The market has shifted back and forth the past three trading days on basically one issue: the Federal Reserve will raise rates at their meeting next week. While the argument both for and against are equally valid, many of the top Wall Street strategists we cover feel that they want a few more months of data, and most importantly, regardless of who wins they want to get the presidential election behind us.
The volatility in the markets has shaken some of the top dividend leaders and may be giving long-term investors a great buying opportunity. Many of the Wall Street firms we cover here at 24/7 Wall St. are becoming increasingly conservative and suggesting clients go to large cap names that pay solid dividends.
We screened the Merrill Lynch research universe and found four that are rated Buy and pay a higher dividend than the 30-year U.S. Treasury, which currently yields a 2.4%.
Helmerich & Payne
This company primarily operates as a contract drilling company in South America, the Middle East and Africa. Helmerich & Payne Inc. (NYSE: HP) provides drilling rigs, equipment, personnel and camps on a contract basis to explore for and develop oil and gas from onshore areas and fixed platforms, tension-leg platforms and spars in offshore areas. Its contract drilling business operates through three reportable segments: U.S. Land, Offshore and International Land.
The company posted second-quarter earnings that many felt came in much better than expected. At last report, the company’s U.S. Land rig segment, which is its largest business, had a utilization rate of 31%, compared to 68% this time last year. The International Land operations also saw utilization rates decline to 38%. What is slightly surprising, though, is that the average margin for a rig in use increased between this quarter and the same time last year.
Many top Wall Street analysts feel that the company is one of the best positioned for the U.S. land recovery, and they also cite the strong balance sheet and the sector leading dividend.
Helmerich & Payne investors receive a big 4.9% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is a whopping $72, and the consensus price objective is $59.68. Shares closed Tuesday at $57.18.
This leader in semiconductors is working hard to scale away from dependence on personal computers. Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) designs, manufactures and sells integrated digital technology platforms worldwide. The company’s platforms are used in various computing applications comprising notebooks, two-in-one systems, desktops, servers, tablets, smartphones, wireless and wired connectivity products, wearables, retail devices and manufacturing devices, as well as for retail, transportation, industrial, buildings, home use and other market segments.
The company also provides communication and connectivity offerings, such as baseband processors, radio frequency transceivers and power management integrated circuits, and tablet, phone and Internet of Things solutions, which include multimode 4G LTE modems, Bluetooth technology and GPS receivers, software solutions and interoperability tests, as well as home gateway and set-top box components.
Intel reported an inline second quarter, but data center sales came in way below expectations. But a new partnership with Microsoft for a virtual reality, as well as a consistent shift away for reliance on chips for personal computers, keeps the stock a compelling buy.
Intel investors receive a 2.92% dividend. Merrill Lynch has a $42 price target, while the consensus target is $37.90. The shares closed most recently at $35.61.