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5 Cheap Dividend Stocks for Uncertain Times Ahead

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There are a number of things irking Mr. Market right now, including continuing trade tensions with China, declining consumer confidence, deflationary tendencies and delays/postponement of an interest rate cut that could breathe some life into it.

All of this is happening in a world of progressively greater efficiency, meaning that technology deployment and mechanization of processes is already stealing jobs. This situation can only exacerbate as automation is a must if we are to see the steady growth rates we hunger for.  

To make matters worse, there’s an imbalance in the housing market, where inventories of costlier dwellings are on the rise along with demand for cheaper housing.

So the need to invest wisely has never been more important as it is today. Because truly, everything that we have been depending on, like our jobs, homes and livelihoods are increasingly on the line.

One way of dealing with the situation is by hedging our bets. It’s already well known that riskier investments generate higher returns. But if you’re like me, you will be putting only a small part of your available funds into these things and parking the bulk of your resources into income generating investments. You could then reinvest the income or use the cash, depending on your needs.

So what kind of income-generating assets make the most sense? Obviously, those that appear undervalued with respect to the basket/group of stocks to which they belong. And in the vast ocean of stocks to choose from, obviously those industries/groups that have positive things (catalysts) going for them are more attractive than the others.

With these general thoughts in mind, I have picked a few stocks that have Buy ranks, are placed in attractive industries, those that are suitable for moderately risk-averse investors, those that have posted a big earnings beat in recent history, that pay out attractive dividends and are reasonably or attractively valued. So here’s the list-   

Arbor Realty Trust (ABR - Free Report)

Arbor Realty Trust is a specialized investor in real estate-related bridge and mezzanine loans, preferred equity, mortgage-related securities and other real estate-related assets. The following are key criteria that make it a Buy in this environment-

Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy)

REIT and Equity Trust – Other Industry Rank 79 (top 31%)

Growth Score B

Last quarter EPS surprise 22.2%

Dividend yield 9.2%                           

P/E based on forward earnings for the current year 9.94X (industry 16.60X)


Geo Group Inc (The) (GEO - Free Report)

The GEO Group is an equity real estate investment trust. It specializes in the design, development, financing and operation of correctional, detention and community re-entry facilities. It has operations in the U.S., Australia, South Africa and the UK. Important reasons to buy the stock are-

Zacks Rank #1

REIT and Equity Trust - Other Industry Rank 79 (top 31%)

VGM Score B

Last quarter EPS surprise 42.55%

Dividend yield 9.21% 

P/E based on forward earnings for the current year 7.79X (industry 16.60X)


Ellington Financial LLC (EFC - Free Report)

Ellington Financial is a finance company that acquires and manages mortgage-related assets, including residential mortgage-backed securities, prime jumbo, Alternative A-paper and subprime residential mortgage loans. The company's targeted assets also include mortgage-related derivatives, corporate debt and equity securities and derivatives. Key investment criteria include-

Zacks Rank #1

Financial - Mortgage & Related Services Industry Rank 19 (top 7%)

Momentum Score B

Last quarter EPS surprise 21.62%

Dividend yield 9.36% 

P/E based on forward earnings for the current year 10.65X (industry 18.90X)


Och-Ziff Capital Management Group LLC

Och-Ziff Capital Management Group is a leading, global institutional alternative asset management firm. It seeks to deliver consistent, positive, risk-adjusted returns throughout market cycles, with particular focus on risk management and capital preservation.

Its diversified, multi-strategy approach is based on global investment strategies spanning merger arbitrage, convertible arbitrage, equity restructuring, credit and distressed investments, private investments and real estate. The rationale for investment includes

Zacks Rank #2 (Buy)

Financial - Investment Management Industry Rank 99 (top 39%)

Value Score B

Last quarter EPS surprise 223.53%

Dividend yield 6.19% 

P/E based on forward earnings for the current year 12.72X (industry 36.90X)


PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust (PMT - Free Report)

PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust is a real estate investment trust. The company invests primarily in residential mortgage loans and mortgage-related assets, acquiring primarily troubled home mortgage loans and mortgage-backed securities from FDIC liquidations of failed banks, US Treasury Legacy Loans Program auctions, and direct acquisitions from mortgage and insurance companies and foreign banks. It promises risk-adjusted returns to investors over the long-term, primarily through dividends and secondarily through capital appreciation. Key investment criteria include

Zacks Rank #2

Real Estate - Operations Industry Rank 77 (top 30%)

VGM Score B

Last quarter EPS surprise 61.90%

Dividend yield 8.6%   

P/E based on forward earnings for the current year 10.62X (industry 10.60X)


You can also see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

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