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Showing posts from January, 2021

Is AT&T (T) Stock a Buy?

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  AT&T reported earnings today and although they beat expectations, the stock is trading down over 2% so far. The company was light on revenues compared to 2019 but did report free cash flow for the year of $27.5 billion, slightly below the $29 billion reported in 2019.   However, on a promising note to some, the company did put their cash flow to good use. For starters, they reduced their debt maturities over the next 5 years by about 50% and lowered their weighted average interest rate on debt to only 4%.   On the conference call, CEO John Stankey articulated three priorities for the year.   First, they are looking to grow their direct customer relationships, second, to transform their operations to be more effective and efficient, and third, and most importantly, to use their free cash flow after dividends to pay down debt.   On the negative side, the company did not increase their dividend as some had hoped, but did commit to maintaining it.   Since I have

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of January 25, 2021

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  Upgrades:   Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE:WFC) was upgraded by stock analysts at Credit Suisse Group from a "neutral" rating to an "outperform" rating in a research report issued to clients and investors on Monday, Briefing.com reports. The firm currently has a $40.00 target price on the financial services provider's stock, up from their prior target price of $35.00. Credit Suisse Group's price target points to a potential upside of 25.39% from the company's current price. A number of other research firms have also recently weighed in on WFC. Jefferies Financial Group upgraded shares of Wells Fargo & Company from a "hold" rating to a "buy" rating and upped their price target for the company from $26.00 to $38.00 in a research note on Thursday, January 7th. Royal Bank of Canada upgraded shares of Wells Fargo & Company from an "underperform" rating to a "sector perform" rating and upped their price

Dividend Aristocrats: International Business Machines

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  For the 2021 Dividend Aristocrats In Focus series, first up is International Business Machines (IBM). Last year, IBM raised its dividend for the 25th year in a row, making it one of the newest members of the Dividend Aristocrats.   IBM has struggled through a prolonged turnaround effort in the past few years. The company has invested heavily in new areas such as artificial intelligence, data, and cloud services while attempting to divest slow-growth legacy businesses. These efforts have had mixed results, as the company is still having difficulty returning to growth.   However, IBM has continued to raise its dividend each year. With a high dividend yield above 5% and consistent dividend increases each year, IBM stock could be viewed favorably by income investors.   Business Overview   IBM is a global information technology company that provides integrated enterprise solutions for software, hardware, and services. In the services business, IBM is the world’s largest IT

Northrop Grumman Offers Tremendous Value

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  The stock has struggled over the last year, but looks to be very undervalued   While the S&P 500 has railed almost 16% over the last year, the aerospace and defense sector has struggled. One of the worst performers in the group is Northrop Grumman Corp. (NYSE:NOC), which is down by more than 20% over the last 12 months.   There is a lot to like about Northrop Grumman, including higher defense spending, a record backlog for the company and nearly two decades of dividend growth. These are some of the reasons I have been so bullish on the stock. While the recent stock performance has been very weak, shares now trade at a price that offers the potential for tremendous gains.   Company background and historical performance   Northrop Grumman is one of the largest aerospace and defense contractors in the country. The company is comprised of four reportable business segments, including Aeronautics Systems, which provides manned and unmanned aircraft and UAVs, Mission Sys

B&G Foods, Inc. Serves Up 6.7% Yield During COVID-19

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  B&G Foods Stock Has Paid Out a Dividend Every Quarter Since 2004     Stocks are trading at record territory, meaning it’s difficult to find undervalued stocks with great near- and long-term growth potential. At the same time, rock-bottom interest rates mean investors aren’t making anything off their fixed-income assets.   The Federal Reserve has kept interest rates artificially low since the Great Recession. It has done so to make borrowing cheap, which is supposed to juice the economy. It has been great news for businesses, but not for average American investors who socked money away in the hopes of supplementing their salaries or pensions with passive income.   Even with a $1.0-million nest egg, you’d take home less in interest than you would if you worked at a fast-food restaurant.   Because of the coronavirus and ongoing economic challenges, things are not going to change anytime soon. In fact, Jerome Powell, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, said he has no

Automatic Data Processing Inc: 46 Years of Dividend Increases & Still Going Strong

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  A Dividend Growth Stock You Likely Haven’t Considered  With so much hype around soaring tech stocks, Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NASDAQ:ADP) is not a name that gets mentioned often in the financial media. In fact, it doesn’t even get as much attention as the “boring” consumer staples stocks, because the latter are known to be recession-proof and have actually been hot commodities during the COVID-19 pandemic.   Still, if you’re an income investor and don’t know about ADP stock, now would be a good time to give it a serious look. Automatic Data Processing recently boosted its payout to shareholders, which is quite an impressive feat, given what’s been going on in the world over the past year.   On November 11, 2020, the company’s board of directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.93 per share, which marked a 2.2% increase from Automatic Data Processing stock’s previous quarterly payout. The increased dividend was paid on January 1, 2021 to shareholders of record

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of January 18, 2021

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  Upgrades:   Digital Realty Trust (NYSE:DLR) was upgraded by research analysts at Raymond James from an “outperform” rating to a “strong-buy” rating in a research report issued on Tuesday, Anlyst Ratings reports. The firm currently has a $175.00 target price on the real estate investment trust’s stock. Raymond James’ target price suggests a potential upside of 26.86% from the company’s current price. Several other research firms have also commented on DLR. Morgan Stanley raised their price objective on shares of Digital Realty Trust from $141.00 to $148.00 and gave the company an “equal weight” rating in a research note on Tuesday, September 29th. Edward Jones upgraded shares of Digital Realty Trust from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a report on Friday, December 18th. Credit Suisse Group increased their target price on shares of Digital Realty Trust from $173.00 to $179.00 and gave the stock an “outperform” rating in a report on Friday, October 30th. TD Securities upgrade

9 Best Utility Stocks to Buy for 2021

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  Utility stocks: They're steady, they're dependable, they deliver income. That's the case with most of these top 2021 picks ... but a couple break the mold.     Utility stocks aren't exactly the most glamorous energy-related investment on Wall Street.   If you want dynamic energy stocks, solar energy and hydrogen fuel cell picks offer a ton more growth potential. Or if you want deep value investments, struggling Big Oil giants that are trading at a fraction of their value from a few years ago could be aggressive plays that pay off.   But utilities do offer one thing few other energy-related stocks can offer: unrivaled stability. After all, electricity is as much a necessity as food and water for the typical household in the 21st century. Furthermore, the highly regulated nature of the sector and lack of competition in most geographies adds a layer of predictability that you simply won't find in disruptive industries such as Big Oil or alternative energy

21 Best Retirement Stocks for an Income-Rich 2021

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  The ideal retirement stocks will help investors generate a sizable and reliable income stream. These 21 dividend payers make the grade.     Investors in retirement must figure out how to generate enough income without a job while also making sure they don't outlive their income stream. Naturally, then, the best retirement stocks to buy in 2021 (or any other year) to accomplish those objectives are ones that pay dividends.   Regular dividends lessen an investor's dependence on the market's fickle price swings because it reduces or eliminates the need to sell shares to generate income. Regardless of whether the market rises or falls in 2021, a portfolio of high-quality companies can provide you with predictable, growing dividend income.   And in today's low-interest-rate environment, dividend stocks can generate much higher income than many fixed-income instruments. Better still, many dividend-paying stocks grow their payouts, which preserves those dividends

PPL Stock Has Paid Quarterly Dividends for 300 Consecutive Quarters

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  PPL Stock Has Paid Quarterly Dividends for 300 Consecutive Quarters   The Great Recession and the coronavirus pandemic are two recent events that allowed the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world to step in and unleash unprecedented fiscal and monetary policies.   Artificially lowering interest rates to essentially zero makes it cheap to borrow money and juice the economy—or at least that’s the premise. Helping fuel the economy comes at a cost though: low interest rates have decimated retirement portfolios.   The fact is, interest rates have been kept artificially low since 2008, which means the Fed has effectively removed the “income” from fixed-income assets like Treasuries, bonds, and certificates of deposit (CDs). That’s terrible news for anyone who was looking for their fixed-income investments to help see them through retirement.   In December 2020, the Fed maintained its target for the federal funds rate at a range of zero percent to 0.25%. R

The 7 Top Dividend Stocks for 2021

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  Some of the top stocks for 2021 will compensate investors with steady dividends    Last year was a tale of two halves for dividend equities. Owing to the novel coronavirus pandemic, the first half of 2020 was chock full of payout cuts and suspensions by S&P 500 member firms, but dividends rebounded mightily in the second half of the year, indicating that many of the top stocks for 2021 are dividend payers.   The fourth-quarter trajectory of S&P 500 payouts indicates that the darkest clouds of the coronavirus cuts have passed. And dividend investors could be in for better things this year.   “Indicated dividend net changes (increases less decreases) for U.S. domestic common stocks increased $9.5 billion during Q4 2020, compared to a decline of $2.3 billion in Q3 2020, and a gain of $10.6 billion in Q4 2019,” noted the S&P Dow Jones Indices. “For Q4 2020, aggregate increases amounted to $13.9 billion, up 64.2% from the $8.4 billion increase of Q3 2020 and up 15.

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of January 11, 2021 (Part 2)

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  Upgrades:   Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) was upgraded by equities research analysts at BMO Capital Markets from a “market perform” rating to an “outperform” rating in a note issued to investors on Thursday, Briefing.com reports. The brokerage presently has a $70.00 price target on the chip maker’s stock, up from their previous price target of $50.00. BMO Capital Markets’ target price would indicate a potential upside of 22.91% from the stock’s current price. A number of other equities analysts have also recently issued reports on INTC. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft cut their target price on shares of Intel from $60.00 to $55.00 and set a “hold” rating on the stock in a report on Friday, October 23rd. The Goldman Sachs Group raised their target price on shares of Intel from $38.00 to $42.00 and gave the stock a “sell” rating in a report on Monday, December 14th. Bank of America cut shares of Intel to a “sell” rating and set a $45.00 target price on the stock. in a report on Tuesday, D

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of January 11, 2021 (Part 1)

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  Upgrades:   Walgreens Boots Alliance (NASDAQ:WBA) was upgraded by analysts at Robert W. Baird from a “neutral” rating to an “outperform” rating in a report issued on Monday, Anlyst Ratings reports. The firm currently has a $55.00 price objective on the pharmacy operator’s stock, up from their previous price objective of $41.00. Robert W. Baird’s price target would indicate a potential upside of 21.65% from the company’s previous close. A number of other equities analysts have also weighed in on WBA. Credit Suisse Group initiated coverage on Walgreens Boots Alliance in a research note on Thursday. They set a “neutral” rating and a $42.00 price objective on the stock. Truist Financial boosted their price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $40.00 to $44.00 in a research note on Tuesday, January 5th. Citigroup lowered their price objective on Walgreens Boots Alliance from $43.00 to $40.00 and set a “neutral” rating on the stock in a research note on Friday, October 16th. Bi

Is Bristol-Myers Squibb Stock A Buy?

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  Bristol-Myers Squibb Co (NYSE:BMY) a large American pharmaceutical giant. Its prescription drug portfolio includes treatments for a wide variety of ailments, including HIV, cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and psychiatric disorders.   It grew through a series of acquisitions over the years to be a prominent drug company, even before the pandemic.   You may buy its drugs, but is Bristol-Myers Squibb stock a Buy?   Although it has an impressive portfolio, the government’s Operation Warp Speed coronavirus vaccine program overlooked BMY.   Its CEO attached the company to OWS through auxiliary programs, but it didn’t receive the billion-dollar research grants its contemporaries did.   Still, it took it on the chin and continued pushing to involve itself in the accompanying research and development.   Bristol-Myers Squibb Is A Top 100 Company   Bristol-Myers Squibb was founded in 1887 and is a component of both the S&P 100 and S&P 500 indices. I

Need Yield? Try These 5 Best BDCs for 2021

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  Business development companies (BDCs) are a small but high-yielding industry that effectively acts as private equity for the common man. If you're looking for stable, high-yield income, business development company (BDC) stocks should be on your short list. BDCs are generally some of the highest-yielding equities available, and today is no exception.   BDCs are similar to their cousins, real estate investment trusts (REITs), in that both were creations of Congress to stimulate investment, and both benefit from preferential tax treatment. They pay no income taxes at the corporate level so long as they pay out at least 90% of their net income to their investors as dividends. This is why BDCs, along with REITs, tend to have such high dividend yields. They're legally mandated to pay out nearly every red cent.   BDCs are essentially private equity funds. The only real differences are that private equity funds tend to be opaque, have long lockups and are restricted to h

The Top 10 Warren Buffett Stocks

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  Invest like the Oracle of Omaha with these stocks   Multitudes of investors want to invest like Warren Buffett. After all, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:BRK.A, NYSE:BRK.B) has generated a return since 1987 to date of 11,863.86% compared to the S&P 500 Index’s return of a mere 2,954.00%   But what are the stocks that have been the basis of the massive market outperformance? And what has made Buffett work so well over the long history of the company that he leads?   Warren Buffett is one of the greatest investors of all time. And he has the report card to prove it, as just noted above. There are plenty of stories of his early years as an entrepreneur peddling door to door and like me working at a local grocery.   He would go on to the financial markets as a broker, working his way up at a series of firms. The basis for his public investment fortune and renown began with a series of investment partnerships, with locals investing in him and his investment process.   Th

Top 3 Dividend Growth Stocks to Own Today

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  While dividend growth sounds like a stodgy, old-fashioned approach to investing, the truth is that most dividend growth strategies have kept up with the stock market’s advance over the past decade.   That’s because they have one huge advantage…   Dividends cannot be taken back while price gains can disappear in the blink of an eye.   Take a look at the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats – companies that have increased their dividends every year for the last 25 years consecutively – for example… They’re up 178% over the last decade compared to 226% for the S&P 500.   But if you reinvested the dividends they paid out, you’d be looking at returns just north of 300%.   The idea of dividend growth stock investors may conjure up images of Grandpa shuffling out to the mailbox to see if his check from Big Boring Blue-Chip Incorporated has shown up yet.   But the truth is, we can focus on dividend growth and still own some of the companies that are making the world

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of January 4, 2021 (Part 2)

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  Upgrades:   The Hershey (NYSE:HSY) was upgraded by analysts at Bank of America from a “neutral” rating to a “buy” rating in a report issued on Wednesday, Briefing.com reports. The firm currently has a $168.00 target price on the stock. Bank of America‘s price target would suggest a potential upside of 11.46% from the stock’s current price. Several other brokerages also recently commented on HSY. Barclays restated a “hold” rating on shares of The Hershey in a research report on Sunday, November 8th. Deutsche Bank Aktiengesellschaft boosted their price objective on shares of The Hershey from $152.00 to $157.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Monday, November 9th. BidaskClub cut shares of The Hershey from a “sell” rating to a “strong sell” rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 23rd. Wells Fargo & Company reduced their price objective on shares of The Hershey from $155.00 to $149.00 and set an “equal weight” rating on the stock in a resea

Notable Analyst Upgrades and Downgrades for Week of January 4, 2021 (Part 1)

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  Upgrades:   Morgan Stanley (NYSE:MS) was upgraded by investment analysts at Barclays from an "equal weight" rating to an "overweight" rating in a note issued to investors on Monday, AR Network reports. The brokerage currently has a $88.00 target price on the financial services provider's stock. Barclays's target price points to a potential upside of 28.41% from the stock's current price. A number of other equities analysts also recently commented on MS. JPMorgan Chase & Co. assumed coverage on Morgan Stanley in a research note on Tuesday, October 13th. They issued an "overweight" rating and a $57.00 price target for the company. DA Davidson lifted their price target on Morgan Stanley from $64.00 to $68.00 in a research note on Friday, October 16th. ValuEngine downgraded Morgan Stanley from a "sell" rating to a "strong sell" rating in a research note on Wednesday, December 2nd. Berenberg Bank lifted their price ta