Trump or Clinton Means Weaker Dollar: Buy These 4 Dividend Stocks

October 10, 2016 by 247lee

Battered Dollar Bill
Source: Thinkstock
Despite the pollsters are giving Hillary Clinton a 70% to 80% chance of victory in less than a month, stranger things have happened. Ronald Reagan trailed Jimmy Carter by 15 points in February-March of 1980. Then Reagan came back and won in a 44 state landslide. One thing is for sure, the U.S. dollar is expected to weaken regardless of the final outcome, and for companies that thrive on a weaker greenback, 2017 could be a great year.

We screened the Merrill Lynch database for stocks that were rated Buy, that also did a significant amount of their sales and business overseas. We found four that look very attractive, and could make good sense as we head to 2017.

General Electric

This iconic blue chip industrial was on a roll but has sold off 15% since July and is giving investors a nice entry point. General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) is a highly diversified, global industrial corporation. Its businesses are organized broadly under six segments: GE Capital, Energy Infrastructure, Aviation, Healthcare, Transportation and Home & Business Solutions. Its products and services include power generation equipment, aircraft engines, locomotives, medical equipment, appliances, commercial leasing and personal finance. Wall Street analysts feel that the American giant will be a large player in the efficient energy field.

While the analysts recently lowered earnings expectations for the quarter slightly, they remain positive as expectations for orders and free cash flow already seem very low. They also note that the industrial giant has a massive $25 billion in cash, which could be put to use to drive earnings toward $2 a share by 2018.

GE shareholders are paid a 3.16% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target for the stock is $37, and the Wall Street consensus target is $33.13. The shares closed last Friday at $29.08.

Intel

This leader in semiconductors is working hard to scale away from dependence on personal computers. 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, and 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 reported an inline second quarter, but data center sales came in way below expectations. However, a new partnership with Microsoft for virtual reality, and a consistent shift away for reliance on chips for personal computers, keeps the stock a compelling buy. Intel does a stunning 82.4% of its sales overseas, the lion’s share of it in Asia, where the chips that it produces are used in personal computers, tablets and other personal electronic devices.

Intel investors are paid a solid 2.73% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target is $45, while the consensus target is lower at $40.38. The shares closed Friday at $38.10.

Procter & Gamble

Despite a solid rally this year, shares are trading at almost same level they were in January of 2015, in part because it has a very large 65% of sales directed to foreign customers. Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) is a solid consumer staples stock for conservative investors to consider.

The company sells lots of very well-known household items that are essential for everyday life, and it operates through five segments: Beauty, Hair and Personal Care; Grooming; Health Care; Fabric Care and Home Care; and Baby, Feminine and Family Care.

The company posted solid earnings last quarter, and many on Wall Street feel that the new focus on a slimmed down product portfolio will help spur earnings growth and return the company to its long-time premium consumer staples multiple. Some analyst estimates for the next two years are 2% above current Wall Street expectations.

Procter & Gamble actually is innovative in its product development process and uses that to help ensure future growth and cash flow. This should provide investors years of steady growth and dividends. While currency headwinds have weighed on earnings and projections, the weaker dollar scenario should bode well for the future.

Shareholders are paid a 3% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price objective is $95, and the consensus target price is $90, which is right where shares closed last Friday.

3M

This top industrial could really jump with an economic pickup. 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) is a diversified, global manufacturer. Its businesses are technology-driven and organized under five segments: Consumer, Safety and Graphics, Electronics and Energy, Healthcare, and Industrial. Its popular brands include Scotch, Post-It, 3M and Thinsulate. The company also holds over 500 U.S. patents.

3M posted outstanding second-quarter results, and the company adjusted the midpoint of its guidance, the analysts remain positive but note the company, like many, faces a tough global macro environment. They do think the results are strong in relation to peers and feel that the focus toward return on invested capital will yield multiple expansion and earnings growth.

3M investors receive a decent 2.6% dividend. The Merrill Lynch price target is set at $200. The consensus target is at $182.57. Shares closed Friday at $175.06.

I'm interested in the Newsletter
 

Nothing real exciting here, just companies that have been around forever and regardless of politics, macro changes and headlines will be around for the foreseeable future. These stocks are perfect fits for conservative growth and income portfolios, and they may fare even better in 2017 with a weaker dollar.