Dividend stocks don't attract much attention in this market, which is more often buzzing with noise regarding hyper-growth stocks or speculative investments like cryptocurrencies, special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), and non-fungible tokens (NFTs). However, great dividend stocks can still generate massive long-term gains through reinvested dividends and compound returns. They can also be solid defensive investments during market downturns.
Earlier this month, I discussed five Dividend Kings investors can safely hold forever. Today, I'll introduce two other dividend stocks that pay high yields but still trade at fairly low valuations in this frothy market -- Tanger Factory Outlet Centers (SKT 0.46%) and Corning (GLW 1.32%).
1. Tanger Factory Outlet Centers
Tanger's stock dropped to its lowest levels in nearly two decades last April as the pandemic temporarily shut down the U.S. outlet centers this real estate investment trust (REIT) operates. It also suspended its dividend the following month.
But this January, Tanger reinstated its dividend and offered an encouraging outlook for the rest of the year. The REIT gradually reopened its centers and started collecting rent again from most of its tenants.
Last year, Tanger's revenue fell 18% to $390 million as some of its tenants went bankrupt and others deferred their rental payments. It ended the year with an occupancy rate of 91.9%, down from 97% a year ago. Its core funds from operations (FFO) tumbled 32% to $1.57 per share.
But in the first quarter of 2021, most of those declines stabilized. Its revenue fell 10% year over year to $101 million, its occupancy rate dipped to 91.7%, and its core FFO slipped 20% to $0.40 per share.
Those numbers still seem weak, but Tanger's prospects could improve as the pandemic passes, retailers unload their excess inventories through their outlet stores, and cooped-up consumers finally visit its centers again. Analysts expect its revenue to stay flat for the full year with GAAP earnings of $0.26 per share, compared to its loss of $0.40 per share in 2020.
Those earnings still eclipse its $0.70 in annual dividends per share, but it expects its core FFO per share -- which is a more accurate gauge of profitability for real estate investment trusts (REITs) like Tanger -- to stabilize between $1.47 and $1.57 per share and easily cover those payments.
Tanger's stock price has nearly tripled over the past 12 months, but it still pays a high forward yield of 3.8%. The stock still looks cheap at about 13 times its projected core FFO per share this year, and about a quarter of its shares are still being shorted -- which makes it ripe for a short squeeze.
Corning manufactures a wide range of optical equipment, particulate filters, life science equipment, and specialty materials, including Gorilla Glass which protects most modern smartphones.
Corning's stock price has risen nearly 60% over the past 12 months, and most of its core business remained resilient throughout the pandemic. Its core sales dipped 2% to $11.5 billion last year, mainly due to supply chain disruptions in the first half of the year, while its core EPS tumbled 21% to $1.39.
However, those storm clouds quickly parted in the first quarter of 2021. Its core sales jumped 29% year over year to $3.3 billion as its core earnings surged 125% to $0.45 per share.
All of its main businesses improved during the quarter. Its optical sales rose as carriers upgraded their network infrastructure. Stay-at-home trends boosted sales of its glass substrates for display panels, while mobile device makers bought more Gorilla Glass to protect their latest 5G phones.
Its life science customers, many of which develop and distribute COVID-19 vaccines, purchased more lab equipment. Its sales of particulate filters also stabilized as automakers resumed their production of more environmentally friendly vehicles.
Analysts expect Corning's core sales to rise 20% for the full year, and for its core EPS to surge 51% to $2.10. Those earnings should easily cover its forward annual dividend of $0.96 per share -- which translates to a forward yield of 2.3%. Corning has raised its dividend every year since 2011, and it didn't suspend its payments throughout the pandemic.
Corning's stock trades at just 17 times forward earnings. That's a low valuation for a well-diversified business that will likely generate accelerating growth this year. It isn't a short squeeze candidate like Tanger, but it could still attract more investors as they rotate from growth to value stocks.