7 'Strong Buy' Dividend Aristocrats That Blew Away Q3 Earnings Expectations

General Dynamics

Like other major defense contractors, General Dynamics Corp. (NYSE: GD) has had a very solid year. It is engaged in business aviation, land and expeditionary combat vehicles and systems, armaments, munitions, shipbuilding and marine systems, and information systems and technologies.

Major products include Virginia-class nuclear-powered submarine and Ohio class replacement, Arleigh Burke-class Aegis, Abrams M1A2 tank, Stryker 8-wheeled assault vehicle, medium-caliber munitions and gun systems, tactical and strategic mission systems.

The defense giant posted third-quarter 2022 net earnings of $902 million on revenue of $10 billion. Diluted earnings per share were $3.26, a 6.2% increase from the year-ago quarter. Both numbers topped Wall Street expectations.

The dividend yield here is 2.01%. General Dynamics stock has a $325 price target at BofA Securities. The consensus estimate is just $266.61, and shares closed at $250.72 on Friday.


The legacy fast-food heavyweight is a solid pick when the economy goes south, and it is among the safest large-cap restaurant plays. McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) operates and franchises McDonald’s restaurants in the United States and internationally.

The company’s restaurants offer hamburgers and cheeseburgers, chicken sandwiches and nuggets, wraps, fries, salads, oatmeal, shakes, desserts, sundaes, soft serve cones, bakery items, soft drinks, coffee, and other beverages, as well as a breakfast menu, including biscuit and bagel sandwiches, breakfast burritos, hotcakes and other sandwiches. As of December 31, 2021, the company operated 40,031 restaurants.

The company posted very solid results last week, with $5.87 billion in revenue exceeding estimates of $5.7 billion, and earnings-per-share of $2.68 topped the $2.57 street estimates as well. The company cited solid marketing efforts and higher menu prices as positive factors in the outstanding results.

Shareholders receive a 2.21% dividend. BMO Capital Markets has set a Wall Street high $300 target price. The consensus target is $283.00. The final McDonald’s stock trade on Friday was reported at $274.52.

All seven stocks have reasonable upside to the Wall Street targets, and they all pay very dependable dividends given their Dividend Aristocrat status. With even moderate appreciation in their share prices, investors should be looking at double-digit percentage total return potential. In a market that is very volatile and could be headed lower, the safety net of solid earnings and forward guidance helps to backstop these blue-chip giants.

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