3 “Perfect 10” Dividend Stocks Yielding at Least 5%
Assessing where the markets will go can sometimes seem like more art than science, and an arcane art at that. But the data is out there to make sense of the stock movements.The TipRanks Smart Score is a perfect example. Scanning through the whole of the database, and assembling the information for every stock according to 8 categories known to predict future share performance, the Smart Score combines those categories into a single score that allows investors to see at a glance how the stock is likely to move in the coming year.That score is given on a scale from 1 to 10, with low scores indicating likely underperformance of the broader market, and higher scores indicating overperformance. A perfect score, a 10, is a rare gift for a stock. It doesn’t necessarily mean that every factor aligns perfectly – but it does indicate a potentially bright future for the stock in question.Today, we’ve pulled up three ‘Perfect 10’ stocks, which are also fine defensive plays, with dividends yielding 5% or higher. At a time when volatility is returning to the markets, the combination of likely overperformance and a strong dividend return makes these stocks that investors should take notice of.AT&T, Inc. (T)The first stock on the list needs no introduction, as it is a blue-chip standby of the S&P 500 index. AT&T is giant by any standard: the world’s largest telecom company, the US’ largest provider of mobile and landline phone services, and an emerging player in the content streaming business.Telecommunications products became even more important than usual during the ‘corona half’ of 2020, and AT&T saw comparatively moderate losses in Q1 and Q2. EPS came in at 84 and 83 cents for the quarters, compared to 89 cents in 4Q19. Revenues, at $41 billion in Q2, were down 12% from the end of last year. In short, the company took a hit, but remains solidly profitable.AT&T used those profits, in part, to keep up the dividend payment. The company has a reputation as a dividend champion, with 17 years of reliable payments behind it and a penchant for high yields. The current dividend is 52 cents per share quarterly and was paid out in August. At $2.08 annualized, this dividend offers investors a yield of 7.14%. That’s more than triple ~2% found among T’s S&P peers.Ivan Feinseth, 5-star analyst with Tigress Financial, writes of AT&T, “The resiliency of AT&T’s wireless business should continue to produce positive near-term Business Performance and should continue to accelerate as the economy recovers […] The ongoing 5G rollout, together with AT&T’s ability to leverage its entertainment assets for an extremely high dividend yield, will drive long-term shareholder value creation, making the shares a compelling value…”The resiliency of AT&T’s wireless business should continue to produce positive near-term Business Performance and should continue to accelerate as the economy recovers.Feinseth does not set a specific price target, but he does rate the stock a Buy. (To watch Feinseth’s track record, click here)AT&T has 11 analyst ratings, split among 7 Buys, 3 Holds, and 1 Sell. This gives the stock a Moderate Buy from the analyst consensus. Shares are selling for $29.12, and the $33.78 average price target suggests it has a 16% one-year upside potential. (See AT&T stock analysis on TipRanks)Physicians Realty Trust (DOC)Next on today’s list is Physicians Realty Trust, a real estate investment trust that focuses on the acquisition, development, and management of healthcare properties. The properties are leased to healthcare delivery systems, hospitals, and physician practices. The company has a portfolio of properties across the lower 48 states, and boasts a market cap of nearly $3.85 billion.During a pandemic crisis, owning a network of clinics and hospitals is an obvious asset. DOC bears this out in its 1H20 quarterly reports. The company reported 26 and 27 cents EPS in Q1 and Q2, in line with the results from 2019. Revenue also remained stable, and at $104.75 million is Q2, is even up slightly from Q4 of last year.Maintaining revenues and profits makes it easy to maintain the dividend. DOC has a 7-year history of keeping up its dividend, and the current payment of 23 cents per common share quarterly gives an annualized payment of 92 cents and a yield of 5%.Covering the stock for B. Riley FBR, analyst Craig Kucera sees DOC as both a strong player in its own right and a harbinger for its sector.“…the portfolio performed quite well in 2Q20 and DOC has not taken any bad debt reserves as it expects the small number of tenants who have yet to pay 2Q20 rent to pay in fairly short order. 2Q20 results were ahead of expectations, and we anticipate management to build on its investment pipeline of acquisitions, new developments and mezzanine investments over the next several quarters… Given the strength of cash collections thus far in the healthcare REIT space relative to other REIT sectors and a rapidly opening healthcare economy, we anticipate multiple expansion in the sector,” Kucera wrote. To this end, Kucera rates DOC a Buy along with with a $21 price target. That target implies 14% growth from current levels. (To watch Kucera’s track record, click here)Overall, DOC’s Moderate Buy consensus rating is based on 7 Buys and 3 Holds. Shares are currently trading for $18.42, and the $20 average target suggests a 9% upside. (See DOC stock analysis on TipRanks)LyondellBasell (LYB)Last on today’s list is LyondellBasell, a multinational global chemical company, with corporate offices in the Netherlands, the UK, and Texas. LyondellBasell is the world’s largest owner of polyethylene and polypropylene technologies, and derives much income from licensing their production. The company is also heavily involved in the ethylene, propylene, and polyolefin markets.The economic shutdown – imposed against the coronavirus – hit hard at industrial manufacturers in the 1H20. LYB saw financial results drop sharply in both Q1 and Q2. Quarterly revenues fell from $8.2 billion at the end of 2019 to $5.6 billion in 2Q20, while EPS dropped from $1.91 to 71 cents over the same period. There are two positive notes: Q2 earnings beat the forecast by 16%, and the outlook for Q3 shows a sharp turn upward, with EPS forecast at $1.20.Earlier this month, LYB paid out its dividend at $1.05 per common share. This marked the seventh consecutive quarter that the dividend has been paid at this level – it is important to note that the company did not cut or suspend its the payment, even during the height of the corona crisis. At the current level, the dividend annualizes to $4.20 per common share, and gives a yield of 5.58%.Joining the bulls, JPMorgan analyst Jeffrey Zekauskas has upgraded his stance on LYB shares from Neutral to Overweight (i.e. Buy). His $88 indicates a 15% upside potential for the coming year. (To watch Zekauskas’ track record, click here)In his comments on the stock, Zekauskas pointed out that the social lockdown policies have worked in the company’s favor.“Domestic polyethylene (PE) demand has been growing in 2020 despite the recession and the quarantines, and the US producers have been successfully addressing the export markets. The effects of strong growth in the consumer and packaging markets have more than offset contraction in the industrial sectors… We think the efficient way of investing in the effects of these trends and changes in the petrochemical industry over the coming year is through Lyondell,” Zekauskas opined. Overall, LYB shares have a Moderate Buy from the analyst consensus, based on 11 reviews that include 4 Buys and 8 Holds. The shares are selling for $76.55 and have recently appreciated right through the average price target of $74.60. Is Zekauskas’ upgrade on the stock a harbinger of more to come? This is one that bears watching. (See LYB stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Donald Trump’s Much-Hyped Health Care Plan Isn’t Much of a Plan at All
President Donald Trump delivers a speech about health care on Sept. 24, 2020 in Charlotte, North Carolina, less than six weeks before the November election. Credit – Brian Blanco—Getty Images
President Donald Trump, who has long promised a “beautiful” and “phenomenal” health care plan, announced a series of largely meaningless actions on Thursday during a speech in North Carolina that effectively served as a campaign event.
The most tangible proposal Trump unveiled was a vow to send $200 prescription drug discount cards to 33 million Medicare beneficiaries “in the coming weeks.” However, the President said the $6.6 billion outlay needed to fund this program would have to come from savings from his “most favored nations” drug pricing proposal, which he announced on Sept. 13, and which experts say would be close to impossible to implement before the November election.
The Trump Administration recently tried and failed to convince the pharmaceutical industry to fund a similar plan, according to the New York Times. It’s unclear if the version announced Thursday will see a different fate.
Trump also announced two non-binding executive orders on Thursday, one addressing the topic of surprise out-of-network medical bills and the other addressing the topic of protecting pre-existing conditions. These are two of Americans’ biggest complaints with the country’s health care system. But neither of these orders will have any immediate effect on the problem at hand.
The first non-binding executive order is simply a promise. It declares that “it is the policy of the United States that people who suffer from pre-existing conditions will be protected,” Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said on a press call with reporters before Trump’s speech. This does not create a policy or a law. Administration officials and the President himself said this would cover the same protections already established under the Affordable Care Act (ACA)—the health care law passed by former President Barack Obama, which the Trump Administration is currently trying to overturn in court.
The U.S. Supreme Court is set to hear a challenge to the ACA on Nov. 10, one week after Election Day. If the High Court overturns the law, the American health care system would be sent into chaos. (That prospect is now more likely since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has died and Trump has vowed to appoint a new judge to replace her as soon as possible.) The protections for those with pre-existing conditions that Trump is touting would evaporate, tens of millions of Americans would lose health insurance coverage and the current system of insurance marketplaces would disappear. Health care and legal experts noted that it’s unlikely the White House could put in place similar protections for people with pre-existing conditions without passing a law through Congress.
Trump, though, did not seem deterred. He told the often-cheering audience on Thursday that he was glad his Administration has been able to keep the ACA’s protections for pre-existing conditions even as Republicans successfully eliminated other provisions, like the so-called individual mandate. “We were able to terminate the individual mandate, but kept the provision protecting patients with pre-existing conditions,” Trump said.
This statement likely made the Trump Administration’s own Department of Justice (DOJ) lawyers squirm. In the current ACA case before the Supreme Court, DOJ lawyers are backing an argument that is at odds with the President’s words—that the Justices must find the entire ACA no longer constitutional since the individual mandate is no longer in effect.
And while Trump has often talked about protecting people with pre-existing conditions, his Administration has repeatedly taken actions that would have the opposite effect. The Administration has supported Congressional Republicans’ many attempts to repeal the ACA, which would eliminate protections for those with pre-existing conditions, and it championed cheaper, skimpier health insurance plans that allow insurers to deny coverage to those with pre-existing conditions.
The second non-binding executive order also does not commit Trump to taking action. Rather, it directs Azar to work with Congress to ban surprise out-of-network medical bills. If Congress does not pass legislation by Jan. 1, Azar told reporters, then Trump will direct him to take other actions. (Azar said he did not have other details on what those actions would be.)
Trump’s announcements Thursday failed to match his pledge of a “full and complete” health care plan. They also failed to make good on senior officials’ claims, made on the press call just ahead of Trump’s speech Thursday, that the President would present an “historic” proposal. But none of this came as much of a surprise to those in Washington or in the health care industry. Trump’s speech, less than six weeks before an election in which he’s trailing former Vice President Joe Biden in most polls, was widely viewed as another attempt to change the national conversation.
Trump is particularly lagging behind Biden on most health care issues, and surveys show that most Americans still disapprove of the President’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic. A new survey released by the Commonwealth Fund on Thursday found that the majority of likely voters in 10 battleground states said Biden is more likely to protect insurance coverage for pre-existing conditions. And a poll by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation this month found that the majority of voters trust Biden over Trump on a variety of health care issues, with the President only leading narrowly on prescription drug prices.
Trump’s top advisers, while striking an upbeat note before his event in North Carolina, demurred when asked for the details on how the President’s new plans would become reality. “It is what it is,” Azar said.
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3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Over 7% Dividend Yield
Markets are volatile, there can be no doubt. So far this month, the S&P 500 has fallen 9% from its peak. The tech-heavy NASDAQ, which had led the gainers all summer, is now leading the on the fall, having lost 11% since September 2. The three-week tumble has investors worried that we may be on the brink of another bear market.The headwinds are strong. The usual September swoon, the upcoming election, doubts about another round of economic stimulus – all are putting downward pressure on the stock markets.Which doesn’t mean that there are no opportunities. As the old saw goes, “Bulls and bears can both make money, while the pigs get slaughtered.” A falling market may worry investors, but a smart strategy can prevent the portfolio from losing too much long-term value while maintaining a steady income. Dividend stocks, which feed into the income stream, can be a key part of such a strategy.Using the data available in the TipRanks database, we’ve pulled up three stocks with high yields – from 7% to 11%, or up to 6 times the average dividend found on the S&P 500 index. Even better, these stocks are seen as Strong Buys by Wall Street’s analysts. Let’s find out why.Williams Companies (WMB)We start with Williams Companies, an Oklahoma-based energy company. Williams controls pipelines connecting Rocky Mountain natural gas fields with the Pacific Northwest region, and Appalachian and Texan fields with users in the Northeast and transport terminals on the Gulf Coast. The company’s primary operations are the processing and transport of natural gas, with additional ops in crude oil and energy generation. Williams handles nearly one-third of all US commercial and residential natural gas use.The essential nature of Williams’ business – really, modern society simply cannot get along without reliable energy sources – has insulated the company from some of the economic turndown in 1H20. Quarterly revenues slid from $2.1 billion at the end of last year to $1.9 billion in Q1 and $1.7 billion in Q2. EPS in the first half was 26 cents for Q1 and 25 cents for Q2 – but this was consistent with EPS results for the previous three quarters. The generally sound financial base supported the company’s reliable dividend. Williams has been raising that payment for the past four years, and even the corona crisis could not derail it. At 40 cents per common share, the dividend annualizes to $1.60 and yields an impressive 7.7%. The next payment is scheduled for September 28.Truist analyst Tristan Richardson sees Williams as one of the midstream sector’s best positioned companies.“We continue to look to WMB as a defensive component of midstream and favor its 2H prospects as broader midstream grasps at recovery… Beyond 2020 we see the value proposition as a stable footprint with free cash flow generation even in the current environment. We also see room for incremental leverage reduction throughout our forecast period on scaled back capital plans and even with the stable dividend. We look for modestly lower capex in 2021, however unlike more G&P oriented midstream firms, we see a project backlog in downstream that should support very modest growth,” Richardson noted.Accordingly, Richardson rates WMB shares as a Buy, and his $26 price target implies a 30% upside potential from current levels. (To watch Richardson’s track record, click here)Overall, the Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on WMB is based on 11 Buy reviews against just a single Hold. The stock’s current share price is $19.91 and the average price target is $24.58, making the one-year upside potential 23%. (See WMB stock analysis on TipRanks)Magellan Midstream (MMP)The second stock on our list is another midstream energy company, Magellan. This is another Oklahoma-based firm, with a network of assets across much of the US from the Rocky Mountains to the Mississippi Valley, and into the Southeast. Magellan’s network transports crude oil and refined products, and includes Gulf Coast export shipping terminals.Magellan’s total revenues rose sequentially to $782.8 in Q1, and EPS came in at $1.28, well above the forecast. These numbers turned down drastically in Q2, as revenue fell to $460.4 million and EPS collapsed to 65 cents. The outlook for Q3 predicts a modest recovery, with EPS forecast at 85 cents. The company strengthened its position in the second quarter with an issue of 10-year senior notes, totaling $500 million, at 3.25%. This reduced the company’s debt service payments, and shored up liquidity, making possible the maintenance of the dividend.The dividend was kept steady at $1.0275 per common share quarterly. Annualized, this comes to $4.11, a good absolute return, and gives a yield of 11.1%, giving MMP a far higher return than Treasury bonds or the average S&P-listed stock.Well Fargo analyst Praneeth Satish believes that MMP has strong prospects for recovery. “[We] view near-term weakness in refined products demand as temporary and recovering. In the interim, MMP remains well positioned given its strong balance sheet and liquidity position, and ratable cash flow stream…” Satish goes on to note that the dividend appears secure for the near-term: “The company plans to maintain the current quarterly distribution for the rest of the year.”In line with this generally upbeat outlook, Satish gives MMP an Overweight (i.e. Buy) rating, and a $54 price target that implies 57% growth in the coming year. (To watch Satish’s track record, click here)Net net, MMP shares have a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, a show of confidence by Wall Street’s analyst corps. The stock is selling for $33.44, and the average price target of $51.13 implies 53% growth in the year ahead. (See MMP stock analysis on TipRanks)Ready Capital Corporation (RC)The second stock on our list is a real estate investment trust. No surprise finding one of these in a list of strong dividend payers – REITs have long been known for their high dividend payments. Ready Capital, which focuses on the commercial mortgage niche of the REIT sector, has a portfolio of loans in real estate securities and multi-family dwellings. RC has provided more than $3 billion in capital to its loan customers.In the first quarter of this year, when the coronavirus hit, the economy turned south, and business came to a standstill, Ready Capital took a heavy blow. Revenues fell by 58%, and Q1 EPS came in at just one penny. Things turned around in Q2, however, after the company took measures – including increasing liquidity, reducing liabilities, and increasing involvement in government-sponsored lending – to shore up business. Revenues rose to $87 million and EPS rebounded to 70 cents.In the wake of the strong Q2 results, RC also started restoring its dividend. In Q1 the company had slashed the payment from 40 cents to 25 cents; in the most recent declaration, for an October 30 payment, the new dividend is set at 30 cents per share. This annualizes to $1.20 and gives a strong yield of 9.9%.Crispin Love, writing from Piper Sandler, notes the company’s success in getting back on track.“Given low interest rates, Ready Capital had a record $1.2B in residential mortgage originations versus our $1.1B estimate. Gain on sale margins were also at record levels. We are calculating gain on sale margins of 3.7%, up from 2.4% in 1Q20,” Love wrote.In a separate note, written after the dividend declaration, Love added, “We believe that the Board’s actions show an increased confidence for the company to get back to its pre-pandemic $0.40 dividend. In recent earnings calls, management has commented that its goal is to get back to stabilized earnings above $0.40, which would support a dividend more in-line with pre-pandemic levels.”To this end, Love rates RC an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $12 price target, suggesting an upside of 14%. (To watch Love’s track record, click here)All in all, Ready Capital has a unanimous Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 4 recent positive reviews. The stock has an average price target of $11.50, which gives a 9% upside from the current share price of $10.51. (See RC stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
Parents knowingly sent kids with coronavirus to school, Wisconsin officials say
Parents are knowingly sending their children who have coronavirus back to classes in Wisconsin, health officials said on Thursday, which could lead to potential school district shutdowns.
“The health department has worked with school districts since spring to make a plan to reopen,” Kirsten Johnson, Washington-Ozaukee public health director, told NBC News. “Never in a million years did we imagine or think to account for parents deliberately sending their sick or symptomatic child to school.”
In Washington and Ozaukee counties, which sit right above Milwaukee, there is a patchwork of fall reopening plans. Johnson said that while many schools offered students the option to go to school five days a week, all of them have been “proactive” in implementing preventative measures like staggered start times, reduced classroom capacity, and required face coverings.
More than two dozen schools in the counties are under investigation where at least one student or staff member has tested positive for Covid-19, according to the Washington-Ozaukee Public Health Department’s dashboard. Out of the 15 school districts, 11 are currently under investigation.
There has been at least one positive or suspected case in all school districts, according to Johnson.
Wisconsin, which has recorded 1,268 deaths, isn’t the first state facing difficulties with parents refusing to follow public health protocols. Connecticut has already sent some school districts back home due to outbreaks. A high school student in Massachusetts tested positive for Covid-19 on Sunday, forcing all students and staff in the positive individual’s classes to quarantine for the next 14 days.
Health officials are advising parents not to send their children to school if they’re sick or showing symptoms, and for schools to continue using attendance tracking software to tally students who test positive for the virus.
Johnson said that the counties would hire more contact tracers and consider advising schools to close their doors if there is an upward trend in cases.
“The human behavior aspect of sending sick and positive children to school is not something we can control, and we never accounted for people completely disregarding basic health guidance,” Johnson said. “We have no tools left, and we just want everyone to be safe.”
“A handful of irresponsible parents could be responsible for closing down entire school districts,” she said.
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