3 Big Dividend Stocks Yielding Over 5%; Truist Says ‘Buy’

Right before the corona crisis, the NASDAQ peaked at 9,817. It closed yesterday at 11,665. The tech-heavy index has been setting records consistently since mid-June. The S&P 500’s post-crash performance has been almost as good.

It’s clear that investors are in a buying mood. Despite all of the uncertainty in recent weeks – the resurgence of COVID-19, the upcoming Presidential election, the stop-and-go economic progress – stocks are rising. Truist (formerly SunTrust) chief market strategist Keith Lerner sees the current rally as the real deal, not just another bubble, and reflective of a general optimism. He writes, “[The] stock market is about anticipating the future and we feel in about a year or so most of the population will be immunized with a vaccine, and the economy will begin to return to accelerated growth.”

Lerner directly addresses bubble fears in his comments on the NASDAQ. Remembering how that index soared in the runup to the bubble collapse, Lerner sees reasons for investors to remain calm. He notes that while the NASDAQ is 22% above its long-term trend, in the late 90s the index reached 280% above the trend line. Lerner adds that tech stocks doubled their value in 2000, just before their bubble burst – but now are up only 35% in the past 12 months. “Absolute valuations are elevated”, he says, “but are less than half of the levels reached back then.”

Lerner’s firm is backing him on this call. Truist analysts are pinpointing three stocks with plenty of potential for strong ROI, mainly through dividends. We’ve pulled up the details from the TipRanks database, to find out what lies behind these calls.

SL Green Realty Corporation (SLG)

The first dividend pick from Truist is New York City’s largest commercial landlord. SL Green Realty is a real estate investment trust (REIT), and its primary investments are office buildings and shopping centers lower Manhattan. The company owns addresses on some of the area’s most famous thoroughfares, including Park Avenue, Lexington, and Avenue of the Americas. The company owns 41 million square feet in 96 buildings in one of the world’s hottest real estate markets.

Judging by the earnings data, the corona crisis simply passed SLG right by. The company saw an EPS spike in Q1, while Q2’s results fell back to historical levels. The second quarter saw earnings per share of 74 cents, and funds from operations per share of $1.70.

Anticipating a worse hit than it actually felt, SL Green took protective steps at the beginning of the corona epidemic and shutdowns to defend its cash flow – including a sharp reduction in the dividend. Management cut the payment from 89 cents per share to 29.5 cents share, with the lower dividend taking effect in March. Since then, the company has maintained its monthly payment at the lower level. The 29.5 cent dividend gives an annualized payment of $3.54, and a high yield of 7.5%.

Truist analyst Ki Bin Kim notes that SL Green inhabits a niche in transformation, writing, “The argument over the future of office space in a post COVID-19 world may not be adequately settled until physical occupancy rebounds and finds its level, likely well into next year.”

Kim goes on, however, to explain why SL Green makes an attractive pick-up for investors: “[We] think SLG offers compelling value for longer-term investors with a more balanced outlook for the future of office space (likely many more workers alternating between home and the office, but few strictly at home). In the meantime, strong liquidity mitigates above-average leverage…”

The analyst puts a Buy rating on the stock, and his $75 price target indicates room for 54% upside growth in the next 12 months. (To watch Kim’s track record, click here)

Overall, Wall Street is cautious where Truist is bullish. SLG gets a Hold rating from the analyst consensus view, based on 1 Buy and 4 Holds set in recent weeks. Yet, the stock’s $57.20 average price target suggests room for 14% growth from the current trading price of $48.82. (See SLG stock analysis on TipRanks)

Ryder System, Inc. (R)

The next stock of our list of Truist picks is Ryder System, the consumer-oriented truck rental company. Ryder’s trucks and vans are only part of the business model, however – the company’s largest segment is fleet management, and the company also provides transportation management, supply chain management, and full-service leasing and maintenance. Ryder operates in the US and Canada.

The company was hit hard by the coronavirus crisis and economic downturn. Lockdown policies kept trucks in the depots and cut far back on the revenue streams, turning EPS negative in both quarters of 1H20. Q2, which included economic restarts, saw some mitigation of the net loss, however, which was less sever than expected, and further EPS loss narrowing is expected for Q3.

Through all of this, Ryder management has maintained its dividend payment. The company takes pride in being a true dividend champion, and the Q3 declaration, made in July for a September payout, marks 44 years – 176 consecutive quarter – without missing a dividend. The payment is only 56 cents per common share, but that gives an impressive yield of 5.6%. That is almost triple the average yield found among S&P-listed companies.

Stephanie Benjamin, 5-star analyst with Truist, underlines some fundamental strength of R shares in the current climate. She writes, “[We] understand there is frustration surrounding the depreciation headwinds, we think it is important to look at the positives from the quarter, mainly: (1) 2Q adjusted EBITDA exceeded expectations, (2) raised FCF expectations, (3) the hardest hit COVID businesses improved throughout 2Q, and (4) cost-cutting remains a key priority.”

In line with her comments, Benjamin rates the stock a Buy. Her $48 price target implies a 15% upside for the coming year. (To watch Benjamin’s track record, click here)

Overall, the analyst consensus rating is a Moderate Buy, based on 2 Buys, 1 Hold, and 1 Sell. The stock is selling for $41.61, and the $40.50 average price target suggests the stock is poised to stay range bound. (See Ryder stock analysis on TipRanks)

Regency Centers Corporation (REG)

Florida-based Regency Centers, another REIT, is the last stock on today’s list of Truist picks. Regency is a major owner of retail space, with 408 properties around the US. The company specializes in shopping centers anchored by grocery stores, and boasts over 52 million square feet of leasable space. Regency saw $1.13 billion in total revenues for 2019, putting the company in a strong position when the coronavirus hit.

That strong position – and the long-term nature of many of the company’s leases – stood it in good stead, helping keep Q1 earnings in line with previous quarter. Regency did not see a major slip in earnings and revenue until the second quarter of 2020. Q2 EPS came in at 61 cents per share, down 37% sequentially. The outlook for Q3 is somewhat better, predicting 79 cents EPS.

The company has raised its dividend by a half-cent per common share as 2020 started, and has kept the new dividend. At 59.5 cents per common share, REG’s dividend has a 5.8% yield. The yield is impressive enough, but more so is the company’s 11-year history of consistent payments and gradual dividend increases.

Ki Bin Kim, quoted above on SLG, covered this REIT for Truist, and liked what he saw. He wrote of the stock, “[Keep] in mind that the surface results are also a reflection of management’s likely conservative stance (on reserves) and not a concrete mark on quality, long-term risk, terminal value or re-leasabilty, which is REG’s advantage. Lastly, REG didn’t cut the dividend (and probably doesn’t need to) and the balance sheet is conservatively levered, which matters.”

Kim’s Buy rating is supported by a $48 price target, suggesting a 17% upside in the coming year. (To watch Kim’s track record, click here)

All in all, Regency has a Moderate Buy analyst consensus rating, based on 11 reviews including 4 Buys, 6 Holds, and 1 Sell. Shares are selling for $41.02 and the average price target of $45.50 implies an 11% upside from current levels. (See REG stock analysis on TipRanks)

To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.

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.

This article was originally posted on TipRanks.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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