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Company debt should be an important part of any analysis of dividend stocks. Because debtholders are always paid before shareholder dividends, high company debt can act as a wedge between firm value and the firm’s value to shareholders. It can also threaten the company’s dividend yield.

We ran a screen on stocks paying dividend yields above 1% with zero company debt for those that have seen significant net institutional buying over the current quarter.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬


We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.



Do you think these stocks pay reliable dividends? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percent of share float.

1. Weis Markets, Inc. (NYSE:WMK):
Engages in the retail sale of food in Pennsylvania and surrounding states. Market cap of $1.01B. Dividend yield at 3.09%, payout ratio at 44.77%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 605.8K, which is 5.50% of the company's 11.01M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.3% (equivalent to 17.51 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.1% over the last week.

2. Haynes International Inc. (NASDAQ:HAYN):
Develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes high-performance nickel-and cobalt-based alloys in sheet, coil, and plate forms for use in the various industries worldwide. Market cap of $514.41M. Dividend yield at 1.90%, payout ratio at 38.48%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 656.0K, which is 5.49% of the company's 11.94M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.23). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 23.11% over the last week.

3. Hawkins Inc. (NASDAQ:HWKN):
Distributes bulk and specialty chemicals in the United States. Market cap of $317.94M. Dividend yield at 2.09%, payout ratio at 37.23%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 458.4K, which is 5.14% of the company's 8.92M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 8.6% (equivalent to 18.4 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 13.78% over the last week.

4. FXCM Inc (NYSE:FXCM):
Provides online foreign exchange (NYSE:FX) trading and related services to retail and institutional customers Worldwide. Market cap of $217.13M. Dividend yield at 1.87%, payout ratio at 49.47%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 608.9K, which is 4.26% of the company's 14.28M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 25.21% (equivalent to 13.24 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 12.76%.

5. Cognex Corporation (NASDAQ:CGNX): Provides machine vision products that capture and analyze visual information to automate tasks, primarily in manufacturing processes. Market cap of $1.11B. Dividend yield at 1.36%, payout ratio at 18.04%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.6M, which is 4.16% of the company's 38.43M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 5.19% (equivalent to 6.19 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 10.48% over the last week.

6. Cohen & Steers Inc. (NYSE:CNS): Provides investment management services to individual and institutional investors through a range of investment vehicles. Market cap of $1.37B. Dividend yield at 1.90%, payout ratio at 47.39%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 549.7K, which is 3.11% of the company's 17.67M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 14.87% (equivalent to 11.5 days of average volume). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 15.22% over the last week.

*Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 6 Smart Money Stock Picks Paying Dividends With Zero Debt