Top Jefferies Stock Picks to Buy Now Also Pay Good Dividends

September 21, 2016 by 247lee

Whether it’s growth or value, one of the best things for investors to do is look for solid growth potential combined with fair valuations. Sprinkle in dividends and you have a recipe for total return success. We always like to remind our 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%, or 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

A recent report from Jefferies has an outstanding selection of growth and value picks for investors to consider. We picked the top stock picks that not only have strong upside potential, but they are reasonably priced and all pay dividends. All are rated Buy at Jefferies.

AT&T

This stock has had an incredible run this year but is off over 10% in less than a month. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is the world’s largest provider of pay TV, with TV customers in the United States and 11 Latin American countries. In the United States, the AT&T wireless network has the nation’s self-described strongest 4G LTE signal and most reliable 4G LTE. The company also helps businesses worldwide serve their customers better with mobility and highly secure cloud solutions.

With its shares trading at a very cheap 14.3 times estimated 2016 earnings, the company continues to expand its user base, and strong product introductions from smartphone vendors have not only driven traffic but increased device financing plans.

The Jefferies report noted:

In the near-term AT&T has several major catalysts that will likely drive strong network traffic demand: DirecTV Now and Mobile, “Data-Free TV” for DirecTV/U-Verse subscribers, and increasing penetration of unlimited data plans. We believe that the company is well-positioned to address on-going traffic requirements, with additional LTE capacity available and the ability to leverage small cell deployments

Other top Wall Street analysts have cited the company’s positive commentary on free cash flow, as well as improving video/broadband trends later this year with single truck-roll and new converged offerings expected to be coming in October. The recent FCC initiative to open up the set-top business may be part of the reason the stocks has been hit hard recently.

AT&T investors receive a 4.8% dividend. The Jefferies price target for the stock is $48, and the Wall Street consensus price objective is $42.83. Shares closed Tuesday at $39.96.

AstraZeneca

This solid pick still offers investors a solid entry point after see-sawing this year. AstraZeneca PLC (NYSE: AZN) is a global, innovation-driven biopharmaceutical business that focuses on the discovery, development and commercialization of prescription medicines, primarily for the treatment of cardiovascular, metabolic, respiratory, inflammation, autoimmune, oncology, infection and neuroscience diseases. AstraZeneca operates in over 100 countries, and its innovative medicines are used by millions of patients worldwide.

This company also has an outstanding pipeline, especially in oncology. The broad pipeline of next-generation investigational medicines is focused on four main disease areas: ovarian, lung, breast and haematological cancers. These are being targeted through four key platforms: immuno-oncology, the genetic drivers of cancer and resistance, DNA damage repair and antibody drug conjugates.

Oncology is a therapeutic area in which AstraZeneca has deep-rooted heritage. It will be potentially transformational for the company’s future, becoming the sixth growth platform. The long-term corporate goal is to help patients by redefining the cancer treatment paradigm and one day eliminate cancer as cause of death. By 2020, the company is aiming to bring six new cancer medicines to patients.

Shareholders receive a 4.07% dividend. Jefferies has a $47.10 price objective, and the consensus target is $36.79. The stock closed Tuesday at $33.65.

Golar LNG Partners

This is a liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping and storage play that holds a big distribution for shareholders and is the top pick at Jefferies. Golar LNG Partners L.P. (NASDAQ: GMLP) owns and operates floating storage regasification units (FSRUs) and LNG carriers under long-term charters in Brazil, the United Arab Emirates, Indonesia and Kuwait. The company also engages in the leasing of its fleets.

The Marshall Islands based company has a fleet of six FSRUs and five LNG carriers, a combined average remaining useful life of 25 years, and an average remaining charter duration of five-plus years. The company posted solid second-quarter results and also was successful in lowering leverage.

Jefferies noted in its initiation of coverage:

Golar LNG Partners has a diverse pipeline that includes Golar’s FLNG projects and as a result, has the largest growth potential across our peer group with potential drop-downs/newbuilding inventories of 16 vessels.

Shareholders are paid a massive 12.05% distribution. The Jefferies price target is $25. The consensus target is set at $20. The shares closed Tuesday at $19.17.

Oracle

This top software stock has traded sideways since the spring and looks to be putting in a nice cup and handle formation. Oracle Corp. (NYSE: ORCL) develops, manufactures, markets, sells, hosts and supports database and middleware software, application software, cloud infrastructure, hardware systems and related services worldwide.

The company licenses its Oracle Database software to customers, which is designed to enable reliable and secure storage, retrieval and manipulation of various forms of data. Its Oracle Fusion Middleware software aims to build, deploy, secure, access and integrate business applications, as well as automate their business processes.

Oracle recently reported fiscal 2017 first-quarter numbers that came in below Wall Street expectations. Despite the miss, Jefferies and others on Wall Street feel that the software giant may be on the verge of a multiyear database product cycle.

Oracle investors receive a 1.54% dividend. Jefferies has $51 price target, and the consensus price objective is $44.21. The stock closed Tuesday at $39.07.

I'm interested in the Newsletter
 

All these stocks are great additions to long-term growth accounts looking to add total return. They are trading at reasonable valuations and are good additions at current trading levels.