Markets have shown two themes in recent weeks, a combination of uncertainty and an upward trend. Day to day, it’s impossible to predict just what will happen, but the larger scale movement has been upwards. Looking ahead, all we know is that current events will reinforce the uncertainty.
Earnings season has started. As the market’s publicly traded companies report their Q3 results, we’ll get a clearer idea as the nature of the economic recovery. Q1 was a disaster, the second quarter was better than expected; while Q3 is also expected to beat the expectations, no one will be surprised if it belly flops. So far, our first hint was the September jobs report, which fell short of the forecast but nevertheless showed some 661,000 new jobs last month.
The big wild card, of course, is the national election, now just weeks away. President Trump is fighting for his political life and the Democrat opposition is fighting to regain control of the levers of government.
It’s an environment that practically screams for investors to take protective action for their portfolios. And it’s possible; even in an uncertain time, there are dividend stocks that promise reliable returns and risk mitigation.
Using the TipRanks database, we’ve pulled two stocks with Strong Buy ratings and high dividend yields. Wall Street’s analyst corps sees them as ripe for investment returns, while the dividend yield of 9% or better promises relief from today’s low-rate regime.
Hoegh LNG Partners (HMLP)
Hoegh operates floating gas services, including storage facilities and regasification units that can act as LNG import terminals in the absence of shore-based infrastructure.
Late this past summer, Hoegh announced a new CEO, part of a normal transition of leadership in the company. The remarkable aspect was that the transition occurred during the COVID outbreak – and that the company showed positive revenues and earnings during that time, avoiding the heavy losses that have plagued some of its competitors. Hoegh’s EPS has varied quarter to quarter over the past two years, but the Q2 numbers were in-line with the long-term average, and the Q3 outlook, to be reported next month, is in the same range.
Steady earnings usually mean a steady dividend, and HMLP delivers. The company has a 6-year history of dividend reliability, and the payment, of 44 cents per common share, has been held stable through 2020. The $1.76 annualized payment gives an impressively high yield of 15.5%. This is more than 7x the average found among S&P listed dividend payers.
Liam Burke, of B. Riley FBR, counts himself as a fan. He writes, “Despite near-term decline in global LNG consumption caused by the coronavirus, there is solid underlying demand for LNG, which is estimated to grow by more than 3% to 5% annually until 2030, which sets the stage for consistent demand for high return floating storage and re-gasification units (FSRU) beyond current contract periods. We continue to believe in the long-term strength of the LNG market and HMLP's underlying charters despite the inherent counter-party risks created by a near-term decline in LNG consumption related to COVID-19.”
Burke rates HMLP shares a Buy, and his $17 price target indicates confidence in a 45.5% upside potential. (To watch Burke’s track record, click here)
Overall, Wall Street has given HMLP 3 Buys and 1 Hold recently, for a Strong Buy consensus rating. The average price target is $13.67, suggesting a 19% upside from the current trading level of $11.41. (See HMLP stock analysis on TipRanks)
Hess Midstream Operations (HESM)
Next up on today’s list of dividend champs is Hess Midstream, a player in the US oil and gas industry. Hess provides infrastructure services for gathering, processing, storing, and transporting both crude oil and natural gas products in the Bakken formation of North Dakota.
Production companies have kept the product flowing despite the coronavirus, which is one reason for the low prices in the oil markets – but it has also kept the midstreamers in demand. Hess has benefited from the continuing need for its technical knowledge of pipeline network, and the result has been that, while much of the oil industry had to retrench recently, Hess saw only modest losses in revenues while earnings remained in-line with their 2-year recent history. Second Quarter EPS was 29 cents; that was lower than Q1, but higher than 4Q19.
Hess has turned its steady earnings to shareholders’ advantage, with a dividend that has been increased every quarter for the past 2 years. The last payment, sent in August, was 44 cents per common share. This gave a yield of 9.86%, strong by any standard.
JPMorgan analyst Tarek Hamid says of Hess, “The unique pricing model underpinning core profitability remains unmatched and further helps to eliminate (to an extent) DAPL uncertainty overhang relative to peers. Longer-term growth prospects could come in the form of asset level acquisitions and potentially a framework tied to Hess’s GOM position, but management has conveyed a conservative approach with respect to corporate M&A… HESM will burn cash this year, though our modeling indicates a flip to FCF generation in FY21 on lower capital intensity and higher y/y profitability.”
To this end, JPMorgan rates HESM an Overweight (i.e. Buy) along with a $23 price target. This figure suggests a 40% upside for HESM shares in the months ahead.
Overall, this stock’s Strong Buy consensus rating is supported by 4 Buys and 1 Hold. Shares are selling for $16.46, and the average price target of $19.75 indicates a 20% upside potential. (See HESM stock analysis on TipRanks)
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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.