When searching for dividend paying stocks to add to your portfolio, the technology sector is usually not the first place you look. Sectors like utilities and health care are more typically known for their income component but that doesn't mean that big dividend yields can't be found elsewhere as well.
Many tech companies reinvest any profits they receive back into the business in order to grow further so the ones that pay out a dividend - especially the ones that pay a significant dividend - are in many cases some of the bigger hitters in the sector. As the percentage of S&P 500 dividend income coming from the technology sector is on the rise (around 14% currently from a 6% level about five years ago), more investors are realizing that the sector is becoming a good place to get growth potential and income.
Consider these four big technology names that currently yield 4% or more as examples of this growth and income opportunity.
Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX)
Seagate is a big player in the storage industry whose products are used in everything from servers to laptops to gaming consoles so demand for their products should remain steady for the foreseeable future.
Seagate has a current dividend yield of 4.2% on a forward P/E ratio of just 7. The company has done a solid job of growing both earnings and revenue in the past several quarters but analysts are forecasting year-over-year declines in both in the coming year due to weakening demand in the personal computing space.
Those forecasts haven't dampened enthusiasm for the stock however as it continues to trade near 52 week highs. The company should stand to benefit from the cloud computing trend and if it can return to revenue growth relatively quickly the stock and its dividend should remain a solid value play.
For pure dividend growth and value, you might not find a better deal in the technology sector than Intel.
The chip giant sports a current dividend yield of 4.3% on a forward P/E ratio of just 10. Moreover, that dividend payout has been steadily on the rise for most of the last decade climbing from a $.02 per share payout at the end of 2003 to today's dividend of $.225. The stock price has been relatively range-bound for much of the last decade but it's starting to look undervalued on a lot of the traditional valuation metrics when compared to its primary competitors.
Consider the following data.
Intel remains relatively inexpensive on both the price/earnings and price/book ratios and is behind only Broadcom (NASDAQ:BRCM) on the forward-looking PEG ratio. Throw in that dividend yield that is well above the average and you've got an intriguing investment. Intel isn't a big player in the mobile chip market currently (that title belongs to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM)) but with a significant R&D budget at its disposal it's not hard to see Intel improving their position there.
In short, Intel looks like a compelling value at this price and earning a 4% dividend while you wait isn't a bad consolation prize.
It wasn't long ago that GPS devices were a luxury item. Now they're starting to appear standard in everything from watches to phones to automobiles. Garmin is the leading provider of GPS devices but has struggled a bit recently amid increased competition in the navigation system space that has driven product prices downward.
As a result of that competition, the stock has dropped around 20% thus far in 2013 as the company has struggled to grow both revenues and net income. The stock experienced a bounce in early April on news that big institutional ownership in the stock climbed over 11% in the most recent quarter.
The stock currently yields 5.4% with a forward P/E of 13 and benefits from having no long-term debt on its books. The company is in a strong financial position overall but will need to demonstrate an ability to grow revenue and earnings in an environment of increased pricing pressures.
CenturyLink has been an interesting story lately. In February, the company cut the quarterly dividend from $.725 per share all the way down to $.54 in an effort to improve its financial flexibility in executing on the stock buyback strategy. The market didn't like the news at all sending the share price tumbling around 25%
What's been left after the carnage is an interesting potential value stock. With its new fundamentals, the stock is yielding around 6%. The company has flatlined on revenue and earnings recently and its P/E ratio of 13 considering there's not a lot of future growth being anticipated doesn't necessarily scream "cheap".
Considering the press that the last dividend cut received, I can't imagine company management not doing everything in its power to maintain and grow the dividend at this point. If CenturyLink follows through on its anticipated stock repurchase plan, there is some upward potential in the stock price. Investors will want to make sure that the stock buyback plan isn't just a cover story for trouble behind the scenes.
Each of the four stocks listed above provides an above average dividend yield with varying degrees of future growth potential.
Intel looks to be the best positioned of the four considering its current fundamentals and the potential for future growth in the tablet arena. Garmin, CenturyLink and Seagate all look to have value profiles but each is facing its own short-term pressures to the bottom line. Investors could be in line for a nice return on their investment should these companies demonstrate an ability to handle these challenges and come out clean on the other side.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.