Many investors buy tech stocks for growth, but "mature" tech stocks that generate consistent dividends can also be solid long-term investments. Today, our Motley Fool contributors highlight three high-yield tech stocks that should be on your radar: HP Inc. (NYSE:HPQ), AT&T (NYSE:T), and Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN).
An undervalued tech giant
Leo Sun (HP Inc.): HP, one of the biggest PC and printer makers in the world, pays a forward dividend yield of 3%. It's raised that dividend every year since its split with Hewlett-Packard Enterprise in late 2015. The company spent just 17% of its earnings and 23% of its free cash flow on that dividend over the past 12 months, so it has plenty of room for future hikes.
HP is often considered a slow-growth stock, yet it's posted six straight quarters of double-digit sales growth. That growth was driven by strong sales of its PCs -- which benefited from its sharpened focus on higher-end laptops, convertible devices, and gaming PCs. Lower prices for components, especially memory chips, also helped the unit maintain stable operating margins.
HP is also expanding its printing business with its acquisitions of Samsung's printing unit and office equipment dealer Apogee. Its gradual expansion into 3D industrial printers and 3D metal printers should further strengthen the printing unit's long-term growth.
Analysts expect HP's revenue to rise just 2% this year, due to tougher headwinds in the enterprise market. Yet its earnings, which are buoyed by aggressive buybacks, are still expected to grow 9%. Those are solid growth rates for a stock that trades at just 9 times forward earnings. Therefore, HP's low valuation, high yield, and wide moat make it an ideal "mature" tech stock to own for income instead of explosive growth.
Give this classic telco a chance
Jamal Carnette, CFA (AT&T): With a yield approaching 7% and a cheap forward valuation of 8.7 times earnings, the market is pricing in the probability that AT&T may have to cut its dividend. However, free cash flow tells a different story; last quarter, the company reported 17% growth, partially on account of the recent Time Warner acquisition.
The argument against AT&T is that it operates in structurally declining businesses -- landline telephony and subscription television -- while higher-growth segments like wireless telephony and Internet are slowing and will be unable to offset declines in future years. As such, AT&T is viewed as lacking a long-term growth catalyst. Despite sluggish organic revenue growth, the company's free cash flow payout ratio was 55% last quarter, a highly sustainable figure.
However, 5G could be that catalyst: The next-gen technology is widely expected to be the backbone of the Internet of Things -- machine-to-machine communication -- enabling wide-scale technology advancements like autonomous vehicles, augmented reality, and smart cities. And considering 5G is 100 times faster than the current-gen 4G technology, carriers should be able to monetize 5G buildout with purchases from businesses, self-driving vehicle owners, and speed-hungry gamers.
Find your way to a higher yield
Demitri Kalogeropoulos (Garmin): GPS device specialist Garmin doesn't have a great track record for raising its dividend, with last year's increase marking its first in several years. But income investors who can accept that spotty record will find plenty to like about this high-yield stock.
Garmin's last quarterly report showed the power of its diverse product portfolio. Sales rose 8% to double the prior quarter's pace as gains in its fitness, aviation, outdoor, and marine segments more than offset lower in-car dashboard GPS device sales. Garmin's gross profitability inched up, just as it has for two years, to approach a market-beating 60% of sales. CEO Cliff Pemble and his team kept a lid on costs, as well, so that operating margin is up to 24% of sales.
These operating metrics trounce peers like Fitbit (NYSE:FIT), and they also put the company in position to generate healthy earnings growth. Executives raised their profit outlook for the second straight quarter back in early November, in fact. If that strong momentum carried into the holiday season period, then investors shouldn't be shocked to see another dividend increase from Garmin sometime in 2019.
Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Jamal Carnette, CFA owns shares of AT&T. Leo Sun owns shares of AT&T and HP. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Fitbit. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.