After the crazy volatility we’ve seen this week – the Dow has been swinging 1,000 points or more in consecutive sessions – it may be time to step back and consider the longer term. Yes, the COVID-19 epidemic will have an economic impact. Hotels and tour companies, manufacturers with China-based supply chains, shipping and trucking companies – all are seeing losses and either implementing or considering layoffs. But does the situation justify a prolonged market slump?
Briefly, the answer is no. Yes, there are disruptions now – but in China, the disease’s epicenter and still the country most strongly effected, with a majority of the world’s coronavirus cases, there are signs that the epidemic spread has peaked, and that manufacturers and other businesses are starting to get back to work. Additionally, diagnostic test kits are coming available, vaccine development is proceeding, and the word has spread that COVID-19 is a fragile virus that is easily destroyed by basic disinfecting methods.
The upshot is, while increased volatility is almost certainly going to stay with us for a while, it’s time to consider defensive stocks. And that will bring us to dividends. By providing a steady income stream, no matter what the market conditions, a reliable dividend stock provides a pad for your investment portfolio when the share stop appreciating.
We’ve used the TipRanks Stock Screener to pull up dividend stocks yielding 20% or more, with a Strong Buy consensus rating and over 30% upside potential. And to make them even sweeter, we’ve looked for a low cost of entry, below $8, to make these buy-side options affordable for thrifty investors. Here are two stocks that meet the profile.
DHT Holdings, Inc. (DHT)
We’ll start with a crude oil tanker company. DHT controls a fleet of 27 very large crude carriers (VLCC), the backbone type of the global tanker fleet. VLCCs are the ships that plod the oceans, tying the world’s oil markets together.
DHT managed to keep its share price up through 2019, despite low prices for crude oil, and the absolute necessity of transport to the oil industry has helped to insulate the stock during the recent market instability. The company did take a hit earlier this year, when it reported Q4 revenues and earnings below the estimates. The top line missed by 12%, coming in at $141.7 million, while the 45-cent EPS missed the estimates by 25%. Both figures, however, were up strongly year-over-year.
While investors were spooked by the quarterly estimates miss, they can be reassured by the company’s growing revenues – and what it is doing with them. DHT increased its dividend payment from 5 cents to 32 cents, a bump of 640%. That payment was effective February 14. DHT has a long history of reliably keeping up the dividend payments, which is good, and even with the increased dividend the payout ratio remains easily affordable at 71%. And to top it off, the yield is an astronomical 21.16%. There is no point comparing that to average dividend yields or Treasury bond yields – those numbers stand at 2% or less.
Jefferies analyst Randy Giveans sees potential in DHT. He gives the stock a $9 price target, suggesting an upside of 28%, and a Buy rating. (To watch Giveans’ track record, click here)
Supporting his view, Giveans writes, “We believe that the crude oil tanker spot rates will be under pressure during 1Q20 due to normal seasonality, but will average higher in 2020 and in 2021. IMO 2020 should be a boon to the crude oil tanker market due to new crude routes further dislocating the market, increased demand for crude to satisfy refinery needs to produce ultra-low sulfur fuel oils, and demand for VLCCs as storage for HSFO… DHT is a pure-play VLCC owner/operator with significant operating leverage to improving VLCC spot rates.”
Writing from Evercore ISI, Jonathan Chappell is also impressed by DHT. He says of the stock, “DHT’s 4Q profits marked the highest in the company’s decade-and-a-half history, with a quarterly dividend that reflects an annualized yield of more than 20%.”
Chappell gives DHT a Buy rating supported by an $11 price target, implying a 63% potential upside. (To watch Chappell’s track record, click here)
All in all, DHT stock has a resounding “yes” on Wall Street. TipRanks analytics show that out of 5 analysts, 4 are bullish and 1 is neutral. The price target of $8.70 shows a potential upside of nearly 30%. (See DHT stock analysis on TipRanks)
Crestwood Equity Partners (CEQP)
Next up is a midstream company, providing services in North Dakota’s Bakken Shale, the Texan Delaware Basin, and the Marcellus Shale in Appalachia. Crestwood’s operations span 19 states, and include Gathering & Processing, Storage & Transport, and Marketing, Supply, & Logistics.
Midstreamers are more sensitive to oil prices than the tanker companies, and CEQP showed that in its Q4 report. The company saw revenues, at $839.7 million, beat the forecast by $40 million, but the 28-cent EPS missed by a full 15 cents, or 34%. At the same time, full-year income grew from 2018’s $67 million to 2019’s $319 million.
As for the dividend, the company has a 4-year history of reliably keeping up the payments and slowly increasing them. The most recent payment, 62.5 cents announced last month, annualizes to $2.50 per share and gives a robust yield of 29.41%.
Tristan Richardson, of SunTrust Robinson, sees this as a high-potential growth stock. He writes, “The 2020 outlook offers meaningful growth relative to the decelerating midstream environment… With the current constraint in CEQP’s growth markets, we are of the view the near-term growth from new projects remains intact.”
Richardson puts a $36 price target on CEQP, along with a Buy rating. His target implies an upside of 304%. (To watch Richardson’s track record, click here)
Weighing in on the stock for Barclays, 4-star analyst Christopher Tillett says, “Despite the increase in expected capital expenditures for 2020, the company … anticipates it will be FCF-positive, which should still be supportive for the stock… We continue to view CEQP as well positioned to benefit in the quarters ahead from its strategic system enhancements and activity growth near its footprint.”
Tillett’s $36 price target implies an amazing upside of 395%, and fully supports his Buy rating. (To watch Tillett’s track record, click here)
CEQP gets a unanimous analyst consensus rating of Strong Buy, based on 5 Buy-side reviews. Shares are currently selling for $7.27, and the $37.75 average price target suggests an upside potential of 420%. (See Crestwood stock analysis on TipRanks)