of $598,800.00. Following the completion of the transaction, the executive vice president now owns 44,559 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $4,446,988.20. The transaction was disclosed in a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. HAS traded down $2.09 during trading hours on Thursday, hitting $98.31. 74,720 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 1,871,147. Hasbro, Inc. has a 1-year low of $79.00 and a 1-year high of $109.60. The stock has a market capitalization of $12.50 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.04, a PEG ratio of 1.99 and a beta of 0.96. The company has a current ratio of 2.41, a quick ratio of 1.95 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.90. Read more …

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of November 5, 2018


Upgrades:


Credit Suisse Group upgraded shares of Chevron (NYSE:CVX) from a neutral rating to an outperform rating in a research report released on Monday, MarketBeat reports. Credit Suisse Group currently has $138.00 price objective on the oil and gas company’s stock. Several other brokerages have also recently commented on CVX. ValuEngine cut Chevron from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. Zacks Investment Research raised Chevron from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $137.00 price target for the company in a research report on Monday, October 1st. Redburn Partners cut Chevron from a buy rating to a neutral rating and reduced their price target for the company from $130.00 to $115.00 in a research report on Wednesday, October 3rd. Piper Jaffray Companies reissued an overweight rating on shares of Chevron in a research report on Tuesday, October 23rd. Finally, Royal Bank of Canada set a $150.00 price target on Chevron and gave the company a hold rating in a research report on Thursday, September 20th. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating, sixteen have given a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the company’s stock. Chevron currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $138.13. Read more …

Consolidated Edison (NYSE:ED) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Goldman Sachs Group from a “sell” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, The Fly reports. The firm currently has a $73.00 price target on the utilities provider’s stock, up from their prior price target of $72.00. Goldman Sachs Group’s target price indicates a potential downside of 4.00% from the stock’s previous close. ED has been the subject of several other research reports. Morgan Stanley upped their target price on Consolidated Edison from $77.00 to $81.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 11th. ValuEngine raised Consolidated Edison from a “sell” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, October 2nd. Bank of America upped their target price on Consolidated Edison from $84.50 to $85.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research note on Wednesday, September 26th. Scotiabank assumed coverage on Consolidated Edison in a research note on Tuesday, July 24th. They issued a “sell” rating and a $32.00 target price for the company. Finally, Barclays assumed coverage on Consolidated Edison in a research note on Tuesday, July 10th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $81.00 target price for the company. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and one has issued a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus price target of $77.18. Read more …

Wells Fargo & Co upgraded shares of Enbridge (NYSE:ENB) (TSE:ENB) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report released on Monday morning, Marketbeat.com reports. A number of other research analysts have also weighed in on ENB. Morgan Stanley raised their price target on shares of Enbridge from $34.00 to $37.00 and gave the company an equal weight rating in a research report on Friday, July 13th. ValuEngine lowered shares of Enbridge from a hold rating to a sell rating in a research report on Thursday, August 2nd. UBS Group assumed coverage on shares of Enbridge in a research report on Thursday, October 4th. They set a buy rating on the stock. Zacks Investment Research raised shares of Enbridge from a hold rating to a buy rating and set a $38.00 price target on the stock in a research report on Monday, October 8th. Finally, Citigroup reissued a neutral rating on shares of Enbridge in a research report on Monday, September 24th. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and seven have assigned a buy rating to the company. Enbridge currently has a consensus rating of Buy and a consensus price target of $49.17. Read more …

National-Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV) was upgraded by analysts at Tudor Pickering from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Monday, MarketBeat.com reports. NOV has been the subject of several other reports. R. F. Lafferty upgraded shares of National-Oilwell Varco from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating and raised their target price for the company from $41.00 to $51.00 in a research note on Tuesday, August 21st. Edward Jones downgraded shares of National-Oilwell Varco from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 4th. Morgan Stanley started coverage on shares of National-Oilwell Varco in a research note on Tuesday, September 18th. They issued an “equal weight” rating and a $50.00 target price for the company. Citigroup raised their target price on shares of National-Oilwell Varco from $39.00 to $45.00 and gave the company a “neutral” rating in a research note on Wednesday, July 11th. Finally, Cowen reiterated a “hold” rating and issued a $45.00 target price on shares of National-Oilwell Varco in a research note on Friday, October 12th. Two analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, fourteen have assigned a hold rating and ten have given a buy rating to the stock. The stock has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $43.27. Read more …

Raymond James upgraded shares of Main Street Capital (NYSE:MAIN) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a report published on Monday, MarketBeat Ratings reports. The firm currently has $41.00 price target on the financial services provider’s stock. The analysts noted that the move was a valuation call. Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on MAIN. National Securities increased their price target on shares of Main Street Capital from $35.00 to $38.00 and gave the stock a neutral rating in a report on Wednesday, August 8th. SunTrust Banks reiterated a hold rating and issued a $40.00 price target on shares of Main Street Capital in a report on Friday, August 3rd. Zacks Investment Research downgraded shares of Main Street Capital from a hold rating to a sell rating in a report on Tuesday, July 10th. Finally, Janney Montgomery Scott set a $35.00 price target on shares of Main Street Capital and gave the stock a hold rating in a report on Friday, November 2nd. Four research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and three have given a buy rating to the company’s stock. The company currently has an average rating of Hold and an average price target of $39.50. Read more …

Raymond James upgraded shares of Noble Energy (NYSE:NBL) from a market perform rating to an outperform rating in a research report sent to investors on Wednesday morning, MarketBeat Ratings reports. Other equities research analysts have also issued research reports about the stock. Citigroup dropped their price objective on shares of Noble Energy from $44.00 to $42.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, August 13th. Morgan Stanley dropped their price objective on shares of Noble Energy from $39.00 to $36.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Thursday, August 16th. Jefferies Financial Group set a $46.00 price objective on shares of Noble Energy and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 7th. Oppenheimer began coverage on shares of Noble Energy in a research note on Wednesday, October 3rd. They set a market perform rating and a $43.00 price objective on the stock. Finally, Stifel Nicolaus set a $40.00 price objective on shares of Noble Energy and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Friday, August 3rd. One research analyst has rated the stock with a sell rating, nine have issued a hold rating and twenty-one have assigned a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Buy and a consensus target price of $41.96. Read more …

Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE:ADM) was upgraded by stock analysts at Argus from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research report issued on Thursday, The Fly reports. Several other equities research analysts have also commented on ADM. Cleveland Research reiterated a “hold” rating on shares of Archer Daniels Midland in a research report on Monday, October 1st. Stephens reiterated an “overweight” rating on shares of Archer Daniels Midland in a research report on Thursday, August 16th. Morgan Stanley boosted their price objective on shares of Archer Daniels Midland from $33.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock an “equal weight” rating in a research report on Friday, August 3rd. BMO Capital Markets boosted their price objective on shares of Archer Daniels Midland from $45.00 to $50.00 and gave the stock a “market perform” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Finally, Buckingham Research boosted their price objective on shares of Archer Daniels Midland from $53.00 to $57.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, August 1st. Eight equities research analysts have rated the stock with a hold rating and eight have given a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of “Buy” and a consensus target price of $49.36. Read more …

Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE:BAM) (TSE:BAM.A) was upgraded by equities research analysts at Credit Suisse Group from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a note issued to investors on Friday. The brokerage presently has a $50.00 price objective on the financial services provider’s stock. Credit Suisse Group’s price objective suggests a potential upside of 16.93% from the stock’s current price. A number of other research analysts also recently weighed in on the stock. BMO Capital Markets initiated coverage on shares of Brookfield Asset Management in a report on Thursday, September 20th. They set an “outperform” rating and a $54.00 price target on the stock. Royal Bank of Canada raised their price target on shares of Brookfield Asset Management from $46.00 to $47.00 and gave the company an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, August 10th. Finally, Scotiabank restated a “buy” rating and set a $50.50 price target on shares of Brookfield Asset Management in a report on Tuesday, August 7th. Six analysts have rated the stock with a buy rating. Brookfield Asset Management has a consensus rating of “Buy” and an average price target of $51.42. Read more …


Downgrades:


Viacom (NASDAQ:VIAB) was downgraded by research analysts at UBS Group from a “buy” rating to a “neutral” rating in a research note issued to investors on Monday, The Fly reports. Several other equities research analysts also recently issued reports on the company. ValuEngine downgraded Viacom from a “hold” rating to a “sell” rating in a report on Friday. BidaskClub downgraded Viacom from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Saturday, October 27th. Zacks Investment Research downgraded Viacom from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a report on Monday, October 15th. Morgan Stanley reiterated an “equal weight” rating and set a $34.00 price objective on shares of Viacom in a report on Monday, October 15th. Finally, B. Riley upgraded Viacom from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating and increased their price objective for the stock from $34.00 to $39.00 in a report on Wednesday, September 26th. Three investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, twenty have issued a hold rating and five have given a buy rating to the stock. The company has an average rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $34.70. Read more …





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7 Safe Dividend Stocks to Buy Now


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



While it may seem like a coincidence that the market often tanks right around Halloween, there’s a good reason why fall is a scary time for investors. That’s because many traders and fund managers tend to relax in late summer, going on vacation and otherwise tuning out of the markets. After Labor Day, all the smart money gets back to work. If financial conditions have deteriorated significantly in the interim, it can lead to growing waves of technically induced selling that crescendo in October or early November. Value, growth, dividend stocks — everything is on edge.

And in 2018, while the American economy remains robust, other headwinds are causing investors to panic. Causing perhaps the most concern, the new Federal Reserve chairman — 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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5 Deeply Discounted Value Stocks That Haven't Been This Cheap in at Least a Decade

As value stocks come back into focus, don't overlook these cheap stocks. October has been a wake-up call for investors that ...