4 Top Stocks Still INCREASING Dividends

The pandemic has significantly affected many businesses, leaving limited room to return capital to shareholders. As staying afloat has become difficult for several companies due to declining sales and poor cash flow, those that pay dividends either suspended or cut their payments…

During the second quarter, the number of companies cutting dividends increased 931% year-over-year to 639. So, there are only a few stocks in that market today that have been able to increase dividends. A pandemic-ready business model and sound financials helped these companies escape market downturns and enhance shareholder returns. Needless to say, these stocks are better poised to help an investor to survive the ongoing market volatility with a steady flow of income.

Here are four stocks that have a reliable history of dividend growth: Comcast Corporation (CMCSA), First Financial Bankshares, Inc. (FFIN), ManTech International Corporation (MANT), and M.D.C. Holdings, Inc. (MDC).

Comcast Corporation (CMCSA)

CMCSA is a global media and technology company. It is one of the largest high-speed internet, video, and phone providers in the United States with three primary businesses – Comcast Cable, NBCUniversal, and Sky. It operates through the following segments – Cable Communications, Cable Networks, Broadcast Television, Filmed Entertainment, Theme Parks, and Sky.

CMCSA has been consistently paying a dividend each quarter since 1986 and increasing its payout during the first quarter every year. The company raised its dividend by 9.5% in March amid the pandemic. The most recent dividend declared by the company was $0.23 for the second quarter, cumulating to an annual dividend of $0.92. Over the last 10 years, the average dividend per share growth for CMCSA was 16.9% per year. The current annual dividend translates into a 2.06% yield.

The company delivered free cash flow of $5.6 billion in the last reported quarter, increasing 40% year-over-year. It generated $8.6 billion cash flow from operations, growing 23% compared to the year-ago quarter. The top-line came in at $23.7 billion as the total customer relationships increased by 217,000 to 32.1 million in the second quarter of 2020. EPS for the quarter came in $0.69, delivering a surprise of 25.5%.

CMCSA’s NBCUniversal successfully launched the Peacock streaming service in April, with 10 million sign-ups through the quarter that ended in June. Sky successfully retained 99% of total customers and 95% of sports subscribers since the crisis began. Hence, the street estimates EPS to grow 22.9% next year.

How does CMCSA stack up for the POWR Ratings?

A for Trade Grade

A for Buy & Hold Grade

A for Peer Grade

B for Industry Rank

A for Overall POWR Rating.

It is ranked #1 out of 14 stocks in the Entertainment – TV & Internet Providers industry.

First Financial Bankshares, Inc. (FFIN)

FFIN provides commercial banking products and services in Texas. With assets of $10.3 billion, the company operates multiple banking regions with 78 convenient locations, plus a Trust Company with nine convenient locations. The company accepts checking and deposits, and offers loans to businesses, individuals, and farm and ranch operations.

FFIN pays an annual dividend of $0.52, translating into a dividend yield of 1.78%. The company has been uniformly paying quarterly dividends since 1993. The most recent dividend declared by the company was $0.13 for the second quarter that ended in June, implying an 8.3% increase. Over the last five years, the average dividend per share growth for FFIN was 11% per year.

FFIN’s second-quarter results did not fail to impress the street. Free cash flow for the quarter came in at…

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