It's no secret that stocks in general -- and even run-of-the-mill dividend stocks -- are somewhat expensive right now. But for long-term, buy-to-hold investors, there's still no simpler way to amass wealth than purchasing shares of dividend payers and hold them for the long run -- reinvesting dividends all along.
As we enter the last month of 2014, three of our analysts are chiming in with three very different dividend paying stocks that they think are buys right now: PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP), Domino's Pizza (NYSE:DPZ), and National Oilwell Varco (NYSE:NOV). Read below to find out what makes these three stocks a buy right now, and at the end you'll have a chance to access a special free report with even more great dividend ideas.
Joe Tenebruso (Domino's Pizza): The pizza business is huge and growing larger. Research firm CHD Expert expects the U.S. pizza business to exceed $43 billion within the next decade. Yet it's a market that remains highly fragmented, with major chains having only about 40% market share. Among those chains, Domino's has significantly outgrown its competition: its 2009-2012 U.S. same-store sales rose 17%, compared to 7% for Papa Johns (NASDAQ:PZZA) and only 2% for Pizza Hut (NYSE:YUM). Since that time, Domino's same-store sales growth accelerated to 5.4% in 2013 and 7.7% in the third quarter of 2014.
Domino's is also growing its share of the delivery segment, from less than 19% in 2008 to 24% in 2013. But where Domino's really excels is in the digital pizza sales arena, where it earns more than 30% of U.S. consumer online and mobile app order spending.
An even larger opportunity awaits Domino's in international markets. Domino's estimates that pizza outside the U.S. is a $90 billion market that's growing at about 3% to 5%. Emerging markets such as India, Turkey, and Malaysia are really taking off for Domino's, but the pizza maker is also still growing at very healthy rates in more mature markets like the United Kingdom, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and Canada.
Longer term, management believes it can increase its global store units 4% to 6% annually with most of that coming out of the international markets. With international same-store sales surging 7.1% in the third quarter -- Domino's 83rd consecutive quarter of uninterrupted international same-store sales growth -- I believe management's goals are entirely attainable. And the more pizzas Domino's serves up around the world, the more dividends it can deliver to its shareholders.
Tamara Walsh (PepsiCo): Pepsi stands out as a top dividend stock to own in December for a number of reasons. For starters, Pepsi is a dividend aristocrat: it has increased its dividend annually for at least 25 years. In fact, the dividend has been bumped up for the past 42 consecutive years. The company is committed to creating shareholder value through dividends and share buybacks.
In fact, Pepsi is on track to return $8.7 billion to its stockholders in 2014 through higher dividends and share buybacks. The king of pop recently increased its dividend by 15% to $2.62 annually. The company should have no problem continuing to grow its dividend thanks in part to strong cash flow generated by its Frito-Lay business. As the world's largest snack food business by market share, Pepsi currently has 22 brands that each pull in annual sales north of $1 billion.
Pepsi's balance sheet should also get a seasonal boost thanks to its long-standing partnership with the NFL. This allows Pepsi to uniquely promote its brand through NFL-related sweepstakes, Super Bowl events, and other season-long campaigns.
It's worth noting that Pepsi is trading near all-time highs, which may scare some investors away. However, a deeper look reveals that Pepsi boasts a price to earnings growth ratio (PEG) that is in-line with the industry average. This, together with the fact that Pepsi's stock currently trades at just 21 times earnings -- or below the industry median of 25 -- tells us the stock is fairly valued today. Ultimately, this is a high growth dividend stock that should continue rewarding shareholders for decades to come.
Brian Stoffel (National Oilwell Varco): Perhaps you've noticed a pleasant surprise on your trips to the gas station recently. The price of gas -- and, in lockstep, oil -- has plummeted. I believe that the recent swoon has created a perfect opportunity for investors to nab a piece of National Oilwell Varco (NOV) and its 2.7% dividend.
As fellow Fool Matt DiLallo recently pointed out, it's impossible to predict the direction of oil prices. Often times, these downward swings are based more on fear of what could happen than the reality of what's actually happening.
In this case, the fear comes from a combination of weak oil demand in Asia, increased output from North American oil fields, as well as OPEC's recent decision not to cut production.
But this up-and-down game is nothing new. Supply and demand will eventually balance out. I can't tell you when that will happen, but since I'm a long-term investor, I don't have to. In the most simplistic of terms, the price of oil works like this.
To be clear, demand for offshore rigs and equipment is quite low right now, as onshore shale plays have been where business has been booming. But now, even onshore demand for rigs seems to be slowing somewhat. However, NOV boasts a $14.3 billion backlog that should keep it busy for quite some time.
What does this all mean? NOV may very well be entering a cyclical downturn, but much of that is already reflected in the stock's price -- trading at just 10 times free cash flow and 11 times earnings. For investors with a decades-long time horizon, an investment in NOV should pay off handsomely, both in terms of price appreciation and dividend reinvestment.
Brian Stoffel owns shares of National Oilwell Varco. Joe Tenebruso has no position in any stocks mentioned. Tamara Rutter has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends National Oilwell Varco and PepsiCo. The Motley Fool owns shares of National Oilwell Varco, Papa John's International, and PepsiCo. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.