Investing

Jefferies Has 4 Top 2020 Value Picks to Buy That All Pay Big Dividends

Lee Jackson

During the almost 11-year run of this bull market, one thing has been painfully obvious to long-time investors: value stocks, and indeed the entire value arena, have woefully underperformed growth. Value stocks are those that tend to trade at a lower price relative to their fundamentals (including dividends, earnings and sales). Given the market uncertainty, most of which is tied directly to the current trade and domestic political issues, it makes sense to look at value and perhaps shift some capital there.

Each week, Jefferies presents some of its top value ideas, and this week’s group is chock full of well-known companies that, for a variety of reasons, have landed in value territory. All make sense for accounts looking to stay in equities but that are nervous about the potential for market turmoil. In addition, all pay healthy and dependable dividends.

Digital Realty Trust

This top data center company is a solid play on the huge cloud and streaming content revolution, and Jefferies recently upgraded it to Buy. Digital Realty Trust Inc. (NYSE: DLR) supports the data center and colocation strategies of more than 600 firms across its secure, network-rich portfolio of data centers located throughout North America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

Digital Realty’s clients include domestic and international companies of all sizes, ranging from financial services and cloud and information technology services to manufacturing, energy, gaming, life sciences and consumer products. The company rates highest with portfolio managers, as close to 9% of the market cap of the company is in institutional hands.

The analysts cite the company’s solid dividend and the potential for dividend growth. They also feel that data center pricing is still favorable, and the growth in adoption of the cloud is a positive going forward.

Digital Realty investors receive a very solid 3.44% distribution. The Jefferies price target for the shares is $141. The Wall Street consensus price target is $126.19. Shares were last seen trading at $125.73 apiece.

Equitrans Midstream

Jefferies recently added this high distribution paying C corporation structured energy play to its Franchise Picks list. Equitrans Midstream Corp. (NYSE: ETRN) primarily engages in natural gas transmission, storage and gathering in the Appalachian Basin. The company’s only asset is its controlling 60% interest in EQM Midstream Partners.

The analysts are positive on the large payout to shareholders and noted this in a report earlier this month:

The company was added to the Franchise Pick list in December 2019. Shares offer a yield, and the analyst forecasts modest dividend growth ahead and sees a catalyst-rich 2020 as the company works to bring the ~$5.5 billion Mountain Valley Pipeline into service (90% complete today), renegotiates gathering contracts with its largest counterparty (EQT), and adapts to a significantly moderated Northeast production profile.

The analysts also said this in a new research piece:

We were out with our fourth quarter preview for the midstream and refining names. The topical fourth quarter items include: concern over E&P counterparty health amid weak commodity prices and declining rig activity, narrowing basis differentials, low interest rates and IMO 2020 effects along with weak cracks. Broadly, we expect 2020 guidance will focus on capital expenditure discipline, project execution and deleveraging.

The current distribution is a massive 14.55%. Jefferies has a $20 price target, while the consensus target was last seen at $16. The stock closed at $12.37 a share on Tuesday.