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S&P 500 Index prices from Yahoo Finance tallied as of market closing January 31 were compared with analyst mean target gain projections one year out. The resulting chart from that data below showcased ten stocks sporting 5% to nearly 23% price upsides. These included four telecoms, three tobacco firms, two electric companies, and an oil pipeline in Texas.

The chart above used 1-year mean target prices set by brokerage analysts matched against January 31 closing price to compare ten S&P 500 index stocks showing the highest upside price potential into 2014 out of 20 selected by yield. The number of analysts providing price estimates was noted after the name for each stock. Three to nine analysts were considered optimal for a valid mean target price estimate.

This article intends to reveal bargain stocks to buy and hold for at least one year. It is one of an ongoing series that has reported (1) dividend yield; (2) price upside; (3) net gain results based on analyst 1-year target projections. Stocks reported were termed dogs because they were all selected based on Michael B. O'Higgins book "Beating The Dow" (HarperCollins, 1991), which revealed how high-yielding stocks whose prices increased (and whose dividend yields therefore decreased) could be sold off once a year to sweep gains and reinvest the seed money into higher yielding stocks in the collection now named Dogs of the Dow. O'Higgins system works to find bargains in any collection of dividend-paying stocks. Utilizing analyst price upside estimates has expanded the universe to include popular growth equities as desired.

This report presumed yield (dividend / price) dividend dog methodology applied to any index and compared that index side by side with the Dow. Below, the Arnold S&P 500 Index top dog selections from January were disclosed step by step. Three actionable conclusions were drawn.

Dog Metrics Parsed S&P 500 Stocks by Yield

McGraw Hill Financial, publisher of the Dow Jones S&P 500 Index, states:

"The S&P 500® is widely regarded as the best single gauge of large cap U.S. equities. There is over USD 5.58 trillion benchmarked to the index, with index assets comprising approximately USD 1.3 trillion of this total. The index includes 500 leading companies and captures approximately 80% coverage of available market capitalization."

Just five of nine sectors placed in the top ten of this index by yield for January. Top dog Windstream (NASDAQ:WIN) was one of four technology firms in those ten. Other technology firms were Frontier Communications (NASDAQ:FTR), second; CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE:CTL), third; AT&T, Inc. (NYSE:T), sixth.

Three Utilities filled the fourth, fifth, and eight slots: First Energy Corp. (NYSE:FE); Pepco Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:POM); TECO Energy (NYSE:TE). Seventh place went to the lone consumer goods firm, Altria (NYSE:MO). Ninth and tenth places were taken by financial firms, HCP, Inc (NYSE:HCP) and Health Care REIT (NYSE:HCN) which completed these S&P 500 top ten dogs.

Dividend vs. Price Results Compared to Dow Dogs

Relative strengths of the top ten S&P 500 dogs by yield as of market close 1/31/2014 compared to those of the Dow are shown in the graphs and charts below. Projected annual dividend history from $10.000 invested as $1k in each of the ten highest yielding stocks and the total single share prices of those ten stocks created the data points shown in green for price and blue for dividend.

(click to enlarge)

Actionable Conclusion (1): S&P 500 Dogs Retreated as Dow Dithered Up in January

January's S&P 500 collection of dividend payers ran from bears as price dropped over 9% after December. Aggregate dividend from $1k invested in each ($10k total) for the top ten S&P 500 stocks increased at a 2.7% rate in that period to confirm the bearish fate.

Conflict infected the Dow dogs as projected annual dividend from $10k invested as $1K in each of the top ten increased nearly 2.5% since December. Aggregate single share price also increased nearly 6.3% to confirm the dithering. The Dow dogs overbought condition in which aggregate single share price of the ten exceeded projected annual dividend from $1k invested in each of the ten grew some. The overhang was $125 or 33% in August, and expanded to $161 or 43% for September, shrank down to $111 or 30% for October, expanded again to $140 or 38% in November, closed a bit to $111 or 29% for December, and widened to $145 or 38% in January. Most of this dither up was triggered by Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) replacing Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) at the tail end of the ten Dow dogs this month.

To quantify the top dog rankings, analyst mean price target estimates provide a "market sentiment" gauge of upside potential and was added to the simple high yield "dog" metric used to dig out bargains.

Actionable Conclusion (2): Wall St. Wizard Want 11% Net Gains from Top 20 S&P 500 Dogs by 2015

Top twenty dogs from the S&P 500 index graphed below showed relative strengths by dividend and price as of January 31, 2014 against those projected by analyst mean price target estimates to the same date in 2015.

A hypothetical $1000 investment in each equity was divided by the current share price to find the number of shares purchased. The shares number was then multiplied by projected annual per share dividend amounts to find the dividend return. Thereafter the analyst mean target price was used to gauge the stock price upsides and net gains including dividends less broker fees as of 2015.

Historic prices and actual dividends paid from $20,000 invested $1k in each of 20 highest-yielding stocks and the aggregate single share prices of those twenty stocks divided by 2 created data points for 2014. Projections based on estimated increases in dividend amounts from $1000 invested in the twenty highest-yielding stocks and aggregate 1-year analyst target share prices from Yahoo Finance divided by 2 created the 2015 data points green for price and blue for dividends.

(click to enlarge)

Yahoo projected a 7.5% lower dividend from $10K invested in this group while aggregate single share price was projected to increase 7% in the coming year. The number of analysts contributing to the mean target price estimate for each stock was noted in the next to the last column on the charts. Three to nine analysts was considered optimal for a valid estimate.

A beta (risk) ranking for each analyst rated stock was provided in the far right column on the above chart. A beta of 1 meant the stock's price would move with the market. Less than 1 showed lower than market movement. Higher than 1 showed greater than market movement. A negative beta number indicated the degree of a stocks movement opposed to market direction.

Actionable Conclusion (3): Analysts Saw Ten S&P 500 Dogs Netting 10.4% to 28.6% By 2015

Six of the top-yielding dividend S&P 500 dogs were verified as top gainers for the coming year by analyst 1-year target prices. So this month the dog strategy as graded by wall street wizards is 60% accurate.

Ten probable profit generating trades revealed by Yahoo Finance into 2015 were:

Windstream netted $286.15, based on dividends plus a mean target price estimate by thirteen analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 8% less than the market as a whole.

CenturyLink netted $283.88 based on dividends plus the mean of annual price estimates from fifteen analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 43% less than the market as a whole.

Phillip Morris (NYSE:PM) netted $194.49 based on a mean target price estimate from eighteen analysts combined with projected annual dividend less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 2% less than the market as a whole.

Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) netted $180.82 based on estimates from fifteen analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 36% less than the market as a whole.

Altria netted $158.31 based on estimates from twelve analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 55% less than the market as a whole.

Frontier Communications netted $142.39 based on dividends plus mean target price estimate from twelve analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 26% less than the market as a whole.

Integrys Energy Group (NYSE:TEG) netted $162.84 based on a mean target price estimate from five analysts combined with projected annual dividend less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 52% less than the market as a whole.

AT&T, Inc. netted $132.74 based on dividends plus mean target price estimate from six analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 51% less than the market as a whole.

Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) netted $112.99 based on estimates from eighteen analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 74% less than the market as a whole.

First Energy Corporation netted $103.53 based on dividends plus mean target price estimate from seventeen analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 98% less than the market as a whole.

The average net gain in dividend and price was about 17% on $10k invested as $1k in each of these ten dogs. This gain estimate was subject to average volatility 46% less than the market as a whole.

Net gain estimates above did not factor-in any tax problems resulting from distributions. Consult your tax advisor regarding the source and consequences of "dividends" from any investment.

The stocks listed above were suggested only as decent starting points for your index dog dividend stock purchase research process. These were not recommendations.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed to constitute investment advice. Nothing contained herein shall constitute a solicitation, recommendation or endorsement to buy or sell any security. Prices and returns on equities in this article except as noted are listed without consideration of fees, commissions, taxes, penalties, or interest payable due to purchasing, holding, or selling same.

Source: S&P 500 5% To 23% January Upsides Tagged By Telecom, Tobacco, And Energy Dogs