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3 High-Yield Dividend Stocks to Buy This Summer

By Eric Volkman - Jun 18, 2019 at 9:45AM

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These may not be Wall Street favorites. But that doesn't mean they're not attractive investments.

Studies have shown that there is no single best season or month to trade stocks -- take that, January Effect!

That said, there are some solid, high-yield dividend stocks swirling around in the warm summer breeze. Read on for three that should be plucked out of the air.

Woman at beach throwing money into the air.

Image source: Getty Images.

AT&T

Monster telecom stock AT&T (T 0.61%) isn't exactly a monster on the stock exchange.

The company is wrestling with revenue drops in both the communications and entertainment ends of its business.

In the increasingly important entertainment segment, this is a case of short-term pain for long-term gain. AT&T has decided to prioritize profitability, making moves like increasing prices for its DirecTV and U-verse offerings and eschewing some of its promotional deals. That has alienated some customers but increased margins.

Meanwhile, AT&T is doing a good job reducing its big pile of debt. Its still very robust cash flow gives it scope to continue doing so while more than supporting that meaty dividend. Over the past year, the company's shares have essentially traded flat, compounded by Q1 results that didn't exceed expectations.

The future is ripe with potential. The upcoming WarnerMedia streaming service built on the company's massive library of TV and movies (from the Time Warner acquisition) will be a compelling proposition. On the communications side, potentially strong demand for 5G services -- which could command premium prices -- might end up as quite the growth catalyst. So now's a good time to take a serious look at the stock.

This is a fine, high-yield dividend stock backed by a profitable company that throws off loads of cash and has exciting opportunities in front of it. AT&T's distribution sports a nice, rich dividend yield of 6.3%.

CenturyLink

CenturyLink (LUMN 1.05%) has fallen out of favor with income investors, not least because it cut its dividend by 54% earlier this year. 

Like AT&T with Time Warner, CenturyLink made a big acquisition -- the heavily indebted Level 3 Communications -- that isn't easy to digest. After that, it went on a crash diet, enacting a slate of cost-cutting moves that were completed well sooner than anticipated.

This gave a real lift to free cash flow (FCF), which in fiscal 2018 doubled and then some to almost $3.9 billion.  

Level 3, with some high-potential assets like its extensive fiber network, has a good shot at lifting CenturyLink's overall business, particularly with the 5G future in front of us. Recently, the company said it's looking into alternatives for its consumer operations (around 75% of its revenue comes from enterprise clients).

Cutting that loose won't be easy or lucrative, but CenturyLink will be leaner and more focused once it's done.

With the spending necessary to keep the company competitive, FCF shrank notably in Q1. But it's still high enough to fund capital expenditures and support the dividend, while leaving enough room for rises in both. Even after that deep cut, CenturyLink has a high-yield dividend, paying out 8.9%.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers

Another currently unfashionable stock is Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT 2.01%), the real estate investment trust (REIT) that operates factory outlet shopping malls.

Yes, the retail apocalypse is upon us and it's claiming victims. However, Tanger is a different beast. Discount stores like factory outlets encourage in-person spending, since bargain shoppers like to comb through inventory to find the most attractive deals. 

Retailers aren't draining away from Tanger's properties. Occupancy was at 95% in the REIT's Q1, not as high as it was earlier this decade, but still quite full. Funds from operations -- the lead profitability metric for REITs -- have dipped lately, although not to an alarming degree. 

Tanger recently cut its FFO guidance a bit for 2019, which hasn't done wonders for its stock price. What it has done, though, is make the shares even more attractively valued. The company currently sports an attractive price/trailing-12-month FFO of 6.8% and, based on the midpoint of said guidance, a forward one-year ratio of 7.3%.

Shoppers are always going to love bargains, and they're always going to drive to outlet malls to score them. Tanger is suffering from investor aversion to most stocks with the word "retail" describing them, and it deserves better. It's a solid contrarian play at the moment.

Even for a REIT, Tanger's yield is rich. The stock currently pays out at an 8.6% clip.

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Stocks Mentioned

AT&T Inc. Stock Quote
AT&T Inc.
T
$19.84 (0.61%) $0.12
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc. Stock Quote
Tanger Factory Outlet Centers, Inc.
SKT
$17.76 (2.01%) $0.35
Lumen Technologies Stock Quote
Lumen Technologies
LUMN
$11.59 (1.05%) $0.12

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