If you are looking for dividend stocks with big yields, Enviva Partners LP (NYSE:EVA), VEREIT Inc. (NYSE:VER), and AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV) are worth a close look today. The stocks all offer a yield over 5%, and there's a compelling story behind each name. From clean energy to healthcare, with a stopover in real estate in between, one of these high-yielding dividend stocks, if not more, is likely to find its way into your stock portfolio if you take the time to do a deep dive today.
The only 5%-plus yielder I own
Brian Stoffel (Enviva Partners LP): I won't parse words: I'm not a dividend investor. Of all the companies I own, only one has a payout. Perhaps that means you should take my opinion with a grain of salt -- or perhaps the fact that I've chosen it gives extra credence to my conviction in the stock.
That stock is Enviva Partners -- and based on the payouts over the past year, it currently yields over 8%. The business model is pretty simple to understand: Enviva provides wood pellets for international energy companies looking to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Those agreements are, on average, for between nine and 10 years.
Once signed, Enviva tries to cut down on the internal costs for supplying those pellets and gives the difference -- its distributable cash flow -- to its investors. Its production plants and deep-water ports along the American southeast are helping to improve efficiency. The company has even recovered from a fire at one of its ports earlier this year.
But be warned: Eventually, many of these power companies may transition to wind or solar power. The best way to tell this wave is coming is by keeping track of the average contract length. If it continues to fall, it means wood pellets will be losing favor -- and that it's time to find better high-yielders for your portfolio.
Legal costs are better defined
Reuben Gregg Brewer (VEREIT Inc.): Under the leadership of industry veteran Glenn Rufrano, VEREIT has gone through a major transformation. It is now a pure-play, diversified net lease real estate investment trust, or REIT, with a solid balance sheet and well-covered dividend (the funds from operations payout ratio was a healthy 76% in the third quarter). This is a big change from the company that announced an accounting error in 2014, leading to a management overhaul (bringing in Rufrano and his crew) and a suspension of the dividend.
Although a great deal of progress has been made at VEREIT, there's still one major lingering issue: lawsuits. The legal tussle left over from the accounting issue is a wild card worrying investors and depressing the REIT's shares. That's left the yield up at a hefty 6.7%, easily one of the highest in the net lease space (net lease REITs own properties for which their lessees pay most of the operating costs). To be fair, there's no way to fully quantify the financial risk here, but progress is being made.
For example, the company has settled with roughly a third of shareholders at a cost of around $233 million. Assuming that the rest of the shareholders settle for roughly the same financial consideration suggests that the bill will be, at worst, around $1 billion. VEREIT has around $1.7 billion available on its credit facility at last check. It should be able to handle such a hit without missing a step. And once the legal issues are behind it, investors are likely to price the stock more in line with peers. Now, however, is the time to act if you want to catch the fat yield.
A high-yield biotech bargain
Keith Speights (AbbVie Inc.): If you like dividends, you should love AbbVie. The big biotech pays a dividend that yields 5.3%. It has increased its dividend by a whopping 168% since being spun off from parent Abbott Laboratories in 2013. And including its time as a part of Abbott, AbbVie has hiked its dividend for 47 consecutive years.
But AbbVie isn't just a great dividend stock; it's also a pretty good bargain right now. Shares trade at around 8.5 times expected earnings. This discounted valuation is primarily due to investors' concerns about the prospects for AbbVie's top-selling drug, Humira, which now faces biosimilar competition in Europe.
However, AbbVie isn't worried about the challenges for Humira. The drug shouldn't face biosimilar rivals in the U.S. until 2023. AbbVie's other current products, including cancer drugs Imbruvica and Venclexta and hepatitis C drug Mavyret, continue to perform very well. Even better, the company has promising new drugs on the way in the near future, notably including immunology drugs risankizumab and upadacitinib. AbbVie thinks these two drugs by themselves will contribute $10 billion or more in incremental revenue by 2025.
AbbVie is a high-yield biotech bargain for now. But as the company's newer products, like endometriosis pain drug Orilissa, pick up steam and pipeline candidates win approval, I don't think it will remain a bargain for too much longer.