Investing

5 Dividend Stocks Could Be Big Winners After the New COVID-19 Variant Shock

While most everyone in the scientific community suspected that cases of COVID-19 would spike as we got closer to winter in the northern and the eastern parts of the country, similar to the spike in the South during the summer, most of the pundits were not expecting a new variant from South Africa to pop up. However, that’s what coronaviruses do, they mutate. In fact, the Delta variant was more than twice as transmissible as the virus that originally emerged in Wuhan, China.

The possibility of further significant mutations in the virus has arrived, and while the caseload is small, and pharmaceutical companies like Johnson & Johnson are already testing the current vaccinations against the newly crowned variant Omicron, the panic last Friday was immediate as the market took the biggest one-day shot since June of 2020.

Another massive lockdown in the United States seems unlikely, especially with so many people already vaccinated, but there could be a return to some restrictions. So, we screened the stay-at-home and pharmaceutical stocks to see which ones could perhaps make sense now. We looked for stocks rated Buy that pay solid dividends. Scared investors flocked to the Treasury market on Friday, pounding interest rates lower, so all five are even more attractive on a total return basis.

It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Albertsons

If people opt to stay at home more, the grocery business should indeed be stellar, especially since the holidays are upon us. Albertsons Companies Inc. (NYSE: ACI) engages in the operation of food and drug stores in the United States.

The company’s food and drug retail stores offer grocery products, general merchandise, health and beauty care products, pharmacy, fuel and other items and services. As of February 27, 2021, it operated 2,277 stores under various banners, including Albertsons, Safeway, Vons, Pavilions, Randalls, Tom Thumb, Carrs, Jewel-Osco, Acme, Shaw’s, Star Market, United Supermarkets, Market Street, Haggen, Kings Food Markets and Balducci’s Food Lover’s Market. It operated 1,727 pharmacies, 1,313 in-store branded coffee shops, 400 adjacent fuel centers, 22 distribution centers and 20 manufacturing facilities, as well as various digital platforms.

The company recently announced the launch of Albertsons Media Collective, a retail media network designed to deliver digitally native, shopper-centric and engaging branded content to the company’s ever-growing network of shoppers.

Investors receive a 1.35% dividend. Deutsche Bank has a $38 price target on Albertsons Companies stock. The Wall Street consensus target is $32.56, and the final trade on Friday was posted at $35.72 a share.