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5 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Expected Dividend Hikes This Week

24/7 Wall St.
24/7 Wall St.
 2022-01-24

https://img.particlenews.com/image.php?url=17217Q_0duADrPS00 After years of a low interest rate environment, 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.

We like to remind our 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%: a 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

Five top large cap companies that are Wall Street favorites are expected to raise their dividends this week, so we screened our 24/7 Wall St. research universe and found that all are rated Buy by some top analysts. While it is always possible that not all of them do indeed raise their dividends, analysts expect them to, and the data is based generally on past increases in the firm's dividend payouts.

It is important to remember, though, that no single analyst report should be used in making a buying or selling decision.

Cigna

This is a solid value buy in the health care sector. Cigna Corp. ( NYSE: CI ) is a major health services organization that provides insurance and related products and services in the United States and internationally. All products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Life Insurance Company of North America, Cigna Life Insurance Company of Canada and their affiliates.

The health care giant offers an integrated suite of health services, such as medical, dental, behavioral health, pharmacy, vision, supplemental benefits and other related products, including group life, accident and disability insurance. Cigna maintains sales capability in 30 countries and jurisdictions, and it has approximately 86 million customer relationships throughout the world.

Investors currently receive a dividend of 1.69%. The company is expected to raise the $1.00 per share dividend to $1.20, a huge 20% increase.

Raymond James has a Strong Buy rating and a $275 price target on Cigna stock. The consensus target is $265.56, and the shares traded early Monday at $231.30 apiece.
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Comcast

This top media and entertainment company remains a Wall Street favorite, and it is a member of the BofA Securities US 1 list of top stock picks. Comcast Corp. ( NASDAQ: CMCSA ) is the largest U.S. provider of cable services, with over 22 million basic and nearly 27 million broadband subscribers. Through its acquisition of Sky, Comcast now has direct customer relationships with 53 million subscribers.

Comcast now also has a foothold in the European market (Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom) in addition to its U.S. operations. Comcast owns NBCU, which includes the NBC TV networks, Telemundo, MSNBC, USA, SyFy, Bravo, E!, CNBC, Universal Films and Universal Theme Parks.

Comcast has invested in technology to build an advanced network that delivers among the fastest broadband speeds and brings customers personalized video, communications and home management offerings.

Shareholders currently receive 2.01% dividend. The company is expected to lift the dividend to $0.27 a share from $0.25.

Deutsche Bank has set a $62 target price, but the consensus target is higher at $63.01. Comcast stock traded at $50.55 a share early Monday.
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Kimberly-Clark

This consumer staples leader is a safe bet for nervous investors. Kimberly-Clark Corp. ( NYSE: KMB ) is a manufacturer of tissue, personal care, and health care products. Global brands include Huggies, Kotex, Kleenex, Cottonelle, Viva, Scott, Depend and Poise, as well as Andrex in the United Kingdom.

Last year, the company notified U.S. and Canadian customers about plans to increase net selling prices for most of its North American consumer products business. The percentage increase in prices were in the mid-to-high single digits. Almost all the price increases came into effect by the end of last June via changes in list prices. In addition, Kimberly-Clark’s baby and child care, adult care and Scott bathroom tissue businesses were affected by this move.

Investors now receive a dividend of 3.18%. The dividend is expected to rise to $1.21 per share from $1.14.

The $155 Jefferies price target is well above the $137.95 consensus target for Kimberly-Clark stock. The share price of $143.30 Monday morning was also higher.

Marathon Oil

This is a solid way for more conservative investors to play the energy sector. Marathon Oil Corp. ( NYSE: MRO ) operates as an independent exploration and production company in the United States and internationally. It engages in the exploration, production and marketing of crude oil and condensate, natural gas liquids, and natural gas, as well as the production and marketing of products manufactured from natural gas, such as liquefied natural gas and methanol.

The company owns and operates 32 central gathering and treating facilities and the Sugarloaf gathering system, a 42-mile natural gas pipeline through Karnes and Atascosa Counties. The company was formerly known as USX Corporation and changed its name in December 2001.

Investors currently receive a 1.28% dividend. The company is expected to lift that dividend by a penny per share to $0.07.

Raymond James has the highest target on Wall Street, which is $27. Marathon Oil stock's consensus target is $20.79, and it traded at $17.40 on Monday.
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Teradyne

This lesser-known semiconductor capital equipment leader also could have solid upside potential. Teradyne Inc. ( NYSE: TER ) designs automatic test systems used to test semiconductors, wireless products, data storage and electronic systems in the consumer, wireless, auto, industrial, computing, communications and aerospace/defense markets. Industrial automation products include collaborative robots used by global manufacturing and light industrial customers to improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce costs.

Many analysts on Wall Street point to the company as a somewhat ancillary play to the sector and have often cited the growing robotics silo as more of a reason to own the shares than the fundamentals related to wafer fab equipment. The company also has consistently bought back stock, a huge positive for shareholders.

Shareholders are currently paid a 2.01% dividend. The company is expected to lift the dividend to $0.11 from $0.10.

BofA Securities' Wall Street high $205 price target on Teradyne compares with a $165.67 consensus target. The shares traded at $140.65 early Monday.

These five top companies are expected to lift the dividends they pay to shareholders, and their stocks are rated Buy across Wall Street. Not only is increasing dividends and returning capital to investors important, but it also shows that the company is doing well and has the earnings and cash flow strength to increase the payouts.

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