Investing

4 Very Well-Known Buy-Rated Stocks With Dividend Hikes Coming This Week

After years of a low interest rate environment, many investors have turned to equities not only for the growth potential but also for solid and dependable dividends, which help to provide an income stream. What this equates to is total return, which is one of the most powerful investment strategies going.

We 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%: a 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

Four top companies are expected to raise their dividends this week, so we screened our 24/7 Wall St. research universe and found that all are rated Buy at some of the top analysts. While it is always possible that not all of them do indeed raise their dividends, analysts expect them to, and the data is based generally on past increases in the firm’s dividend payouts.

It is important to remember, though, that no single analyst report should be used in making a buying or selling decision.

Atmos Energy

This utility stock is perfect for conservative investors looking for income. Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE: ATO) engages in the regulated natural gas distribution and pipeline and storage businesses in the United States. It operates in two segments.

The Distribution segment is involved in the regulated natural gas distribution and related sales operations in eight states. This segment distributes natural gas to approximately 3 million residential, commercial, public authority and industrial customers. As of September 30, 2020, it owned 71,558 miles of underground distribution and transmission mains.

The Pipeline and Storage segment engages in the pipeline and storage operations. This segment transports natural gas for third parties and manages five underground storage reservoirs in Texas. It also provides ancillary services to the pipeline industry, including parking arrangements, lending and inventory sales. As of September 30, 2020, it owned 5,684 miles of gas transmission lines.

Shareholders currently receive a 2.66% yield. The company is expected to raise the dividend to $0.665 per share from $0.625.

Morgan Stanley recently boosted its $115 target price to $125, well above the consensus target of $107.56. Friday’s closing print was $93.99.

HP

This legacy Silicon Valley pioneer has purchased 24% of its own stock over the past 12 months. HP Inc. (NYSE: HPQ) provides personal computing and other access devices, imaging and printing products and related technologies, solutions and services in the United States and internationally.

HP serves individual consumers, small and medium-sized businesses and large enterprises, including customers in the government, health and education sectors. The company operates through three segments.