The Dividend Kings are among the safest dividend-paying stocks on Wall Street, but that doesn’t mean it’s always a good time to buy them. Like any diverse group of stocks, their prices don’t track in sync with each other as with their respective industries' strengths and the analysts' sentiment—those strengths and sentiment ebb and flow, producing buying and selling events for long-term-oriented inventors.
The point is that investing in Dividend Kings is a long-term affair; they are Buy-and-Hold-Forever stocks that investors can build positions in over the years, so when their prices are up, it’s best to sit tight, and when they are down, it’s time to start buying again. Today, we’re looking at 3 dogs of the Dividend Kings, stocks that have been beaten up over the past 12 months but have some of the highest yields in the group and the potential to deliver market-beating returns in 2024.
Federal Realty Investment Trust: Retail Investing Made Easy
Retail investing is always challenging because the retail market and consumers are fickle. Investing in the landlords who own the retail real estate is one way to gain exposure and mitigate the risk. Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) is such a landlord it is focused on underserved, high-demand coastal markets across the US. One of the ways it mitigates risk is to focus on markets where demand exceeds available supply and high-quality tenants with long-term leases. Tenants are viewed as defensive in quality. They are primarily grocery-related, but others include TJX Companies (NYSE: TJX) and CVS (NYSE: CVS).
The revenue and earnings results show consistent growth dating well before the 2020 market crash. The company’s growth accelerated in 2021 but has since slowed to the mid-single-digits. This is sufficient to sustain the 4.5% dividend yield and the outlook for distribution growth. FRT has increased its payout for over 50 years, although it is not 1 of the fastest-growing payouts.
Shares of the stock are trading above critical support and are indicated higher by the analysts. There is some mixed activity, including a recent downgrade, but even that is a Bullish Buy from Strong Buy with a price target above the consensus. The consensus rating is Moderate Buy, with a price target about 15% above the current action. More importantly, this stock and all others on this list are trading below the analysts' lowest price target, suggesting it has little room to move except upward.
Oversold Northwest Natural Holdings is Ready to Rebound
Northwest Natural Holdings (NYSE: NWN) is a natural gas utility in the Pacific Northwest. Unlike peers, its share price was hammered following the COVID-19 crisis but continued to trend lower in 2022 and 2023. Now, the market is oversold and showing signs of a bottom that the analysts reinforce. They’ve been trimming targets this year but consider the stock a Hold and see it moving higher. The consensus is about 20% above the current action, and the low target is about 12%, which suggests there is nowhere to go but up.
Regarding the dividend, the stock pays close to 5%, which is reliable. The company has increased its distribution annually for over 65 years and recently extended the streak. The payout ratio is a little high, near 70%, but mitigated by the company’s utility status and growth outlook. Northwest Natural is leaning into a strategy that includes deepening penetrating of existing markets, new markets, and new services. Northwest Natural Holdings is a low-beta stock at 0.60 and a good choice to hedge against S&P 500 volatility.
3M Has a Fix For Investors
3M (NYSE: MMM) has made a name for itself by improving the things we use daily. Now, the company has a fix for its ailing stock price, a recent settlement that puts years of uncertainty to rest. There is still a small risk that enough veterans will not accept the deal, but the risk is small, and the analysts are raising their targets.
The consensus rating is still Reduce but the recent trend is upgrades and price target reductions. Morgan Stanley and Wolfe Research upgraded to Buy equivalents, with Morgan Stanley saying the worst is priced in. This stock yields more than 5.6%, with shares trading about 5.0% below the Marketbeat.com consensus.