Analyst Has 4 Dividend Stocks to Buy With Big Q4 Potential

October 21, 2016 by 247lee

Portfolio managers and others in charge of investments are facing an up year, but many are trailing their benchmarks. There is nothing worse for active managers than trailing your benchmark, especially in an up year. For example, if your benchmark is the S&P 500, it is up about 5.7% for the year. If you are up say 4%, then you are trailing the benchmark.

In a new report, SunTrust Robinson Humphrey has combed through 39 analysts and a coverage universe of 640 stocks to come up with 30 stocks to Buy that are designed to help clients catch up to their benchmarks. The stocks that made the cut are part of a compelling list of lagging stocks rated Buy that could outperform the overall market this quarter.

We chose four that look like they do indeed have solid upside potential — and all pay very good dividends, which can help add total return.

American Electric Power

This industry leader is also a solid dividend-paying company. American Electric Power Co. Inc. (NYSE: AEP) is one of the largest electric utilities in the United States, delivering electricity to more than 5.3 million customers in 11 states. It ranks among the nation’s largest generators of electricity, owning nearly 38,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States. It also owns the nation’s largest electricity transmission system, a more than 40,000-mile network that includes more 765 kilovolt extra-high voltage transmission lines than all other U.S. transmission systems combined.

Many on Wall Street feel that the stock trades at a discount to its utility peers and they feel it deserves a premium. The company posted solid second-quarter numbers that exceeded consensus expectations. While industrial sales declined for a third year, it remains a stock the analysts favor.

American Electric Power shareholders are paid a solid 3.6% dividend. The SunTrust price objective for the stock is $76, and the Wall Street consensus target price is $71.32. Shares closed on Thursday at $62.91 apiece.

Ares Capital

This company is a high yielding business development company to buy. Ares Capital Corp. (NASDAQ: ARCC) is a leading specialty finance company that provides one-stop debt and equity financing solutions to U.S. middle market companies, venture capital backed businesses and power-generation projects. Ares Capital originates and invests in senior secured loans, mezzanine debt and, to a lesser extent, equity investments through its national direct origination platform. Its investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments primarily in private companies.

Top Wall Street analysts believe the strength of company’s origination platform, sizable balance sheet and ample liquidity position the company favorably in a very competitive investing environment. Other Wall Street analysts also believe that with current tight spread environment, Ares Capital has the scale and industry relationships to continue to make competitive, high-credit-quality investments.

Ares has a diversified portfolio totaling $9.1 billion at fair value. It consists of investments in 218 portfolio companies. The company’s recent acquisition of American Capital has weighed on the stock as risk arbitrage accounts have shorted it. The deal is set to close this quarter, which should remove that pressure.

Shareholders are paid a very rich 9.93% dividend. The $18 SunTrust price target compares with the consensus target of $16.67. The stock closed Thursday at $15.30 per share.

Valero Energy Partners

This midstream master limited partnership (MLP) could have solid value at current trading levels. Valero Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE: VLP) owns, operates, develops and acquires crude oil and refined petroleum products pipelines, terminals and other transportation and logistics assets in the United States. Its assets include crude oil and refined petroleum products pipeline and terminal systems, including Port Arthur logistics system, McKee products system, Memphis logistics system, Three Rivers Crude System, Wynnewood Products System, Houston Terminal, St. Charles Terminal, and Corpus Christi Terminals located in the Gulf Coast and Mid-Continent regions of the United States.

This may be an outstanding choice for more conservative accounts as Valero Energy Partners has no direct exposure to commodity prices. The company derives 100% of its revenue via fee-based charges, which provides very stable cash flow.

In the second quarter the company produced distributable cash flow of $59 million, while it generated $51.5 million and $53 million in the prior two quarters. Plus, the company only distributes about half of that cash to investors. As a result, its distribution coverage ratio was 2.04 times last quarter and averaged 2.02 times this year and 2.06 in 2015. That is double the coverage of most MLPs.

Shareholders are paid a 3.44% distribution. The SunTrust price objective is $54, and the consensus target is $54.80. The shares closed most recently at $42.43.

Williams-Sonoma

This retailer has been hit hard over the past year and is offering investors an outstanding entry point. Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) is a specialty retailer of high-quality products for the home. These products, representing eight distinct merchandise strategies — Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn, Pottery Barn Kids, West Elm, PBteen, Williams-Sonoma Home, Rejuvenation, and Mark and Graham — are marketed through e-commerce websites, direct mail catalogs and 618 stores.

The company also currently operates in the United States, Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom, offers international shipping to customers worldwide and has unaffiliated franchisees that operate stores in the Middle East and the Philippines, as well as stores and e-commerce websites in Mexico.

While some analysts worry about competition, the increase in new and previously owned home sales bodes well for the company going forward. CNBC’s Jim Cramer has been a big fan of the stock in the past.

Shareholders receive a solid 3.15% dividend. SunTrust has a $62 price target for the stock. The consensus target is set at $56.67. The shares closed most recently at $546.97.

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While these stocks are not suitable for all investors’ portfolios, they have outstanding upside potential and far less downside than high-flying momentum stocks. Plus, they could very well help investors catch up in their own portfolios.