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A company’s owners (or shareholders) have very different goals than company management. Specifically, a company’s owners seek to maximize the value of the company, while company management often wishes to maximize personal wealth.

Corporate governance policies mitigate these differences and protect shareholder interests, but some companies have stronger policies than others.

Companies with stronger corporate governance policies are viewed as safer investments to shareholders over the long term. Institutional Shareholder Services (ISS) gives ratings for four areas of corporate governance, on risks related to: The board, the audit committee, the compensation committee and shareholder rights.

We ran a screen on dividend stocks with high liquidity, measured by current ratios greater than 3, for those with “low concern” ratings on all four corporate governance ratings from ISS.

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 point for your own analysis.

List sorted by dividend yield.

1. Amgen Inc. (NASDAQ:AMGN): Develops, manufactures and markets human therapeutics based on advances in cellular and molecular biology for grievous illnesses primarily in the United States, Europe and Canada. Market cap of $52.74B. Dividend yield at 2.39%, payout ratio at 6.53%. Current ratio at 4.60. According to ISS, the company has "low concern" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.27% over the last week.

2. Stryker Corp. (NYSE:SYK): Operates as a medical technology company worldwide. Market cap of $17.52B. Dividend yield at 1.86%, payout ratio at 22.47%. Current ratio at 4.44. According to ISS, the company has "low concern" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has lost 15.36% over the last year.

3. NewMarket Corp. (NYSE:NEU): Engages in the petroleum additives and real estate development businesses. Market cap of $2.53B. Dividend yield at 1.59%, payout ratio at 12.91%. Current ratio at 3.01. According to ISS, the company has "low concern" in all corporate governance categories. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 11.55% (equivalent to 14.62 days of average volume). The stock has gained 54.69% over the last year.

4. Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO): Designs, manufactures and sells Internet protocol (IP)-based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industry worldwide. Market cap of $95.10B. Dividend yield at 1.36%, payout ratio at 15.46%. Current ratio at 3.28. According to ISS, the company has "low concern" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has lost 8.81% over the last year.

5. ADTRAN Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN): Designs, manufactures, markets and services network access solutions that enable voice, data, video and Internet communications across wireline and wireless networks worldwide. Market cap of $1.77B. Dividend yield at 1.29%, payout ratio at 16.09%. Current ratio at 4.77. According to ISS, the company has "low concern" in all corporate governance categories. It has been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 8.6% over the last week.

6. Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE:BEN): Provides its services to individuals, institutions, pension plans, trusts and partnerships. Market cap of $20.17B. Dividend yield at 1.16%, payout ratio at 11.53%. Current ratio at 5.81. According to ISS, the company has "low concern" in all corporate governance categories. The stock has lost 14.15% over the last year.

*ISS ratings sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 6 Highly Liquid Dividend Stocks With Strong Corporate Governance