Investors love dividends, and this component of investing plays a very important part of the total return through time. Buying stocks that combine solid and growing dividends with a potential for capital appreciation enhances an investor’s chances for success. Plus, returning capital via dividends to shareholders on a consistent basis is also a good measure of a company’s fiscal health. In a new report out today, the equity strategists at UBS (NYSE: UBS) have combed through their worldwide Dividend Ruler stock database looking for dividend growth and the data looks good.
S&P 500 dividends per share surged 23% year-over-year to a record $8.93 in the fourth quarter of 2012, as many companies accelerated payouts in advance of the expiration of the reduced tax rate on qualified dividend income on December 31, 2012. Despite the late 2012 tax-driven dividend blitz, S&P 500 dividend growth remained very healthy and was up 12.3% in the first quarter of 2013, signaling increased corporate confidence of future cash flow generation. That is a good sign for investors.
We screened the Dividend Ruler stocks for the 10 top yielding global stocks to buy for the second quarter.
AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) tops the UBS list. With a global footprint in pharmaceutical sales, the stock trades at a very reasonable 10.14 times earnings. Investors receive a 5.54% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target was not available. Investors need to remember foreign tax is often withheld on ADRs.
Total S.A. (NYSE: TOT) is another foreign stock to make the UBS list. The French oil giant trades at 7.86 times earnings. Investors receive a healthy 5.25% dividend. The Wall St. consensus estimate for the stock is $59.72.
Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) comes in a strong third on the Dividend Ruler list. It trades under 10 times earnings, and the semiconductor giant pays a solid 4.30% dividend. The consensus price target for Intel is $23.
The Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE: BNS) makes the cut. The Canadian banking leader trades at 10.46 times earnings. Investors receive a 4.20% dividend. The consensus price target is $67.
Northeast Utilities (NYSE: NU) is a UBS winner. Trading near a 52-week high, this defensive name may be a little pricey at 23.19 times earnings. Investors receive a 3.40% dividend, and the consensus target for the stock is $43.38.
Sanofi (NYSE: SNY) is another European pharmaceutical to make the UBS list. This is a name that is trading at a rich 21.07 times earnings. Investors are paid a tidy 3.30% dividend, and the consensus price objective for the stock is $55.
Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) is a top oil and gas name to make the cut. Trading at 14.42 times earnings, this independent producer pays a solid 3.10% dividend. The consensus target is $98. This could be a top pick if UBS is correct, as the price target represents a 20% move from current trading levels.
United Parcel Service Inc. (NYSE: UPS) is on board. The delivery giant looks poised for growth as the world economy improves. Shareholders are paid a 3.00% dividend. The consensus price target is $90.50.
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) is the third pharmaceutical company to make the list. Trading at a high-end multiple of 21.01 times earnings, the stock pays investors a 3% dividend. The consensus price objective is $78.
The Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) rounds out the UBS list. This consumer staple giant trades at 20.47 times earnings. Investors receive a 3% dividend and the consensus price target is $80.
On a price-to-earnings basis, some of the UBS picks seem expensive. However, those numbers are based on trailing earnings. In addition, the current market rally has pushed prices higher, and some of the stocks are right at their consensus price targets. Investors may want to dollar cost average or scale portfolio capital into the names.