Investing

5 'Strong Buy' Stocks Wall Street Loves With Dividend Hikes Likely This Week

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With rates moving much higher over the past year, many investors are looking at short-term Treasury debt. Volatility and a richly priced stock market has made some market participants nervous. However, many long-term horizon investors still turn to equities. This is not just for the growth potential, but also for solid and dependable dividends that help to provide a passive income stream. What this equates to is total return. That is one of the most powerful investment strategies.

The impact total return has on portfolios 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 companies that are Wall Street favorites are expected to raise their dividends this week. We screened our 24/7 Wall St. research universe and found that all of them are rated Buy at some of Wall Street’s top firms.

It is always possible that not all of the five do raise their dividends. Yet, top analysts expect them to, based on past increases in each 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.

Apple Hospitality REIT

While not affiliated with the technology giant, this company offers solid total return potential. Apple Hospitality REIT Inc. (NYSE: APLE) owns one of the largest and most diverse portfolios of upscale, rooms-focused hotels in the United States.

Its portfolio consists of 220 hotels with more than 28,900 guest rooms located in 87 markets throughout 37 states, as well as one property leased to third parties. Concentrated with industry-leading brands, the company’s hotel portfolio consists of 97 Marriott-branded hotels, 119 Hilton-branded hotels and four Hyatt-branded hotels.

Investors receive a 6.13% monthly distribution. The company is expected to lift the payout to $0.10 per share from $0.08.

Oppenheimer’s $18 target price on Apple Hospitality REIT stock is the same as the consensus target. The closing share price on Monday was $15.93.

Blackstone

Shares of this top money management company make sense for more aggressive growth and income investors. Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE: BX) is one of the largest global alternative asset managers. Blackstone manages investments and provides services across four operating segments: Private Equity, Real Estate, Credit and Hedge Fund Solutions.

Blackstone launches and manages private equity funds, real estate funds, funds of hedge funds and credit-focused funds for its clients. It invests in private equity, public equity, fixed-income and alternative investment markets. The firm has been steadily building out longer-duration permanent capital vehicles to add earnings stability and higher multiple fee-paying assets under management.

Shareholders currently receive a 3.29% dividend. The $0.79 per share is expected to increase 10% to $0.87.

Morgan Stanley’s target price is $125. Blackstone stock has a consensus target of $113.71, and Monday’s closing print was $104.54.

Hub Group

This stock is offering a stellar entry point not too far above the 52-week low. Hub Group Inc. (NASDAQ: HUBG) is a supply chain solutions provider that offers transportation and logistics management services in North America.

The company’s transportation services include intermodal, truckload, less-than-truckload, flatbed, temperature-controlled, and dedicated and regional trucking. It also includes final mile, railcar, small parcel and international transportation.

Its logistics services include full outsource logistics solutions, transportation management, freight consolidation, warehousing and fulfillment, final mile delivery, and parcel and international services. The company also provides dry van, expedited, less-than-truckload, refrigerated and flatbed truck brokerage services.

Hub Group offers a fleet of approximately 2,300 tractors, 750 independent owner-operators and 4,600 trailers to its customers. That includes management and infrastructure. The company serves a range of industries, including retail, consumer products and durable goods. As of December 31, 2022, it owned approximately 48,000 dry, 53-foot containers, as well as 750 refrigerated, 53-foot containers. It also leased approximately 225 dry, 53-foot containers.

Hub Group stock investors are now paid a 1.56% dividend. The expected hike is to $1.21 a share from $1.12.

The $110 target price at Susquehanna is a Wall Street high. The consensus target is $94.60, and Monday’s close was at $79.11.

Penske Automotive

This company was started by automotive and racing legend Roger Penske. Its shares also have backed up to offer a better spot to buy. Penske Automotive Group Inc. (NYSE: PAG) is a diversified transportation services company. It operates automotive and commercial truck dealerships in the United States and internationally under franchise agreements with various automotive manufacturers and distributors.

Penske Automotive is also involved in the following:

  • Sale of new and used motor vehicles
  • Maintenance and repair services
  • Sale and placement of third-party finance and insurance products
  • Third-party extended service and maintenance contracts
  • Replacement and aftermarket automotive products
  • Collision repair services
  • Wholesale of parts

In addition, it operates a heavy- and medium-duty truck dealership that offers Freightliner and Western Star branded trucks, as well as offers a range of used trucks. Further, it imports and distributes Western Star heavy-duty trucks, MAN heavy- and medium-duty trucks and buses, and Dennis Eagle refuse collection vehicles. The company distributes diesel and gas engines, and power systems as well. (The 15 most fuel-efficient trucks.)

The current yield is 1.75%. The dividend is expected to rise to $0.78 a share from $0.72.

Benchmark’s $196 target price is well above the $164.50 consensus target. On Monday, Penske Automotive stock closed at $151.15.

Visa

This top credit card issuer is becoming a huge leader in digital pay. Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network. The company provides processing services and payment product platforms, including consumer credit, debit, prepaid and commercial payments, that are offered under Visa and related brands. According to Nielsen estimates, the company is the largest global credit network (as measured by volume) and the second-largest global debit network. (These 19 companies were caught manipulating the American free market.)

Visa is not a bank and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices:

  • Pay now with debit.
  • Pay ahead of time with prepaid.
  • Pay later with credit products.

Shareholders now receive a 0.76% yield. The company is expected to raise the dividend to $0.54 per share from $0.45. That is a huge 20% increase.

Truist Securities has set its target price at $275, but the consensus target is higher at $277.56. The shares closed on Monday at $240.07.


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