UBS Adds Top Dow Blue Chip to Dividend Rulers Portfolio


With the Thanksgiving holiday right around the corner and only seven weeks left in this trading year, many of the top firms that we cover on Wall Street are making some final adjustments to the top portfolios they present to institutional and high net worth customers. With the broad-based S&P 500 up less than 2% for the year, gains above middle to high single-digits may be elusive this year.

In a new research report, the UBS Dividend Rulers portfolio analysts make a big change to the portfolio for the stretch run by adding a long-time investor favorite that has been somewhat out of favor this year. Now may be a good time for investors to consider top stocks with dividends that are growing, as they have underperformed this year and may be poised for a strong 2016.

The UBS team adds McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) to the portfolio, and the fast-food giant has struggled over the past couple of years but posted outstanding third-quarter earnings. The analysts make the solid point that the company didn’t keep up with a major shift in consumer preferences to higher quality food and greater reliance on technologies such as mobile. In addition, the company’s marketing message has been muddled and productivity has suffered.

UBS, like many, is very pleased with the efforts from new CEO Stephen Easterbrook. He is taken the bull by the horns with a strategic corporate reset by changing the menu, updating the hours breakfast is served and modernizing the restaurants. Management prioritized that dividend growth is a key element of its shareholder value proposition. McDonald’s has increased its dividend every year for the past 39 years.

McDonald’s investors receive a solid 3% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target for the stock is $115.05. Shares closed Friday at $113.31.

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Here are the four top-yielding stocks in the Dividend Rulers portfolio now.

Dominion Resources

Many of the Wall Street firms that we cover are becoming more positive on utilities again after this year’s underperformance. Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D) is one of the nation’s largest producers and transporters of energy, with a portfolio of approximately 24,600 megawatts of generation and 6,455 miles of electric transmission lines. Dominion operates one of the nation’s largest natural gas storage systems with 928 billion cubic feet of storage capacity and serves utility and retail energy customers in 13 states.

Dominion investors receive a solid 3.82% dividend. The UBS price target is $79, and the consensus target is $78.18. The stock closed Friday at $67.85.

This financial services leader has strong positions in both equity exchange traded funds (ETFs) and actively managed equity and debt mutual funds. Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) looks to be very well-positioned to capitalize on inflows into both segments, as well as higher asset prices as many on Wall Street see a continuation of the six-year bull market.

Invesco PowerShares is the boutique investment management firm that manages a family of ETFs. It has been part of Invesco, which markets the PowerShares product, since 2006. The incredible growth and popularity of the product is why many on Wall Street remain so bullish on the stock.

Invesco investors are paid a 3.17% dividend. The UBS price target is $45. The consensus target is $41.03, and the shares closed Friday at $34.10.

Occidental Petroleum

This top energy stock is one of the higher yielding domestic stocks in the energy sector. Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) is an international oil and gas exploration and production company with operations in the United States, Middle East and Latin America. It is one of the largest U.S. oil and gas companies, based on equity market capitalization. The company’s midstream and marketing segment gathers, processes, transports, stores, purchases and markets hydrocarbons and other commodities in support of its businesses. Its wholly owned subsidiary OxyChem manufactures and markets chlor-alkali products and vinyls.

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The company posted surprising third-quarter numbers recently that beat analyst expectations, and it also announced that it would be leaving the Bakken shale after posting very heavy losses there.

Occidental also announced recently a deal with Ecopetrol to invest up to $2 billion over the next decade to increase production at the La Cira-Infantas oil field in Colombia. According Reuters, the new round of investments will increase production in the region by more than 200 million barrels.

Occidental shareholders receive an outstanding 4% dividend. The $95 UBS price target is higher than the consensus target of $79.55. Shares closed on Friday at $75.10.

Toronto-Dominion Bank

This is another top yielding financial stock to add to portfolios. Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE: TD) operates through Canadian Retail, U.S. Retail and Wholesale Banking segments. The Canadian Retail segment offers various financial products and services, as well as telephone, Internet and mobile banking services to approximately 15 million personal and small business customers through a network of 1,165 branches and 2,867 automated banking machines in Canada.

The company’s TD Ameritrade business is an incredibly fast-growing one that consistently challenges for online supremacy among the top Wall Street investment banks.

Toronto Dominion investors receive a very sold 3.8% dividend. The consensus price target is $59.05. The stock closed on Friday at $41.10.

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The UBS team is probably right when they surmise that investors have shunned dividend stocks fearing a fast move in long-term interest rates. The reality is even when rates go higher, they will be very small and measured increases. These stocks offer more conservative growth and income investors nice entry points now.

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