4 Dividend Stocks With Heavy Insider Buying

Includes: COP, EIX, LMT, NOC
by: Plan B Economics

I recently had some extra cash that I wanted to put to work, so I ran a screen for what I might call "well supported dividend stocks".

Specifically, I'm looking for companies that pay reasonable yield, but are supported by low p/e ratios, rising insider buying and low payout ratios.

I screened for large cap companies with dividend yields over 3%, p/e ratios under 15 and insider transactions that are up over 20% over the past six months.

Note: screens are step one in a multi-step research process, and aren't a substitute for fundamental analysis. The purpose of stock screens is to narrow down the unmanageably massive stock universe into a short-list of potential investment candidates.

Here's the short list:

ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP)

ConocoPhillips is an international, integrated energy company. As of Dec. 31, 2010, it is the third-largest U.S. integrated energy company, based on market capitalization, as well as proved reserves and production of oil and natural gas, and the largest refiner in the United States. ConocoPhillips is the seventh-largest holder of proved reserves and the fourth-largest refiner worldwide, of nongovernment-controlled companies.

Edison International (NYSE:EIX)

Edison International, through its subsidiaries, is a generator and distributor of electric power and an investor in infrastructure and energy assets, including renewable energy. Headquartered in Rosemead, California, Edison International is the parent company of Southern California Edison-a regulated electric utility-and Edison Mission Group, a competitive power generation business.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT)

Headquartered in Bethesda, MD, Lockheed Martin is a global security and aerospace company that employs about 123,000 people worldwide and is principally engaged in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration and sustainment of advanced technology systems, products and services.

Northrup Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC)

Northrop Grumman Corporation is a leading global security company providing innovative systems, products and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical services to government and commercial customers worldwide.

I was surprised, but somewhat intrigued, to see two defense companies and an integrated oil producer make the list. These three companies potentially gain from the growing tensions in the middle east. Rising oil prices should benefit ConocoPhillips and combat operations should benefit Lockheed Martin and Northrup Grumman. Of course, these are macro generalizations based on the industries these companies operate within. The reality for each company will depend on individual contracts, risk exposures, assets, etc.

Looking at the results of the screen, these four companies appear worthy of further investigation. First, valuations appear reasonable, especially for ConocoPhillips and Northrup Grumman:

Ticker P/E
COP 8.65
EIX 14.51
LMT 11.35
NOC 8.04

Dividend yields aren't mouth watering, but definitely satiate the appetite for yield. And with low payout ratios, you know these dividends aren't all filler:

Ticker Dividend Yield Payout Ratio
COP 3.40% 29.05%
EIX 3.04% 43.05%
LMT 4.52% 41.17%
NOC 3.35% 26.03%

Finally, company insiders for all four companies see something that makes them want to buy the stock in droves. Over the past six months, all four companies have seen insider transactions rise by up to 357%.

Ticker Insider Transactions
COP 357.54%
EIX 252.32%
LMT 57.11%
NOC 30.45%

But let's be realistic here. These are big, widely-held companies and insider ownership is miniscule as a proportion of total float. But when viewed alongside valuations, yields and payout ratios I think these companies are worthy of further research.

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

Disclaimer: This is not advice. While Plan B Economics makes every effort to provide high quality information, the information is not guaranteed to be accurate and should not be relied on. Investing involves risk and you could lose all your money. Consult a professional advisor before making any investing decisions.