With the Fed’s key rate cut back to the 1.5 to 1.75 range, and bond yields out to 10 years holding below 2%, investors are naturally drawn to the stock markets. As much as Friday’s gangbusters jobs report, this basic fact of today’s economy underlies the market’s record highs.
So, stocks are the place to go. But which stocks? While the market is clearly the place to go for strong returns, investors have different priorities when it comes to receiving those returns. You’ll go for different stocks if your more interested in long-term appreciation than if you want steady income.
Today, we’re looking at the steady income side of that equation, and that means dividend stocks. These are the stocks that pay back a steady return of the company’s income to shareholders. Use the money to reinvest, or if your portfolio’s large enough, to live on – the choice is yours. But the trick is finding the high-yielding dividend stocks in the first place.
TipRanks’ Stock Screener tool makes it simple. Adjust the filters to show only the high-yield dividend stocks – say, the ones with a 5% or better return – and then further adjust them to show only those with a ‘Strong Buy’ analyst consensus, and we can narrow it down to a list of just 39 stocks. Now that we’ve narrowed the field, we’ll look at three of them and see what makes them so compelling.
GAIN Capital Holdings (GCAP)
We start with GAIN Capital, an online trading company based in New Jersey. GAIN offers its customers access to foreign exchange (forex) and contract-for-difference (CFD) trading on the public markets. GAIN has two electronic platforms available for customers to use, the popular MetaTrader 4 platform and the FOREXTrader PRO, GAIN’s proprietary platform. In addition to trading services, GAIN offers advisory services to customers, and access to futures markets.
The boom in the stock markets has paradoxically hurt GCAP shares and made them more attractive. As investors move toward stocks, trading in other assets – bonds, or example, or forex – declines, and a forex trader like GAIN feels a pinch. The company’s shares have declined throughout 2019, and the stock is down 34% year-to-date.
The paradox is, that even while GCAP shares have fallen to rock-bottom price, the company has maintained its dividend payout. The payment is only 6 cents per share each quarter – a annualized payment of 24 cents – but it has been consistent for the last three years, and consistency is the key to successful dividend investing. The annualized yield, at 5.97%, is almost triple the average yield of S&P listed companies.
Recently, two of Wall Street’s analysts gave GCAP stock the thumbs up. Writing from JPMorgan, Ken Worthington said, “With Gain having invested in growing its business in recent quarters through increased marketing, we see the company well positioned to maximize the benefit of higher volatility with a larger number of active accounts.” Worthington acknowledges that the company faces a tough business climate, but does not see this harming investors. He writes of GAIN’s possible downsides, “[E]ither Gain will more regularly make a positive profit or it will be sold or liquidated –either way we see shareholders benefitting.” In line with his optimism, Worthington gives GCAP a “buy” rating alongside $6 price target. (To watch Worthington’s track record, click here)
Also bullish on GCAP is Rajiv Sharma from B. Riley FBR. In his review of the company, he concludes that, “Higher volatility and uncertainty from more “normal” conditions, we believe, will be beneficial for Gain. We believe Gain is ready to capitalize on higher volatility and volumes given that they are adding new trading accounts at a fast pace.” Sharma puts a $7 target on GCAP, implying a strong upside of 71%. (To watch Sharma’s track record, click here)
All in all, with three recent Buy ratings, GCAP has a unanimous analyst consensus of ‘Strong Buy.’ As noted, shares are selling for a bargain price, just $4. The average price target of $6.42 suggests an impressive upside potential of 58%. (See GAIN Capital stock analysis on TipRanks)
Kontoor Brands (KTB)
While not a household name, it’s almost certain you have heard of Kontoor’s products. In fact, there’s even a pretty good chance you have worn some of them. The company is the owner of Lee and Wrangler jeans, longstanding names in the apparel industry.
So, Kontoor has been around the block a few times, holds a well-established niche in its business, and can boast well-known brands with both name recognition and reputation. It’s a solid foundation for any company, and Kontoor took it public earlier this year. Since KTB’s IPO in May, the stock has had a rocky ride, falling 34% in its first month of trading, only to regain that value slowly in 2H19.
To the company’s credit, its Q3 earnings beat Wall Street expectations by 6 cents per share, showing EPS at 95 cents. This came despite a slight revenue miss. The quarterly top line was $638 million against a forecast of $646.5 million. The strong earnings supported a quarterly payout of 56 cents. This annualizes to $2.24 – a nice per-share income. The yield of 5.9% is sure to bring a smile to income-minded investors.
Sam Poser, 4-star analyst from Susquehanna, sees a clear path forward for KTB, and believes that the company will follow it toward increased performance and market share. He writes, “Buy KTB… [We are] confident that KTB is proactively making the necessary strategic decisions to enhance the Wrangler and Lee brand first and then drive positive inflections in each brand’s business… We think the move from a global to a regional operating model will generate efficiencies driving top- and bottom-line results over the next few years.”
In line with his upbeat outlook, Poser gives this stock a “positive” rating along with $44 price target, indicating room for 14% growth on the upside. (To watch Poser’s track record, click here)
KTB is clearly a stock to watch. As an established brand, new to the market, it’s sure to attract plenty of investor attention, just as it has attracted the notice of Wall Street’s analysts. The stock has 5 recent reviews, including 4 “buy” and 1 “hold” ratings, giving it a consensus rating of ‘Strong Buy.’ Shares are moderately priced, at $37.90, and the average target of $40.50 gives an upside potential of 8%. (See Kontoor stock analysis on TipRanks)
Viper Energy (VNOM)
Operating in the Midland formation, part of West Texas’ Permian Basin, Viper Energy taps into some of the richest oil fields in North America. The company has oil and mineral interests in over 14,000 acres of the formation. Viper’s interests are exploited mainly by subsidiaries or third parties, with royalties paid to the parent company. Those interests are substantial, as independent engineers have estimated up to 10 billion barrels of recoverable oil equivalents in Viper’s land holdings.
The company reported somewhat disappointing earnings in Q3 thanks to low oil prices. Revenues, at $71.8 million, missed the estimates by 6% and the 13-cent EPS fell short of the 14 cent forecast. Shares slipped 11% after the earnings report, but have since regained half of the losses. Investors were reassured remembering that EPS was up 160% year-over-year, and that production was up 9% sequentially and 16% year-over-year.
Like many oil industry companies, Viper makes a commitment to sharing income with investors. This is as much self-interest as it is altruism. Dividends make the stock attractive, attractive stocks bring in new investment, and oil companies need a constant flow of investment to meet their high overhead. VNOM shares are currently paying out 46 cents quarterly, or $1.84 per year, for an annual yield of 7.34%. This is more than triple the average dividend on the S&P 500.
Wall Street holds a favorable view of VNOM shares. SunTrust Robinson analyst Welles Fitzpatrick points out that oil prices, while low now, are consistent, and writes of the stock, “Additional upside comes from increased commodity prices and accretive acquisitions. We believe Viper offers a unique way to play Permian growth combined with solid oil prices.”
Fitzpatrick’s of $32 suggests room for a 28% upside which supports his Buy rating. (To watch Fitzpatrick’s track record, click here)
VNOM shares get a unanimous ‘Strong Buy’ consensus rating, based on 11 reviews in recent weeks. The stock is widely considered a sound investment on Wall Street, both for its profitable holdings in the oil fields and its reliable dividend payments. Shares are selling for $25, and the $34.60 average price target suggests room for robust 37% growth on the upside. (See Viper Energy stock analysis on TipRanks)