More conservative investors (boomers) are partying like it is 1999, as money market rates are at 4.5% and certificates of deposit are above the 5% level. Back at the turn of the century. CD yields hit 6.91%, and it was smooth sailing for a few years.
The question now is whether rate hikes are finished or one or two more 25-basis-point hikes are in store for the markets. One thing is for sure, we are likely near the end of the rate hikes. For growth and income investors, it makes sense to look at blue chip stocks with big and dependable dividends.
We screened our 24/7 large-cap dividend universe looking for true blue chip stocks paying dividends near the money market and CD rate levels. The following five top companies checked all the boxes. While all are rated Buy, it is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.
This maker of tobacco products offers value investors a great entry point now as it has been hit as cigarette sales have slowed. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) is the parent company of Philip Morris USA (cigarettes), UST (smokeless), John Middleton (cigars), Ste. Michelle Wine Estates and Philip Morris Capital. PMUSA enjoys a 51% share of the U.S. cigarette market, led by its top cigarette brand Marlboro.
Altria also owns over 10% of Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer, which some feel is worth more than $10 billion and may be a segment of the company that could be sold. When Altria posted solid fourth-quarter results, it also announced a shareholder-friendly $1 billion stock buyback plan.
Altria stock investors receive an 8.40% dividend. Stifel has a $52 target price, while the consensus target is $49.59. The shares closed on Wednesday at $44.95.
This top bank stock has rallied nicely off the lows, and Warren Buffett bought $2.5 billion worth of the shares last summer. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is a leading global diversified financial service company that provides consumers, corporations and governments a broad range of financial products and services.
The company offers services such as consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services and wealth management. And it operates and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions in North America, Latin America, Asia and elsewhere.
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