21 Dividend Stocks to Consider

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 |  Includes: AWR, BRO, CWT, FPL-OLD, MON, NTRS, NWN, RBCAA, SHEN, SRCE, SYBT, T, THFF, TMP, UGI, UMBF, WEYS, WGL, WMT, WTR, XOM
by: New Low Observer

At the end of the week, our Dividend Achiever Watch List contains 21 companies. Here is our watch list for the week of February 26, 2010.

Symbol Name Price % Yr Low P/E EPS Div/Shr Yield Payout Ratio
THFF First Financial Corp. 26.28 3.75% 15.19 1.73 0.90 3.42% 52%
XOM Exxon Mobil Corp. 65.00 5.08% 16.34 3.98 1.68 2.58% 42%
MON Monsanto Company 70.65 6.13% 25.41 2.78 1.06 1.50% 38%
CWT California Water Service 35.88 7.14% 17.94 2.00 1.19 3.32% 60%
SRCE 1st Source Corp. 14.93 7.88% 18.90 0.79 0.60 4.02% 76%
AWR American States Water Co. 32.16 8.06% 19.85 1.62 1.04 3.23% 64%
WTR Aqua America, Inc. 17.12 11.24% 22.53 0.76 0.58 3.39% 76%
FPL-OLD FPL Group, Inc. 46.37 11.79% 11.68 3.97 2.00 4.31% 50%
TMP Tompkins Financial Corp. 35.86 11.89% 13.33 2.69 1.36 3.79% 51%
SHEN Shenandoah Telecom 18.03 11.99% 29.08 0.62 0.32 1.77% 52%
BRO Brown & Brown, Inc. 16.78 12.24% 14.98 1.12 0.31 1.85% 28%
UMBF UMB Financial Corporation 38.31 13.85% 17.41 2.20 0.74 1.93% 34%
WEYS Weyco Group, Inc. 23.02 14.30% 23.02 1.00 0.60 2.61% 60%
WGL WGL Holdings Inc 32.85 14.90% 14.60 2.25 1.47 4.47% 65%
WMT Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. 54.07 15.04% 14.61 3.70 1.09 2.02% 29%
T AT&T Inc. 24.81 15.72% 11.70 2.12 1.68 6.77% 79%
NTRS Northern Trust Corp. 53.29 16.40% 16.71 3.19 1.12 2.10% 35%
NWN Northwest Natural Gas Co. 43.99 16.65% 15.22 2.89 1.66 3.77% 57%
RBCAA Republic Bancorp, Inc. 16.87 17.40% 8.35 2.02 0.53 3.14% 26%
UGI UGI Corporation 25.05 18.50% 11.33 2.21 0.80 3.19% 36%
SYBT S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. 21.95 20.01% 15.79 1.39 0.68 3.10% 49%
21 Companies
Click to enlarge

Watch List Summary

The best performer from last week's list is Weyco, which rose 3.7%. Overall performance of last week's list is a gain of 1.5%.

The worst performing stock is Monsanto, which fell 9.1%. We are considering Monsanto as a possible investment. After some diligent research, out team was able to uncover the fact that MON had increased the dividend every year since 1967. In 1999, Pharmacia & Upjohn bought MON which technically discontinued the dividend increases. However, in 2000 Pharmicia spun-off MON which allowed MON to start their dividend increases in 2001.

According to Morningstar, Monsanto has strong double digit return on equity and return assets of 15% and 11% respectively. Additionally, MON has a 3-year growth rate of earnings of 45%, which is exceptional considering the state of the economy over the same period. Among the top 9 wide moat companies in the Morningstar database, MON has the second lowest level of financial leverage at 1.71%.

One company that had been of particular interest was Northern Trust. Northern Trust has increased its dividend for over 20 years. As the stock approached getting within 10% of the low, we ramped up our research of the company. In fact, just before our research was being completed the stock price jumped from $50 to $54 in a matter days. A primary rule of thumb when investing is to never chase a rising stock price. At $53.29, we can only watch from the sidelines. NTRS is a top notch financial institution which would end up being the subject of a bidding war or an acquirer of a substantially undervalued asset.

Exxon Mobil, the largest company by market cap, has been within the 10% range for 6 consecutive weeks. As a sector, the water utilities are the most undervalued in our Dividend Achiever Watch List. A cursory examination and some patience may prove to be fruitful.

Disclosure: Long XOM, CWT, MON