Dogs of the Dow on Fire in 2016: 4 to Buy With Yields of 4% or More

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The Dogs of the Dow are the 10 stocks in the Dow Jones Industrial Average that are the highest yielding at the beginning of each year. Some years this gang of 10 has an outstanding year and really leads the pack. In other years, especially when momentum rules, they often trail. With energy starting to rebound and worried investors looking at the worst start of the year in decades, investors seeking value have been looking at the dogs.

An interesting chart from Jefferies shows the Dogs of the Dow versus the other Dow members not in the group. So far this year, based on changes in yields, the dogs are doing much better, as their yields have not widened out near as much as the other 20 companies. That means the stock prices have performed better as yields go higher when a stock’s price falls.

Here we focus on the four companies that are still yielding 4% or more.

Verizon Communications

This top telecommunications company recently did away with some phone incentives. Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) is a global leader in delivering the digital world. Verizon Wireless operates America’s self-described most reliable wireless network, with 109.5 million retail connections nationwide. Verizon also provides converged communications, information and entertainment services over America’s most advanced fiber-optic network and delivers integrated business solutions to customers worldwide.

Wall Street has applauded Frontier’s acquisition of Verizon’s wireline operations in California, Florida and Texas, which is expected to be completed at the end of this month. Many feel that focusing on the higher margin segments at Verizon makes sense, and the sale to Frontier is a huge cash boost to the balance sheet. The company reported solid fourth-quarter numbers with earnings slightly higher than some Wall Street estimates and revenues above the street consensus too.

There was some chatter last month that Verizon was enlisting the aid of the firm’s AOL unit CEO Tim Armstrong to help with a leading role in exploring a possible bid for Yahoo assets. Verizon has not officially started any negotiations, and the rumors are just that, but the company has said in the past it is open to acquiring additional assets.

Verizon investors receive a massive 4.34% dividend. The Thomson/First Call consensus price objective is $50.33. Shares closed Wednesday at $52.12.


Chevron

This is very solid story for investors looking to stay long the energy sector, and it is a preferred U.S. company to own now. Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) is an integrated oil and gas company with worldwide operations in exploration and production, refining and marketing, transportation and petrochemicals. It sports a sizable dividend and has a solid place in the sector when it comes to natural gas. Some Wall Street analysts estimate Chevron will have a compound annual growth rate of over 5% for the next five years, and the stock trades at a modest valuation discount to some of its mega-cap peers.

Management continues to aggressively pursuing cost-saving initiatives and already has completed over 2,200 supplier engagements, with more in progress. Cost savings and improving investor sentiment may be a key as the company has struggled mightily over the past year. While many on Wall Street concede that the oil market could be oversupplied for longer than most thought, massive overseas demand and production slowdowns should help pricing the rest of the year.

The company’s Permian Basin assets are a goldmine and that the Australian LNG business will transition from a yearly $8 billion capital consumption drag to a $2 billion to $3 billion contributor. Combined with the much lower overall capital spending for the 2016 to 2018 period, the company is poised to not only hang around, but end the sector slump in a much better position.

Chevron investors receive a 4.91% dividend. The consensus price target is $93.82. Shares closed on Wednesday at $87.14.