When it comes to dividend stocks, bigger isn't always better. Instead of focusing on yield alone, savvy investors find companies with the ability to both back and boost their dividends. Here are three under-the-radar dividend stocks at the top of billionaire Ken Fisher's holdings.
Qualcomm (NASDAQ: QCOM ) develops new technologies and then licenses the rights to use its patented technology. For example, networks being upgraded to 4G (fourth-generation) are based on a technology developed by Qualcomm. By holding the patents, Qualcomm collects royalties from smartphone and tablet makers that use it. Also, as Android-based devices, which commonly run on Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip, continue to snatch market share, Qualcomm will likely benefit.
The tech giant's dividend yields 1.9%, but the real power of its dividend is its growth story. The tech company recently raised it by more than 40% and has doubled it over the past five years. Better yet, the payout ratio for Qualcomm's dividend is 31%, indicating the company has plenty of room to further grow its dividend. Fisher also likely finds the company's forward P/E ratio of 13 especially enticing.
Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA ) is the largest cable-operator in the United States. The company acquired full ownership of NBC Universal last year. Watch for Comcast to deliver improved operating margins at NBC Universal as it integrates operations. Also, look for a potential partnership with Netflix that could enhance both companies' content distribution and marketing abilities.
The telecom behemoth's dividend yields 1.5%, which it has increased by nearly 140% in five years. Its 38% dividend payout ratio allows room for the company to increase the dividend, which is well-supported by strong cash flow and earnings. As Comcast's margins grow, the company will have even more leeway to increase its dividend.
Disney's (NYSE: DIS ) massive empire, which includes a world-renowned brand, theme parks, television, and movies, yields a diversified stream of revenue. Disney's sometimes-overlooked cable networks account for almost half of company revenue and two-thirds of operating profit. And Disney's successful Lucasfilm, Marvel, and Pixar acquisitions are generating seemingly endless billion-dollar movie franchises and assets that will likely create shareholder value for years to come.
Disney's dividend yields a mere 1.2%. Its payout ratio is a healthy 22%, which leaves lots of room for further growth. The company increased its dividend 15% last year and has doubled its dividend in the past three years. Not only does Fisher love Disney, but our Motley Fool CAPS community has crowned it a five-star (out of five) stock.
Foolish final thoughts
Savvy investors like Fisher don't ignore companies with a lower initial dividend. By overlooking companies that pay smaller yields, you may be missing out on the best dividend growth stocks of the coming decade.
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