Investing

5 'Strong Buy' Blue-Chip Stocks With Dividends Likely Raised 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 that 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 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%. That is, 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

Five top large-cap companies that are Wall Street favorites 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 firms on Wall Street. While it is always possible that not all of them do indeed raise their dividends, top analysts expect them to. Generally, the data is based on past increases in the firm’s dividend payouts.

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

Applied Materials

This is one of the premier semiconductor capital equipment stocks. Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the semiconductor, display and related industries. It operates through three segments.

The Semiconductor Systems segment develops, manufactures and sells various manufacturing equipment that is used to fabricate semiconductor chips or integrated circuits. This segment also offers various technologies, including epitaxy, ion implantation, oxidation/nitridation, rapid thermal processing, physical vapor deposition, chemical vapor deposition, chemical mechanical planarization, electrochemical deposition, atomic layer deposition, etching and selective deposition and removal, as well as metrology and inspection tools.

The Applied Global Services segment provides integrated solutions to optimize equipment and fab performance and productivity comprising spares, upgrades, services, remanufactured earlier generation equipment and factory automation software for semiconductor, display and other products.

The Display and Adjacent Markets segment offers products for manufacturing liquid crystal displays, organic light-emitting diodes and other display technologies for TVs, monitors, laptops, personal computers, electronic tablets, smartphones and other consumer-oriented devices, as well as equipment for processing flexible substrates.

Shareholders currently receive a 0.76% dividend. The company is expected to lift the dividend from $0.24 per share to $0.26. Citigroup recently lifted its $178 target price on Applied Materials stock to $180. The consensus target is $172.82, and Friday’s closing trade was posted at $125.74, which was down close to 4% for the day.

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