Amid market uncertainty, the appeal for dividend investing is high as investors can enjoy rising current income while anticipating capital appreciation irrespective of market conditions.
While there are several dividend stocks that could provide capital appreciation, honing in on stocks with a history of dividend growth leads to a healthy portfolio, with a greater scope of capital appreciation as opposed to simple dividend paying stocks or those with high yields.
Stocks that have a strong history of dividend growth belong to mature companies, which are less susceptible to large swings in the market, and thus act as a hedge against economic or political uncertainty as well as stock market volatility. At the same time, these offer downside protection with their consistent increase in payouts.
Additionally, these stocks have superior fundamentals that make dividend growth a quality and promising investment for the long term. These include a sustainable business model, a long track of profitability, rising cash flows, good liquidity, a strong balance sheet and some value characteristics. Further, a history of strong dividend growth indicates that dividend increase is likely in the future.
Although these stocks do not necessarily have the highest yields, they have outperformed for a longer period than the broader stock market or any other dividend-paying stock.
As a result, picking dividend growth stocks appears as a winning strategy when some other parameters are also included.
5-Year Historical Dividend Growth greater than zero: This selects stocks with a solid dividend growth history.
5-Year Historical Sales Growth greater than zero: This represents stocks with a strong record of growing revenues.
5-Year Historical EPS Growth greater than zero: This represents stocks with a solid earnings growth history.
Next 3–5 Year EPS Growth Rate greater than zero: This represents the rate at which a company’s earnings are expected to grow. Improving earnings should help companies sustain dividend payments.
Price/Cash Flow less than M-Industry: A ratio less than M-industry indicates that the stock is undervalued in that industry and that an investor needs to pay less for better cash flow generated by the company.
52-Week Price Change greater than S&P 500 (Market Weight): This ensures that the stock appreciated more than the S&P 500 over the past year.
Top Zacks Rank: Stocks having a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy) and 2 (Buy) generally outperform their peers in all types of market environment.
Growth Score of B or better: Our research shows that stocks with a Growth Score of A or B when combined with a Zacks Rank #1 or 2 offer the best upside potential.
Here are five of the 14 stocks that fit the bill:
Oregon-based Lithia Motors, Inc. (LAD - Free Report) is one of largest automotive retailers featuring most domestic and import franchises. The company has seen positive earnings estimate revision of 19 cents over the past 30 days for this year and has an expected earnings growth rate of 11.72%. The stock has a Zacks Rank #1 and Growth Score of B. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.
Washington-based Microsoft Corporation (MSFT - Free Report) is engaged in developing, licensing, and supporting software products, services and devices worldwide. Its earnings are expected to grow 18.04% for the fiscal year ending June 2019. Microsoft delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 9.82% in the past four quarters. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of B.
Arizona-based Pinnacle West Capital Corporation (PNW - Free Report) is an investor-owned electric utility holding company. It has an estimated earnings growth rate of 6.83% for this year and delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 4.97% in the past four quarters. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 and Growth Score of B.
New York-based OUTFRONT Media Inc. (OUT - Free Report) is a lessor of advertising space on out-of-home advertising structures and sites across the United States, Canada and Latin America. The company has seen positive earnings estimate revision of 5 cents over the past 30 days for this year and has an expected earnings growth rate of 6.98%. OUTFRONT Media has a Zacks Rank #2 and Growth Score of B.
New York-based Accenture PLC (ACN - Free Report) is a management consulting, technology services and outsourcing organization. The company has an estimated earnings growth rate of 8.46% for the year ending August 2019 and delivered an average positive earnings surprise of 5.83% in the last four quarters. The stock has a Zacks Rank #2 and Growth Score of A.
You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.
The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.
Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.
Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.
Disclosure: Performance information for Zacks’ portfolios and strategies are available at: https://www.zacks.com/performance.