UBS Dividend Ruler Stocks Walloping S&P 500: 4 to Buy Now

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It is no surprise to longtime investors that total return is a key for success now, as the markets print all-time highs, and yields are still close to all-time lows. We like to remind readers about the impact total return has on portfolios because it is one of the best ways to help improve the chances for overall investing success.

Again, total return is the combined increase in a stock’s value plus dividends. For instance, if you buy a stock at $20 that pays a 3% dividend, and it goes up to $22 in a year, your total return is 13% — 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

The UBS Dividend Ruler portfolio continues to outperform the overall market, and we continue to think that the outperformance will stay in place for the rest of the year and beyond. The analysts focus on stocks with solid dividends that have consistently grown over time, and their performance this year is outstanding. Year to date, the portfolio is up about 9% on a total return basis, versus 7.9% for the S&P 500.

We screened the holdings for the current highest yielding stocks and found four that still make good sense for the latter half of 2017. All are also rated Buy at UBS.

Coca-Cola

This company remains a top Warren Buffet holding and offers not only safety, but an incredibly strong worldwide brand. Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands.

Led by Coca-Cola, its portfolio features 20 billion-dollar brands, including Diet Coke, Fanta, Sprite, Coca-Cola Zero, vitaminwater, Powerade and Minute Maid. Globally, it is the top provider of sparkling beverages, ready-to-drink coffees and juices and juice drinks. Through the world’s largest beverage distribution system, consumers in more than 200 countries enjoy its beverages at a rate of more than 1.9 billion servings a day.

Coca-Cola investors receive an outstanding 3.37% dividend. The UBS price target for the stock is $48, while the Wall Street consensus target is $45.53. The shares closed Monday at $43.89.

Intel

This leader in semiconductors is working hard to scale away from dependence on personal computers, and the Internet of Things is a big part of the shift. 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. It offers 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 investors receive a 2.98% dividend. The $41 UBS price target compares with the consensus target of $40.18 and the most recent close at $36.59.

NextEra Energy

With a very strong balance sheet, this company looks poised for a solid 2017 and is the only utility on the Dividend Rulers list. NextEra Energy Inc. (NYSE: NEE) is a leading clean energy company with consolidated revenues of over $17.0 billion and approximately 44,900 megawatts of generating capacity, which includes megawatts associated with noncontrolling interests related to NextEra Energy Partners.

NextEra Energy’s principal subsidiaries are Florida Power & Light Company, which serves approximately 4.8 million customer accounts in Florida and is one of the largest rate-regulated electric utilities in the United States, and NextEra Energy Resources, which, together with its affiliated entities, is the world’s largest generator of renewable energy from the wind and sun.

Investors receive a 2.92% dividend. UBS has a $143 price objective, and the consensus target is $142.08. The shares closed Monday at $134.95.

VFC

This is one of the higher yielding stocks in the Dividend Ruler portfolio. V.F. Corp. (NYSE: VFC) is a leading apparel wholesaler of lifestyle brands, including North Face, Vans, Wrangler, Lee, Timberland and Nautica. VFC distributes products globally via department stores, independent retailers, specialty chains and its own retail (full price, outlet and e-commerce).

Coalition segments include Outdoor and Action Sports (60% of 2015 revenue), Jeanswear (23% of revenue), Imagewear (9% of revenue), Sportswear (5% of revenue) and Contemporary (3% of revenue).

Shareholders receive a 3.05% dividend. The UBS price objective is $59. The consensus target is $54.62, and shares closed Monday at $54.96.

These are solid ideas from the Dividend Rulers list that make good sense for long-term, more conservative investors. It is important to remember that many companies have dividend reinvestment programs in which you can buy more shares with the dividends — a good way to dollar-cost-average buying shares.