When the stock market has jumped two days in a row, as it has now, it is easy to become complacent.
But the Federal Reserve isn’t finished raising interest rates, and recession talk abounds. Stock investors aren’t out of the woods yet. That can make dividend stocks attractive if the yields are high and the companies produce more cash flow than they need to cover the payouts.
Below is a list of 21 stocks drawn from the S&P Composite 1500 Index SP1500, +3.12% that appear to fit the bill. The S&P Composite 1500 is made up of the S&P 500 SPX, +3.06%, the S&P 400 Mid Cap Index MID, +3.18% and the S&P Small Cap 600 Index SML, +3.80%.
The purpose of the list is to provide a starting point for further research. These stocks may be appropriate for you if you are looking for income, but you should do your own assessment to form your own opinion about a company’s ability to remain competitive over the next decade.
Cash flow is key
One way to measure a company’s ability to pay dividends is to look at its free cash flow yield. Free cash flow is remaining cash flow after planned capital expenditures. This money can be used to pay for dividends, buy back shares (which can raise earnings and cash flow per share), or fund acquisitions, organic expansion or for other corporate purposes.
If we divide a company’s estimated annual free cash flow per share by its current share price, we have its estimated free cash flow yield. If we compare the free cash flow yield to the current dividend yield, we may see “headroom” for cash to be deployed in ways that can benefit shareholders.
For this screen, we began with the S&P Composite 1500, then narrowed the list as follows:
- Dividend yield of at least 5.00%.
- Consensus free cash flow estimate available for calendar 2023, among at least five analysts polled by FactSet. We used calendar-year estimates, even though fiscal years for many companies don’t match the calendar.
- Estimated 2023 free cash flow yield of at least double the current dividend yield.
For real-estate investment trusts, dividend-paying ability is measured by funds from operations (FFO), a non-GAAP figure that adds depreciation and amortization back to earnings. Adjusted funds from operations (AFFO) takes this a step further, subtracting cash expected to be used to maintain properties. So for the two REITs on the list, the FCF yield column makes use of AFFO.
For many companies in the financial sector, especially banks and insurers, free cash flow figures aren’t available, so the screen made use of earnings-per-share estimates. These are generally considered to run close to actual cash flow for these heavily regulated industries.
Here are the 21 companies that passed the screen, with dividend yields of at least 5% and estimated 2023 FCF yields at least twice the current payout. They are sorted by dividend yield:
|Company||Ticker||Type||Dividend yield||Estimated 2023 FCF yield||Estimated “headroom”|
|Uniti Group Inc.||UNIT, +7.36%||Real-Estate Investment Trusts||8.33%||25.25%||16.92%|
|Hanesbrands Inc.||HBI, +5.56%||Apparel/ Footwear||8.33%||17.29%||8.96%|
|Kohl’s Corp.||KSS, +5.80%||Department Stores||7.68%||16.72%||9.04%|
|Rent-A-Center Inc.||RCII, +10.40%||Finance/ Rental/ Leasing||7.52%||17.26%||9.73%|
|Macerich Co.||MAC, +8.18%||Real-Estate Investment Trusts||7.43%||18.04%||10.60%|
|Devon Energy Corp.||DVN, +5.72%||Oil & Gas Production||7.13%||14.47%||7.33%|
|AT&T Inc.||T, +1.19%||Major Telecommunications||6.98%||14.82%||7.84%|
|Newell Brands Inc.||NWL, +5.16%||Industrial Conglomerates||6.59%||17.42%||10.82%|
|Dow Inc.||DOW, +2.96%||Chemicals||6.18%||15.63%||9.45%|
|LyondellBasell Industries NV||LYB, +3.64%||Chemicals||6.09%||16.07%||9.99%|
|Scotts Miracle-Gro Co. Class A||SMG, +5.01%||Chemicals||6.04%||12.68%||6.65%|
|Diamondback Energy Inc.||FANG, +5.23%||Oil & Gas Production||5.56%||13.63%||8.08%|
|Best Buy Co. Inc.||BBY, +5.86%||Electronics/ Appliance Stores||5.53%||14.08%||8.55%|
|Viatris Inc.||VTRS, +5.62%||Pharmaceuticals||5.50%||28.95%||23.45%|
|Prudential Financial Inc.||PRU, +5.66%||Life/ Health Insurance||5.38%||13.30%||7.91%|
|Ford Motor Co.||F, +7.76%||Motor Vehicles||5.23%||15.95%||10.72%|
|Invesco Ltd.||IVZ, +6.76%||Investment Managers||5.23%||14.95%||9.73%|
|Franklin Resources Inc.||BEN, +4.37%||Investment Managers||5.17%||13.21%||8.04%|
|Kontoor Brands Inc.||KTB, +0.73%||Apparel/ Footwear||5.17%||14.15%||8.98%|
|Seagate Technology Holdings PLC||STX, +4.09%||Computer Peripherals||5.11%||13.19%||8.07%|
|Foot Locker Inc.||FL, +1.35%||Apparel/ Footwear Retail||5.03%||15.52%||10.49%|
Any stock screen has its limitations. If you are interested in stocks listed here, it is best to do your own research, and it is easy to get started by clicking the tickers in the table for more information about each company. Click here for Tomi Kilgore’s detailed guide to the wealth of information for free on the MarketWatch quote page.
For the “estimated FCF yields,” consensus free cash flow estimates for calendar 2023 were used for all companies except the following:
- For the REITs, (Uniti Group Inc. UNIT, +7.36% and Macerich Co. MAC, +8.18% ), consensus AFFO estimates were used.
- Consensus EPS estimates were used for Prudential Financial Inc. PRU, +5.66%, Invesco Ltd. IVZ, +6.76% and Franklin Resources Inc. BEN, +4.37%.