Equities concluded the week in disappointing fashion with the Dow Jones Industrials down 1.49%, S&P500 down 1.07%, and Nasdaq down 0.8%. This week was the worst since June as there was a lack of real news to keep the market going up. I believe a lot of the losses were due to profit taking and a retail wreck which wreaked havoc on names such as American Eagle (NYSE:AEO), Ralph Lauren (NYSE:RL), and Gap (NYSE:GPS) which were down 15.91%, 4.83%, and 5.12%, respectively. I maintain that it's difficult to find good stocks these days and that's why I'm highlighting a select set of excellent companies which have had ex-dividend dates or paid out a dividend during this past week or early next week which people should place on their radar.
BB&T Corp (NYSE:BBT)
BB&T is also a financial holding company which conducts business operations primarily through its commercial bank subsidiary, Branch Bank, and other non-bank subsidiaries. On 18Jul13, BBT reported second quarter earnings of $0.77 per share. This result was in-line with the consensus of the 32 analysts following the company and beat last year's second quarter results by 6.94%. BB&T's PE ratio is above average for the regional banks industry and signals that investors are willing to pay a premium for this stock, making it a growth story. Additionally, during the past year, earnings growth has outpaced its historical five year growth rate. The stock is up 12.03% in the past year compared to the S&P500's 21.6% gain. The company went ex-dividend on 07Aug13 with a $0.23 per share dividend which will be payable on 03Sep13 for a yield of 2.59%.
KLA-Tencor Corp (NASDAQ:KLAC)
KLAC is engaged in the design; manufacture and marketing of process control and yield management solutions for the semiconductor and related nano-electronics industries. On 25Jul13, KLAC reported fourth quarter earnings of $0.82 per share. This result was in-line with the consensus of the 14 analysts following the company and missed last year's fourth quarter results by 44.97%. KLAC's PE ratio is below the semiconductor equipment industry average and signals that investors are not willing to pay a premium for this stock making it a value play. However, during the past year, earnings growth has lagged its historical five year growth rate; reiterated by the CEO on the conference call by guiding down for the next quarter and putting the blame on decline PC sales. The stock is up 10.76% in the past year compared to the S&P500's 21.6% gain. The company goes ex-dividend on 14Aug13 with a $0.45 per share dividend which will be payable on 03Sep13 for a yield of 3.12%. This $0.45 per share was a 12.5% increase from its previous dividend of $0.40 per share.
Consolidated Edison Inc (NYSE:ED)
Consolidated Edison is a holding company, which owns Consolidated Edison Company of New York, and Orange & Rockland Utilities. On 01Aug13, the company reported second quarter earnings of $0.55 per share. This result was in-line with the consensus of the 13 analysts following the company and missed last year's second quarter results by 9.84%. This is a fairly valued company with a PE value of 16.89. The stock is down 6.74% in the past year compared to the S&P500's 21.6% gain. The company goes ex-dividend on 12Aug13 with a $0.615 per share dividend which will be payable on 15Sep13 for a yield of 4.08%.
Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc (NASDAQ:CBRL)
Cracker Barrel is engaged in the operation of non-franchised restaurants which offer home-style country cooking, and let me tell you something, it's delicious! The company operates 620 stores in 42 states… but not in California! On 03Jun13, Cracker Barrel reported third quarter earnings of $1.02 per share. This result beat the $0.94 consensus of the 7 analysts covering the company and beat last year's third quarter results by 18.60%. The next tentative earnings announcement is expected on 16Sep13. Cracker Barrel's PE ratio is among the lowest of any stock in the restaurants industry and signals that investors have not been willing to pay a premium for this company's business prospects, making it a value play. Additionally, during the past year, earnings growth has outpaced its historical five year growth rate. The stock is up 56.54% in the past year compared to the S&P500's 21.6% gain. The company went ex-dividend on 17Jul13 with a $0.75 per share dividend which was paid on 05Aug13 for a yield of 3.04%. This $0.75 per share was a 50% increase from its previous dividend of $0.50 per share.
I've highlighted these names because they have all raised their dividend within the past year and are poised to do so again in the coming years. It's important in this market to be able to hold onto companies which raise their dividend rates because it is a sign that the underlying company is doing well financially. The importance of these stocks I've highlighted is that three of the four I mentioned in this article are value plays while the broader market is near all-time highs. I believe we are at a point in the market where we have to look for value.
Disclosure: I am long CBRL, BBT, KLAC, ED. 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.
Disclaimer: These are only my personal opinions and you should do your own homework. Only you are responsible for what you trade and happy investing!