Great dividend stocks that not only can benefit investors for years to come, but can also be snatched up at a discount aren't always easy to find. And even when you do find companies trading at rock-bottom prices, it can be difficult to determine which stocks are actually bargains and which ones are just value traps.
To help you find some of the best dividend stocks trading at a discount -- and that pay high yields -- we asked three Motley Fool contributors for some suggestions. Here's why they picked Kohl's (KSS 2.88%), Ford (F 2.52%), and AT&T (T 0.89%).
The retail apocalypse pushing around department store stocks
Nicholas Rossolillo (Kohl's): The way consumers shop has changed drastically in the last decade. The advent of Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) and other online stores has put brick-and-mortar retailing under pressure. Chains that operate in malls have been hit particularly hard, with dozens closing down completely over the last few years.
While department-store chain Kohl's has been faring better than average, it hasn't been exempt from some pain. After a decent enough 2018 -- comparable-store sales increased 1.8% and adjusted earnings rose 34% -- the first half of 2019 has been a different story. Comps (a blend of foot traffic and customer ticket size) are down 3.2%, and adjusted earnings are down 10%. The loss of positive traction has sent shares down 32% year to date.
Management stated that positive comps returned later in the summer for the back-to-school shopping season, but clearly there is more work to do. New merchandise launches are coming, complete with a social media ad campaign. And data would suggest the company's partnership with Amazon to accept online order returns is driving more foot traffic into Kohl's stores. It remains to be seen if the initiatives pay off, but early results say the ties to Amazon and differentiating its product lineup are the right moves. I like the retail chain's chances.
The Amazon relationship creates a margin of safety, at least in my mind, hitching the old department store model to a powerful digital retailer. Plus, after the stock's beatdown this year, shares trade for a mere 7 times the last year's worth of free cash flow (basic profits after operating and capital expenses are paid for). Add in a 5.9% dividend yield, and this looks like a beleaguered stock, but one worth a look from bargain hunters.
A diamond-in-the-rough dividend
Daniel Miller (Ford): There's no question it's been a tough year for Ford and its investors. Detroit's second largest automaker faces headwinds such as escalating trade tensions and a plateauing U.S. light-vehicle sales market. It's also plagued by losses in the world's largest auto market, China, and dished out full-year 2019 guidance that was well below consensus estimates. All of those factors leave Ford trading at a paltry forward-consensus P/E of 7 times, with a juicy dividend yield of 6.8%.
The stock price could be near rock-bottom. Just a little over a year ago, management announced it would embark on a global redesign and restructuring that would cost a staggering $11 billion over the following three to five years.
We're still in the early innings of that turnaround, but there are a couple of signs of improvement. Ford reduced its loss in China by more than $300 million during the second quarter and recently brought in a new executive to run its Changan Ford joint venture in China. It also announced it would slash 12,000 jobs and close or sell six of its 24 European factories by the end of next year, which should improve results over the next two years.
While we wait for more progress in the near term, it's worth noting that the automaker is still focused on its long-term ambitions that revolve around driverless cars, transportation-as-a-service (TaaS), and electrified fleets. A month ago, it announced the acquisition of Quantum Signal, a relatively unknown company that has worked on advanced robotics and simulations for clients that include the U.S. military. Ford hopes the acquisition will help it design and develop the TaaS platform (think of it as a driverless taxi service, similar to what rival General Motors is close to launching).
Investors have a couple of years before the restructuring and global redesign gains serious traction, and the wait for driverless vehicles to create meaningful revenue or profits will be even longer. But there's no denying that Ford is cheap, much of the negativity seems priced in, and it offers a healthy 6.8% dividend yield.
The evolving telecom
Chris Neiger (AT&T): There are a handful of reasons investors should consider AT&T for their dividend portfolio. First, the company pays an impressive 5.8% yield right now, and it's consistently raised its dividend for 35 consecutive years.
That's impressive enough on its own, but AT&T looks even better when you consider that it currently trades at less than 10 times projected earnings.
So we've got a high-yield stock that's trading at rock-bottom prices. But here's where the value comes in: AT&T is evolving from a telecom into a media company. Through its recent purchase of Time Warner, AT&T now owns Turner Broadcasting, Warner Bros., HBO, and other video content. That makes AT&T a media giant that's now using all of that content to build itself into an important video-streaming competitor.
That's not all AT&T has going for it. The company is also building out its new 5G cellular network. 5G is the next evolution in cellular technology and will allow more devices to come online, connect them to the internet faster than ever before, and bring new service opportunities for AT&T. With 5G services expected to be worth around $123 billion six years from now, it is setting itself up to benefit once 5G takes off.
With a massive opportunity in 5G and as a major media player, an impressive 5.8% dividend yield, and shares priced below 10 times forward earnings, AT&T deserves strong consideration from investors seeking a high yield at a rock-bottom price.