Investing

4 Analyst Favorite Stocks to Buy With Dividend Hikes Expected This Week

After years of a low interest rate environment (though those rates now are trending higher faster), 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. While interest rates are rising, these stocks still make sense for investors looking for solid growth and income potential.

We like to remind readers about the impact that 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.

Four top companies that are Wall Street favorites and outstanding ideas in today’s volatile markets are expected to raise their dividends this week. Their stocks are rated Buy at some of the top firms on Wall Street. While it is possible that not all of the three do indeed raise their dividends, top analysts expect them to, and 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.

Darden Restaurants

The return to sit-down dining in restaurant locations has been huge for this industry leader. Darden Restaurants Inc. (NYSE: DRI) owns and operates full-service restaurants in the United States and Canada.

As of May 30, 2021, Darden Restaurants owned and operated 1,834 restaurants, including 875 under the Olive Garden banner, 533 LongHorn Steakhouse, 170 Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, 81 Yard House, 63 The Capital Grille, 44 Seasons 52, 42 Bahama Breeze, and 26Eddie V’s Prime Seafood.

Investors currently receive a dividend of 3.85%. The company is expected to raise the dividend to $1.20 per share from $1.10. UBS has a $155 price target on Darden Restaurants stock. The consensus target is $153.99. and shares traded at $116.50 early Tuesday.

Kroger

This grocery chain giant is always a solid idea when the going gets rough, as people tend to go out less to eat. Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) operates as a retailer in the United States. It operates combination food and drug stores, multi-department stores, marketplace stores and price impact warehouses.

Its food and drug stores offer natural food and organic sections, pharmacies, general merchandise, pet centers, fresh seafood and organic produce. Its multi-department stores provide apparel, home fashion and furnishings, outdoor living, electronics, automotive products and toys.

The company’s marketplace stores offer full-service grocery, pharmacy, health and beauty care, and perishable goods, as well as general merchandise, including apparel, home goods, and toys. The price impact warehouse stores provide grocery and health and beauty care items, as well as meat, dairy, baked goods and fresh produce items.

The company also manufactures and processes food products for sale in its supermarkets and online, and it sells fuel through 1,613 fuel centers. As of January 29, 2022, the company operated 2,726 supermarkets under various banner names in 35 states and the District of Columbia.

Kroger stock investors shareholders receive a 1.82% dividend, but the $0.21 per share dividend is expected to rise to $0.24. The BofA Securities target price of $75 is well above the $55.46 consensus target. A share price of $46.55 was seen in Tuesday’s premarket.

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