The stock markets are setting new records again, but not the good kind. Yesterday’s trading session opened with a point drop steep enough to trigger the stop-trading circuit breaker system, and by the end of the day the S&P was down 12% and the Dow Jones had fallen 13%. Once again, it was the worst single-day loss since the financial crisis of 2008. It is, as they say, interesting times.
The view on Wall Street attributes the sell-off to worries that the Fed has used up all of its resources in the initial stage of the bear market, and will not be able to intervene if markets continue to deteriorate. Terence Wong, CEO of Azure Capital, said as much in comments to the Wall Street Journal: “It’s basically using up all of their ammunition within a three-week span. There’s nothing left. They can’t use monetary loosening as part of their arsenal anymore.”
But that doesn’t mean you can’t still make money trading stocks. Bear markets are on us, but they bring with them opportunities to buy into fundamentally sound investments, and at discount prices. Investors can choose from a range of strategies to take advantage of falling markets; one of the simplest is just to buy low in a segment offering high returns.
BTIG has just released a report that highlights exactly the kind of stocks you want to be thinking about right now. These are ‘high quality’ dividend stocks specially selected by the firm. And by ‘high-quality’ BTIG means stocks with the ‘highest conviction.’ In other words, these stocks are the best-positioned to 1) withstand an economic deterioration; and 2) diminishing equity returns. Let’s take a closer look:
Fortress Transportation and Infrastructure (FTAI)
We’ll start with a company that offers a variation on the usual REIT. Fortress acquired properties and assets in transportation infrastructure. The company’s assets include aircraft and jet engines, oil distribution terminals, power plants, and railroad tanker cars. Fortress’ income stream comes primarily from leasing out equipment assets.
FTAI’s Q4 results included 12-cent EPS, well above the 7-cent forecast, and the third quarter in a row that beat the estimates. The company also announced a 33-cent quarterly dividend, giving the stock an extraordinary dividend yield of 15.4%. With the average dividend yield among S&P companies hovering near 2%, and Treasury bonds yielding below 1%, there is quite simply no comparison between FTAI’s return and the average.
Analyst Giuliano Bologna, of BTIG, believes that FTAI has a clear path forward, especially based on its aviation assets. He writes, “FTAI has a pipeline of near-term catalysts that should drive substantial EBITDA and dividend upside… While FTAI shares have traded lower with airlines and other aircraft leasing companies, we believe FTAI is well positioned with the Company’s focus on CFM56 engines which are cheaper to operate and power narrow-body aircrafts… FTAI may have a greater advantage with the Company’s unique and proprietary ability to substantially reduce maintenance costs.”
Bologna puts a $27 price target on FTAI shares, backing up his Buy rating and implying that the upside could reach an impressive 260%. (To watch Bologna’s track record, click here)
Overall, FTAI shares have a Strong Buy analyst consensus rating, based on a lopsided mix of reviews: 5 Buy-sides, and only 1 Hold set in recent weeks. The stock is affordable, at just $8.60 per share, while the average price target suggests room for 181% growth to the upside. (See Fortress stock analysis on TipRanks)
Corporate Office Properties Trust (OFC)
As its name suggests, Corporate Office Properties Trust is an REIT focused on commercial properties, specifically office buildings. The majority of the company’s properties are located in a narrow corridor of Northern Virginia, Washington DC, and Maryland, with a large presence in the Washington Naval Yard, Baltimore, and College Park. Most of OFC’s tenants are US government agencies or contractors.
Catering to the US government is a lucrative niche, especially in the Washington area, and OFC reported $40.3 million in funds from operations during Q4. Total net income was $42.8 million. Total revenue for the quarter beat the forecast, and came in at $157.8 million. Full year 2019 income came to $2.03 per share.
OFC’s income stream supports a 27.5 cent quarterly dividend. At $1.10, the annualized payment gives a strong yield of 5.4%. OFC has held its dividend steady since 2012 – but has also not missed a payment. The payout ratio, at 55%, shows that the company can easily afford to keep up the dividend at the current yield and income levels – a good sign for investors seeking a reliable income stream.
BTIG analyst Tom Catherwood sees an easy route for OFC continued profitability, writing of the company, “We expect increased DoD spending and incremental demand for cloud-based data center solutions (especially given recent work-from-home protocols) to drive leasing demand and development opportunities. Additionally, the counter-cyclical nature of DoD funding could positively impact both near-term revenue growth and long-term value creation upside for Corporate Office, even if we see further economic erosion.”
In-line with his upbeat outlook on this company, Catherwood rates OFC shares a Buy. His $33 price target indicates his confidence a 67% upside for the stock. (To watch Catherwood’s track record, click here)
With 3 Buy ratings against a single Hold, OFC shares have a Strong Buy rating from the analyst consensus. The stock is currently trading for $20.39, and the $32.75 average price target suggests a 60% upside for the next 12 months. (See OFC stock analysis at TipRanks)
Getty Realty Corporation (GTY)
The final stock on our list is Getty realty, an REIT with a unique niche. The company owns, leases, and finances convenience stores and gas stations across the US. Getty has 945 properties across the lower 48 states and Hawaii, of which 877 are fully owned and 68 are leased from third-party landlords. A majority of GTY’s properties are located in the Northeast.
GTY reported Q4 revenues up 31% year-over-year, to $11.5 million, with full-year 2019 revenue growth at 22% to $36.4 million. Company management described 2019 as a ‘strong growth year,’ with 62 new customers in the final quarter.
Along with revenue growth, GTY offers investors a steadily growing dividend; the company has been gradually increasing payments since 2017. At 37 cents, the quarterly dividend annualizes to $1.48, and gives a yield of 7.2%.GTY has kept a reliable dividend payment since 2011, and the payout ratio of 86% implies that the payment is affordable for the foreseeable future.
BTIG’s Michael Gorman, rated 4-stars in the Tipranks database, gives GTY a $36 price target, suggesting the stock will grow 74% in the coming year and supporting his Buy rating. (To watch Gorman’s track record, click here)
Backing this view, and outlining the company’s probably path for the near- to mid-term, Gorman writes, “As continued volatility in the market and concerns about the impact of COVID-19 play out, we think stable cash flows and strong balance sheets will be key traits investors will look for… GTY does not have exposure to some of the retail categories that we consider most at risk with COVID-19, including entertainment and restaurants… GTY’s low leverage gives management plenty of “dry powder” to pursue additional deals if they present themselves.”
This stock’s Moderate Buy consensus view is based on 2 Buy ratings and 1 Sell. The average price target is $34, which indicates room for 66% upside potential in the coming 12 months. (See Getty Realty stock analysis at TipRanks)