Seeking Alpha
Long only, value, long-term horizon, dividend growth investing
Profile| Send Message|
( followers)  

This week analysts are making dividend stocks look cool again. We have seen more dividend payers upgraded already this week than we have in any other week of 2012. These upgrades are following rising oil prices and Ben Bernanke's commitment to keep interest rates low. 9 dividend stocks with a yield over 2% have been upgraded to a buy rating by analysts this week. One stock was upgraded to hold. We have listed the reason for the upgrade and the new price target when it was made available by the analyst.

Alliant Energy (NYSE:LNT)

Alliant Energy was upgraded by Barclays from Equal Weight to Overweight on March 26th with a price target of $46 per share. Barclays said the upgrade was based on relative valuation and earnings growth. LNT has a dividend yield of 4% and a payout ratio of 63%. The company has increased its dividend for 8 consecutive years and has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 7.9%.

Foot Locker (NYSE:FL)

Foot Locker was upgraded by Longbow on March 26th from a Neutral to a Buy with a price target of $38. Longbow cited favorable athletic footwear momentum through 2012 as the reason for the upgrade. FL has a dividend yield of 2.1% and a payout ratio of 40%. The company has increased its dividend for 2 years and has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 11.3%.

Wisconsin Energy (NYSE:WEC)

Wisconsin Energy was upgraded by Barclays from Equal Weight to Overweight on March 26th with a price target of $40 per share. Barclays said the upgrade was based on relative valuation, earnings growth, and high dividend growth. WEC has a dividend yield of 3.1% and a payout ratio of 50%. The company has increased its dividend for 8 years and has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 18.2%.

Frontline (NYSE:FRO)

Frontline was upgraded by Dahlman Rose from a Hold to a Buy on March 28th with a price target of $9.5. Dalman Rose said the upgrade was based on a favorable risk/reward scenario with recovering fundamentals and high tanker rates through the next 12 months. FRO has a dividend yield of 2.1% and a payout ratio of 37%. Frontline has had significant cuts to its dividend in 2012.

Overseas Shipholding (OSG)

Overseas Shipholding was upgraded by Dahlman Rose from Sell to Hold on March 28th. Dahlman Rose said the upgraded was based on the company's exposure to the crude and refined product tanker spot markets. OSG has a dividend yield of 7.8% and has negative EPS so the payout ratio cannot be calculated. OSG has also cut its dividend in 2012.

SY Bancorp (NASDAQ:SYBT)

SY Bancorp was upgraded by Stifel Nicolaus from a Hold to a Buy with a price target of $26 per share. Stifel Nicolaus said the upgrade was based on future earnings growth potential through 2014. SYBT has a dividend yield of 3.1% and a payout ratio of 43%. The company has increased its dividend for 2 years and has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 4.4%.

Teekay Tankers (NYSE:TNK)

Teekay Tankers was upgraded by Dahlman Rose from a Hold to a Buy on March 18th with a price target of $7 per share. Dahlman Rose said the upgrade was based on expected dividend increases of the next 2 years. TNK has a dividend yield of 8.4% and has cut its dividend every year since it started paying dividends in 2008. This is another company with negative EPS.

Tsakos Energy (NYSE:TNP)

Tsakos Energy was upgraded by Dahlman Rose from a Hold to a Buy with a price target of $12 per share on March 28th. Dahlman Rose said the upgrade was based on improving fundamentals and expectations for tanker rates to remain higher over the next 12 months. TNP has a dividend yield of 7.5% and a payout ratio of 95%. TNP has not increased its dividend since it was cut in 2009.

Other Upgrades

Two other stocks have been upgraded but the reason for the upgrade was not made available. Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX) was upgraded on March 26th by Standpoint Research from a Hold to a Buy with a price target of $48 per share. FCX has a dividend yield of 3.9%, a payout ratio of 36% and a 5 year dividend growth rate of 254%. Westar Energy (NYSE:WR) was upgraded by Barclays on March 26th from Equal Weight to Overweight with a price target of $31. WR has a dividend yield of 4.6% and a payout ratio of 67%. The company has increased its dividend for 7 years and has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 4.8%.

Source: 9 Dividend-Paying Stocks With New Buy Ratings