High Yield Dividend Stocks Setting New Yearly Highs

TheStreet.com

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Pushing aside the regressiveness of dividend double taxation, along with the upcoming increase in the tax, many investors will continue to allocate portfolio capital to yield-based stocks.

After all, high taxes or low taxes, as investors we still want to make money. Historically, dividend-paying stocks have performed well. There are some recent notable exceptions to the rule though. Hewlett-Packard HPQ comes to mind rather quickly.

HP isn't a rising stock paying a large dividend though, and that's what separates the zeroes from the heroes in my opinion.

When I examine stocks that pay large dividends, I want to avoid the "yield-traps" and stick with companies that are solid fundamentally.

Take a look at these winners in both share price and dividend yield.

CAG Dividend Yield Chart
CAG Dividend Yield data by YCharts

Conagra Fooods CAG

Background: ConAgra Foods has transformed itself into an industry-leading, branded and value-added food company.

52-Week Range: $23.64 to $28.80*

Book Value: $11.22

Price To Book: 2.5

Earnings Payout Percentage: 63%

ConAgra currently has an annualized dividend of $1 with a yield of about 3.5%.

After announcing a large special dividend and buyout, shares jumped higher. ConAgra is a great stock, but don't chase this one higher. Wait for profit-taking and a lower price (less than $29) before entering.

Eight of 15 analysts now rate the company a hold while seven recommend buying and no analysts recommend selling. For a company analysts are mostly rating a hold, the stock really appreciated, gaining more than 20% in the last year, and consensus analyst target price is $30.17.

Watch for rising price targets if shares maintain the $30 price range after the ex-dividend date.

The last reported short interest is paltry and only 1.6% of the average trading float. The relative payout percentage of earnings towards dividends is small enough to consider the dividend safe.

CAG Payout Ratio TTM Chart
CAG Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
PG Dividend Yield Chart
PG Dividend Yield data by YCharts

Procter & Gamble PG

Background: Procter & Gamble manufactures and markets a broad range of consumer products world wide.

52-Week Range: $59.07 to $70.83

Book Value: $23.09

Price To Book: 3

Earnings Payout Percentage: 58%

P&G currently has an annualized dividend of $2.25, yielding 3.2%. I have recommended P&G before, and can you blame me? The price-to-earnings multiple is under 20 for both the trailing 12 months and the forward estimates. P&G closed at $66.68 and paid out 56.2 cents in dividends since the closing price of the last article. I don't think this company is finished rewarding investors yet.

The shares are modestly higher from a month ago, but are only about a dollar from the 52 week high. The stock appreciated 14% in the last year, and the average analyst target price is $74.85.

Short sellers are next to impossible to find. Short interest is so low I only include it to demonstrate the smart money is not betting against this company. Based on the last reported numbers 0.8% of the float is short.

PG Payout Ratio TTM Chart
PG Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
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TSM Dividend Yield Chart
TSM Dividend Yield data by YCharts

Taiwan Semiconductor TSM

Background: Taiwan Semiconductor engages in computer-aided designing, manufacturing, packaging, testing, and selling integrated circuits and other semiconductor devices; and manufacturing masks.

52-Week Range: $12.14 to $16.97

Book Value: $4.45

Price To Book: 3.7

Earnings Payout Percentage: 39%

The company currently pays 40 cents per share in dividends for a yield of 2.4%.

Taiwan Semiconductor is like an Asian Energizer bunny. It keeps going and going. In the last month alone, the stock climbed 9%. Taiwan Semiconductor continues to make new 52-week highs just about every time I pull up the charts to look at it.

If you have a strong constitution, you can buy right into strength and ride out the volatility. Otherwise, the conservative (and my personal approach) is to wait for a retracement from profit taking. After shares ease back (assuming they do), enter into a position by scaling in.

Four of seven analysts now rate the company a hold while one recommends buying and two recommend selling. Analysts may have missed a good one. In the last 12 months, the shares have really moved higher. The one year return is 38%, and the average analyst target price for Taiwan Semiconductor is $15.52.

Almost zero desire by short sellers to move against this stock. Short interest hardly moves the needle with only 0.5% of the float. If you don't add this one to your portfolio, at least add it to your watch list. A lot can be gained just by watching the price action of a strong trending stock.

JNJ Dividend Yield Chart
JNJ Dividend Yield data by YCharts

Johnson & Johnson JNJ

Background: The world's sixth-largest consumer health company. The world's largest and most diverse medical devices and diagnostics company. The world's fifth-largest biologics company and the world's eighth-largest pharmaceuticals company.

52-Week Range: $61.71 to $72.74

Book Value: $20.95

Price To Book: 3.3

Earnings Payout Percentage: 77%

Investors are receiving $2.44 in dividends for a yield of 3.5%. On Aug. 29, I wrote about J&J and the closing price was $67.37. It didn't take long for J&J to move higher, and along with the capital gain, J&J paid 61 cents in dividends since. Conversely, the S&P 500 SPY didn't fare quite as well. The overall market is down slightly.

Analysts as a whole like this company. Currently, Johnson & Johnson has 14 buy recommendations out of 26 analysts covering the company, along with 11 holds, and one rates it as a sell.

Shares have really appreciated, gaining 12% in the last year, and the average analyst target price is $75.13.

With short interest above 5%, investors will want to monitor changes to know if short sellers turn up the warning signals. Otherwise, the current 5.8% of the float short is relatively small and not a major concern. It's actually declined since my Aug. 29 article, a very good sign.

JNJ Payout Ratio TTM Chart
JNJ Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
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MO Dividend Yield Chart
MO Dividend Yield data by YCharts

Altria MO

Background: Altria Group through its subsidiaries makes and sells cigarettes, smokeless products and wine in the U.S. and internationally. Founded in 1919, it is headquartered in Richmond, Va.

52-Week Range: $27.65 to $36.29

Book Value: $1.91

Price To Book: 17.4

Earnings Payout Percentage: 90%

Altria pays out $1.76 annually in dividend payments. The yield based on a recent price is 5.3%. After dipping below $31, shares have lit up again. Shares are above the highly watched 200-day moving average.

Altria is the classic example of why you want to buy on dips. Granted, Altria appears to be more of a tax collector than company. The most expensive ingredient in their products is the tax. While small compared to what the government takes, Altria is still able to make a relatively strong and consistent return for investors.

The percentage payout is very high by most company's standards, but this is an almost pure dividend play. Do I expect the share price to continue higher? Yes I do, but the last time smoking was cool was when Vincent Vega rolled his own and gave it to Mia Wallace while waiting for a $5 milk shake. So don't hold your breath waiting for the popularity of smoking to increase.

With that said, the profitability is stable and other than the occasional court action, is expected to remain so.

Analyst opinion is mixed with this company. Most of the analysts surveyed don't believe a buy or a sell is currently warranted. Today, Altria has seven buy recommendations out of 15 analysts covering the company, seven holds, and one recommends selling. The stock appreciated 23% in the last year and the average analyst target price for is $36.14.

The last reported short interest is only 2% of the average trading float. Basically, there is 2% out there that wished they never heard of Altria and are probably ready to take their losses.

MO Payout Ratio TTM Chart
MO Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
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CSCO Dividend Yield Chart
CSCO Dividend Yield data by YCharts

Cisco Systems CSCO

Background: Cisco designs, manufactures and sells Internet protocol based networking and other products related to the communications and information technology industries worldwide. Founded in 1984, it is headquartered in San Jose, Calif.

52-Week Range: $14.96 to $21.30

Book Value: $9.92

Price To Book: 1.9

Earnings Payout Percentage: 23%

In the last month, the stock performed well with a 9.2% increase. If you added to your portfolio while shares traded under $18, well done. If not, it's not too late as shares are still heavily discounted due to fears of economic headwinds.

Cisco currently pays 56 cents per share in dividends for a yield of 3%. As a result, investors can sit on their hands and wait it out. At 3%, you're a lot better off than letting it sit in a bank earning 0.5%

Analysts as a whole like Cisco as much as I do. Currently, Cisco has 29 buy recommendations out of 46 analysts, along with 14 holds, and three have given it a sell rating. The one year return is 8.2%, and the average analyst target price for is $21.59.

CSCO Payout Ratio TTM Chart
CSCO Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts

At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

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