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Thoughts on Smucker’s Tough Year and Dividend Appeal

Consumer staples companies like J.M. Smucker (SJM) are often owned for their recession-resistant qualities and safe dividends. Food and beverage makers tend to be low volatility stocks that serve as defensive holdings in conservative dividend growth portfolios. But Smucker has had a challenging year, down 24% in 2018 and off 40% from its mid-2016 high. [...]

December 30th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Reviewing Lyondell’s High Yield

Shares of LyondellBasell (LYB) have slumped nearly 30% since late August, performing much worse than the S&P 500's loss of 14%. The stock's dividend yield now sits near 5%, its highest level since Lyondell began paying dividends in 2011. With analysts projecting a double-digit earnings decline in the year ahead, the price of oil plunging [...]

December 29th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Altria’s Two Major Investments and Updated Dividend Safety

Altria's (MO) share price has slumped over 30% this year, making it one of the worst in history for the cigarette maker's shareholders. Altria's dividend yield now sits at 6.7%, its highest level since the Financial Crisis. A number of factors are behind Altria's rough year, including various negative regulatory announcements from the FDA, slightly [...]

December 26th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Compass Minerals’ Dividend Remains Risky

Compass Minerals (CMP) has been in business for more than 170 years and has increased its dividend each year since it began making payouts in 2004. Despite its appealing long-term track record, and the recession-resistant nature of its salt and fertilizer businesses, CMP's stock price has slumped over 50% since reaching an all-time high in [...]

December 20th, 2018|Uncategorized|

PPL Drops on Increased Regulatory Concerns

Shares of regulated utility PPL (PPL) slumped nearly 7% on Tuesday following a proposal made by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the United Kingdom's energy regulator. In recent years PPL has generated around half of its earnings from the four electricity distribution networks it operates in the U.K. As we discussed in [...]

December 19th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Johnson & Johnson Drops 10% on Legal Worries

Shares of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) dropped 10% on Friday, shedding $40 billion in market value to mark its worst trading day since 2002. The cause was a Reuters article claiming that insiders at J&J knew for decades that its baby powder "sometimes tested positive for small amounts of asbestos" without disclosing the issue to [...]

December 17th, 2018|Uncategorized|

How We Approach Dividend Safety

Making money in 2018 hasn’t been easy. In fact, 90% of the 70 asset classes (covering everything from stocks to bonds and commodities) tracked by Deutsche Bank posted negative total returns in dollar terms for the year through mid-November, per The Wall Street Journal. That’s the highest percentage on record going back to 1901 (the [...]

December 14th, 2018|Uncategorized|

REITs vs. Bonds in Retirement

Over the past decade, the U.S. has seen its lowest interest rates in history which has made REITs, with their naturally high yields and low volatility, attractive so-called "bond alternatives." However, in reality, there are important differences between bonds and REITs that investors need to understand when deciding what asset allocation is right for them. [...]

December 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Analyzing Leggett & Platt’s Big Acquisition

With a 4.1% yield, Leggett & Platt (LEG) is one of the highest-yielding dividend aristocrats in the market, trailing only AT&T (T), AbbVie (ABBV), and Exxon Mobil (XOM). While the company has increased its dividend for 47 consecutive years, shares of Leggett & Platt are down more than 20% over the past year. As a [...]

December 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

A Closer Look at TransCanada’s Unusually High Dividend Yield

Despite paying higher dividends each year since 2000, North American pipeline giant TransCanada (TRP) has seen its share price slump nearly 20% in 2018. As a result, TRP's dividend yield sits at 5.3%, near its highest level since the financial crisis. The midstream industry has been under pressure since the price of oil began tumbling [...]

December 13th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Invesco Remains Under Pressure as Investment Industry Evolves

Asset manager Invesco (IVZ) has seen its shares plunge over 50% in 2018, resulting in its dividend yield soaring to a record high of 6.9%. Although the company has increased its dividend each year for more than a decade, the stock's recent performance is causing many income income investors to feel anxious. Let's take a [...]

December 12th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Reviewing Magellan Midstream’s Historically High Yield

Whenever a high-yield stock falls significantly, it's natural that income investors want to know if it's just random noise (and potentially a buying opportunity) or a sign that something is wrong with a company's business model that could threaten the safety of the dividend. Magellan Midstream Partners (MMP) is one of the popular master limited [...]

December 11th, 2018|Uncategorized|

Vector’s Dividend is on Shaky Ground Despite 20-Year Growth Streak

Tobacco stocks have historically been a dependable source of generous and growing income, plus solid long-term total returns. However, not all cigarette stocks are created equal. In 2018, Vector Group (VGR) has seen its stock price plunge nearly 50%, worse than its major tobacco rivals (shares of Altria and Philip Morris have lost 23% and [...]

December 7th, 2018|Uncategorized|

AT&T Reassures Investors It Remains on Track to Hit Deleveraging Targets

AT&T (T) has been in the spotlight much of this year. Not only does its satellite TV business continue bleeding subscribers, but the company's debt load ballooned following the firm's acquisition of Time Warner. With roughly $170 billion in net debt and $13 billion in annual dividend payments that consume more than half of AT&T's [...]

December 1st, 2018|Uncategorized|