Wall Street's 36 Favorite 'Safer' Dividend Stocks For 2018

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Includes: ABDC, ACSF, AHGP, ARLP, CCR-OLD, CIG, DLNG, HCI, MDLY, NRP, QUAD, SALM, SDLP, SPKE, SXCP, XPER
by: Fredrik Arnold
Summary

Wall Street lives by picking probable prices for equities. My articles include Broker 1yr. Target estimates for dividend stocks. This new consolidated ranking was suggested by a reader, Minnesota 72.

36 of 89 Wall St Favorite Dividend stocks were tagged as "safer" for dividends because they showed positive one-year returns and free cash flow yields greater than their dividend yields.

Broker target-estimated December top ten net 'safer' gains ranged 44.38%-118.48% from QUAD, SDLP, ARLP, HCI, CCR, SPKE, CIG, DLNG, XPER, and were topped by SALM.

Top ten Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend annual yields ranged 10.78% to 14.33% from ACSF; ARLP; BKEP; SDLP; ABDC; AHGP; MDLY; SXCP; CCR, and topped by DLNG. Their free cash-flow yields ranged 12.05%-146.96%.

Analyst one-year targets revealed that ten highest yield Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend stocks could produce 5.04% LESS gain from $5k invested all ten.  The higher priced "big" dog stocks ruled the pack.

Actionable Conclusions (1-10): Brokers Predicted Top Ten Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend Stocks To Net 44.38% to 118.48% Gains To December, 2018

Four of the ten top Wall St. Favorite ‘Safer’ DiviDogs by yield (shaded in the chart above) were verified as being among the top ten gainers for the coming year based on analyst 1 year target prices. Thus the dog strategy for this group as graded by analyst estimates for this month proved 40% accurate.

Ten probable profit-generating trades were culled by YCharts for 2018:

Salem Media Group (SALM) was forecast to net $1,184.76 based on estimates from two analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 16% more than the market as a whole.

Xperi (XPER) netted $1,102.55 based on a median target price estimate from three analysts, plus projected annual dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 27% less than the market as a whole.

Dynagas LNG Partners (DLNG) netted $497.39 based on a median target price set by nine analysts, plus estimated dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 10% more than the market as a whole.

Energy Company of Minas Gerais (CIG) netted $488.52, based on dividends plus a median target price estimate from six analysts, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 96% more than the market as a whole.

Spark Energy (SPKE) netted $481.84, based on dividends plus a median target price estimate from three analysts, minus broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 177% opposed to the market as a whole.

CONSOL Coal Resources (CCR-OLD) netted $481.74 based on a median target estimate from six analysts, plus dividends, less broker fees. A Beta number was not found for CCR.

HCI Group (HCI) netted $479.67 based on dividends plus a median target price estimate from four analysts less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 114% more than the market as a whole.

Alliance Resource (ARLP) netted $467.15 based on estimates from five analysts, plus dividends, less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 25% less than the market as a whole.

Seadrill Partners (SDLP) netted $447.07 based on a median target estimate from two analysts, plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 125% more than the market as a whole.

Quad/Graphics (QUAD) netted $443.84 based on mean target price estimates from two analysts plus dividends less broker fees. The Beta number showed this estimate subject to volatility 48% more than the market as a whole.

Average net gain in dividend and price was 60.75% on $10k invested as $1k in each of these ten Wall St. Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend stocks. This gain estimate was subject to average volatility 9% more than the market as a whole.

The Dividend Dogs Rule

The "dog" moniker was earned by stocks exhibiting three traits: (1) paying reliable, repeating dividends, (2) their prices fell to where (3) yield (dividend/price) grew higher than their peers. Thus, the highest yielding stocks in any collection became known as "dogs." More specifically, these are, in fact, best called, "underdogs".

Eight of Eleven Sectors Are Represented By The 36 Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ DiviDogs Of December

Sectors represented by the 36 Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividends numbered eight out of eleven. Those 36 stocks showed positive annual returns and margins of cash to cover dividends by this screen as of December 8.

The Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend sector representation broke out as follows: Industrials (3); Basic Materials (9); Financial Services (6); Energy (10); Communication Services (1); Consumer Cyclical (2); Utilities (3); Technology (3); Consumer Defensive (0); Healthcare (0); Real Estate (0).

Four the six sectors were represented in the top ten by yield.

36 of 89 Wall St. Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend Dog Firms

Periodic Safety Inspection

A previous article discussed the attributes of the top 50 Wall St Favorite Dividend stocks culled by yield from this list of 89.

You see grouped below a tinted list showing 36 that passed the dog "safer" check with positive past-year returns and cash flow yield sufficient to cover their anticipated annual dividend yield. The margin of excess is shown in the bold face "Safety Margin" column. The total returns column screened out none with sagging prices.

Corporate financial success, however, is easily re-prioritized by boards of directors making company policy cancelling or varying the payout of dividends to shareholders. Some may not cut or reduce dividends but carefully regulate their annual pay outs in slow business periods.

This article contends that adequate cash flow is strong justification for a company to sustain annual dividend pay increases to shareholders.

Note that many of these Wall St Favorites have cut their dividends lower recently, including:

Alliance Holdings (AHGP) in May 2016;

Seadrill Partners (SDLP) in August, 2016;

Alliance Resource (ARLP) in May, 2016;

American Capital (OTC:ACSF) in April, 2015;

Natural Resources (NRP) in May, 2015, among others.

Three additional columns of financial data, listed after the Safety Margin figures above, reveal payout ratios (lower is better), total annual returns, and dividend growth levels for each stock. This data is provided to reach beyond yield to select reliable payout stocks. Positive results in all five columns after the dividend ratio is a solid financial signal.

To quantify top dog rankings, analyst mean price target estimates provide a "market sentiment" gauge of upside potential. Added to the simple high yield "dog" metric, analyst mean price target estimates provided another tool to dig out bargains.

Actionable Conclusions: Wall St. Analysts Expect A (11) 56.3% 1 yr. Average Upside And A (12) 49.3% Net Gain From Top 30 December Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend Stocks

Top stocks on the Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend list were graphed above to compare relative strengths by dividend and price as of December 8, 2017 with those projected by analyst mean price target estimates to the same date in 2018.

Historic prices and actual dividends paid from $10,000 invested as $1K in each of the ten highest yielding stocks and the aggregate single share prices of those ten stocks created the data points applied to 2017. Projections based on estimated increases in dividend amounts from $1000 invested in the ten highest yielding stocks and aggregate one year analyst mean target prices as reported by Yahoo Finance created the 2018 data points in blue for dividend and green for price. Note: one year target prices from one analyst were applied.

Analysts projected a 24% lower dividend from $10K invested as $1k in the top ten December 10%+ ‘Safer’ Dividends while aggregate single share price was projected to increase by 31.5% in the coming year.

The number of analysts contributing to the median target price estimate for each stock was noted in the next to the last column on the above chart. Three to nine analysts were found to provide the more accurate estimates.

A beta (risk) ranking for each stock was provided in the far right column. 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 stock price movement opposed to market direction.

Dog Metrics Revealed Bargains From Lowest Priced, High Yielding, Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ DiviDogs

Ten Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ DiviDog firms with the biggest yields December 8 per YCharts data ranked themselves as follows:

Actionable Conclusions: Analysts Predicted 5 Lowest Priced, of Ten "Safer" Dividend Wall St Favorite Stocks, Will Deliver (13) 39.35% VS. (14) 41.6% Net Gains from All Ten by December, 2018

$5000 invested as $1k in each of the five lowest priced stocks in the ten Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividends pack by yield were determined by analyst 1 year targets to deliver 5.04% LESS gain than $5,000 invested as $.5k in all ten. The sixth lowest priced Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ DiviDog, Dynagas LNG Partners (DLNG) showed the best broker-calculated net-gain of 49.74% per their target estimates.

Lowest priced five Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividends as of December 8 were: Seadrill Partners (SDLP); Blueknight Energy (BKEL); Medley Management (MDLY); Alcentra Capital (ABDC); American Capital (OTC:ACSF), with prices ranging from $3.34 to $10.80.

Higher priced five Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividends as of December 8 were: Dynagas LNG Partners (DLNG); CONSOL Coal Resources (CCR-OLD); SunCoke Energy Partners (SXCP); Alliance Resource (ARLP); Alliance Holdings (AHGP), with prices ranging from $11.79 to $24.45. The big high priced Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ Dividend stocks shown through!

This distinction between five low priced dividend dogs and the general field of ten reflects the "basic method" Michael B. O'Higgins employed for beating the Dow. The added scale of projected gains based on analyst targets contributed a unique element of "market sentiment" gauging upside potential. It provided a here and now equivalent of waiting a year to find out what might happen in the market. Its also the work analysts got paid big bucks to do.

Caution is advised, however, as analysts are historically 20% to 80% accurate on the direction of change and about 0% to 20% accurate on the degree of the change.

The net gain estimates mentioned above did not factor-in any foreign or domestic tax problems resulting from distributions. Consult your tax advisor regarding the source and consequences of "dividends" from any investment.

See my instablog for specific instructions about how to best apply the dividend dog data featured in this article, this glossary instablog to interpret my abbreviated headings, and this instablog to aid your safe investing. --Fredrik Arnold

Stocks listed above were suggested only as possible starting points for your Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ DiviDogs dividend stock research process. These were not recommendations.

Three or more of these Wall St Favorite ‘Safer’ DiviDogs qualified as a valuable catches! They could help make investing fun again! Look for where they might reside among the 52 Dogs of the Week (DOTW)I and others among the other 52 DOTWII now accumulating returns on The Dividend Dog Catcher premium site. Some may also be found in the Dogs of the Week III (DC Safari to Sweet Success) portfolio launched September 8. Click here to subscribe or get more information.

Make investing fun again. See your underdog in print!

Suggest a favorite stock for my next follower favorite article. Message me with your favorite stock ticker. Or leave a comment below this article. I will include it in the next follower favorite write-up.

Just send the ticker symbol for your favorite dividend stock (or two) by clicking on the envelope icon below the headline of this article, or simply type a comment in the comments sector below. Type your top ticker, and remember: Root for the Underdog.

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.

Graphs and charts were compiled by Rydlun & Co., LLC from data derived from www.ycharts. com; www.finance.yahoo.com; analyst mean target price by Thomson/First Call in Yahoo Finance. Dog photo from: flickr.com

Disclosure: I am/we are long ADES. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

Editor's Note: This article covers one or more microcap stocks. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.