For investors looking to generate superior returns while still enjoying some semblance of relative stability, it's hard to beat buying and holding good high-yield dividend stocks. But it's easier said than done to actually identify those high-yielders with the greatest chance of beating the market.
We asked five Motley Fool contributors to pick a high-yield dividend stock they believe investors would be wise to consider buying this month. Each is yielding significantly more than the S&P 500 average of 2%. Read on to see which companies they chose and why.
Orange is the new green
Orange was rocked, as was much of Europe, after Britain announced it was going to leave the European Union. The uncertainty created by that decision has cast doubt over growth in the EU and Britain in the coming years. Since Orange generates around half of its income from its home market of France, its valuation took a direct hit.
No one really has any clue what's going to happen with Brexit, though, because there is no precedent. In other words, long-term investors have begun to scoop up good companies trading at attractive valuations post-Brexit, and I suspect Orange is on that list.
Orange has actually taken a very unique path to growth. Despite facing staunch competition from cheaper wireless rivals in France, Orange has chosen to invest heavily in its infrastructure and innovation. The idea is that consumers will opt to go with a higher-quality and faster network as opposed to the cheapest alternative. In its first-quarter results, we saw Orange reiterate its target of EBITDA to climb in 2016 from 2015, despite a nearly 2% decline in EBITDA from Q1 2015 to Q1 2016. This would imply there's little in the way of margin or pricing power degradation for Orange in its primary market. Orange also added around 96,000 broadband customers in France during Q1.
Beyond France, Orange is making inroads in the Middle East and Africa, which are still largely untapped markets. Orange's investments and acquisitions in these regions may not pay dividends immediately, but the long-tail opportunity in these regions, where telecom growth isn't very dependent on the developed world, could vault Orange's growth rate in the 2020s and 2030s well above its peers.
Valued at only 1.2 times its book value and paying out a semi-annual dividend that currently works out to a 4.2% yield, I'd suggest giving Orange a closer look.
A high-tech turnaround
Steve Symington: After Qualcomm's (NASDAQ:QCOM) most recent quarterly report showed encouraging signs of an early turnaround, I think now is a great time for investors to pick up shares of the high-yielding semiconductor specialist.
Quarterly revenue rose a modest 3% year over year, to $6.04 billion, but it still outpaced Wall Street's expectations by a whopping $450 million. And while adjusted net income rose just 7% over the same period, to $1.73 billion, Qualcomm's ambitious share repurchase efforts over the past year meant earnings per share rose 17%, to $1.16, similarly outpacing estimates for adjusted earnings of $0.99 per share.
But perhaps most encouraging is that Qualcomm CEO Steve Mollenkopf credited the company's strength to a "strong new product ramp across tiers, particularly with fast growing OEMs in China," where investors have worried in previous quarters after many Chinese handset makers stopped paying royalty rates under its lucrative Technology Licensing division.
Meanwhile, Mollenkopf noted the company is executing well on its longer-term strategic priorities, including investments to ensure it will serve a central role enabling the inevitable adoption of 5G technology as it did with the respective rollouts of 3G and 4G. And that's not to mention Qualcomm's efforts to expand its presence in "adjacent opportunities" including automotive, networking, mobile computing, and Internet of Things applications, enabling it to capitalize on an estimated $12 billion incremental addressable market that's expected to enjoy roughly 18% compound annual growth over the next five years.
So, with shares of Qualcomm still down more than 30% from their 2014 highs, and offering a quarterly dividend that yields roughly 3.4% annually at today's prices, I think investors who buy now and watch its turnaround continue to unfold will be handsomely rewarded.
The best house in a bad neighborhood
Brian Feroldi: If you're after a high-yield stock and you can stomach an above-average amount of risk, I'd suggest you put Seaspan (NYSE:SSW) on your watch list. Shares are currently yielding just under 10%, which should grab the attention of any income-focused investor.
Seaspan's business model is to buy a fleet of container ships and then lease them out to liner companies under long-term, fixed-rate charters. These contracts help make the company's revenue and profits highly predictable, and Seaspan has been smart about spacing out its contracts so they don't mature at the same time.
The company has been rapidly adding to its fleet over the last five years, which has led to revenue growth of more than 10% annually. In turn, the company has committed to returning a growing portion of its profits to shareholders in the form of an ever-rising dividend, which has grown at a 22% annualized rate over the last five years.
So, if everything's going great, why is the stock so cheap and the yield so high?
Industrywide, supply growth has outstripped demand, which has caused charter rates to plunge to historic lows. So far, Seaspan's contracts have protected it from the drop, but liner operators are suffering badly from the glut. We just witnessed one of Seaspans' smaller customers, Hanjin, ask for a charter rate reduction as part of a balance sheet restructuring. Seaspan has so far refused to renegotiate, but this does open the door to potential problems down the road if rates don't improve.
Right now, Seaspan is being viewed as the best house in a bad neighborhood, and the market is laser-focused on the neighborhood. Seaspan continues to grow revenue and cash available for distribution, but the industry troubles have caused investors to bail on the company's stock.
I'm willing to bet Seaspan will be able to navigate through this rough patch and come out stronger on the other side. In the meantime, its dividend only consumes about 36% of its cash available for distribution, so I think it's relatively safe.
Seaspan is far from a risk-free investment, but if you're looking for a high-yield stock that offers upside potential, this stock could be the way to go.
Plenty of dividend growth in the pipeline
Jason Hall: Even with a stock price that's gone up by more than double from its lows earlier this year, ONEOK, Inc. (NYSE:OKE) is still worth a look for income investors. At its current price near $45 per share, ONEOK yields a 5.5% dividend payout and is a solid bet for long-term dividend growth.
So, what makes ONEOK worthwhile today? In short, it's a great way to invest in America's huge supplies of cheap natural gas without big exposure to the ups and downs of energy prices. How does that work?
ONEOK is in the natural gas and NGLs gathering, processing, and distribution business, managing ONEOK Partners LP (NYSE:OKS), its master limited partnership, which owns all of the assets. ONEOK works with natural gas producers to connect their wells to pipelines, gathering and distributing the gas and gas liquids they drill for a fee. These contracts are largely unrelated to energy prices, have minimum volumes, and are long term. It's a great recipe for steady, dependable cash flows.
Furthermore, there's a lot of growth opportunity for natural gas. Not only is demand going to continue displacing coal in electricity production, but U.S. petrochemical manufacturing is growing, since cheap natural gas here has made it just as cheap to manufacture here as anywhere in the world. These are strong long-term trends that should support years of steady growth for ONEOK.
It may be a year or so before ONEOK raises its dividend again, but growth projects in the pipeline should lead to even higher dividends in years to come.
A variable payout that has maintained a consistently high yield
Tyler Crowe: For some reason, we as U.S. investors have a tendency to view companies that pay a variable rate dividend in a slightly negative light. Sure, the payout isn't consistent, and it isn't as attractive to those who want a steady income check every quarter, but that doesn't necessarily make these bad investments. A great example of a company that has a variable-rate payout but a very high yield is Terra Nitrogen Partners (NYSE:TNH). If you haven't looked at this company before, then perhaps August is the time to look, because it looks like a great investment.
Like other master limited partnerships, Terra Nitrogen Partners pays out its shareholders from distributable cash flow each quarter. Unlike others that pay a rate fixed by management, Terra Nitrogen elects to pay out all remaining distributable cash flow each quarter. This comes in handy as the partnership only owns one asset: a nitrogen fertilizer factory in Oklahoma. So, if there are any production interruptions or major commodity price swings, the company isn't forced to pay out a distribution that compromises its long-term health as a business.
This isn't the only thing that makes Terra Nitrogen so unique, though. What also makes it special is the fact that it's a debt-free business. That means all that cash that would typically go to interest payments at other companies flows straight to the bottom line. This, and its traditionally high yield, have led to fantastic returns on equity over time.
Shares of Terra Nitrogen Partners currently carry a dividend yield of 8.6%. That could go down if its payout declines, but the company's track record of high returns suggest that you won't regret buying shares.
Steve Symington has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends ONEOK and Qualcomm. The Motley Fool recommends ONEOK Partners and Seaspan. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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