• Billionaire George Soros Snaps Up These 3 High-Yield Dividend Stocks

    Billionaire George Soros Snaps Up These 3 High-Yield Dividend Stocks

    Few investors have realized better sustained profits than George Soros. His hedge fund’s annualized returns exceeded 30% for over 30 years, and made him one of the world’s richest men. He gained fame in 1992 when he made a famous bet against the Pound Sterling and generated over $1 billion in profits in just 24 hours. While his political activities have generated controversy and criticism, no one can doubt his financial acumen.He bases that acumen on a simple aphorism: “If investing is entertaining, if you’re having fun, you’re probably not making any money. Good investing in boring.” He means, of course, that the most reliable stocks are the ones least likely to make waves in the markets or headlines in the news. So, don’t expect to find anything exciting in his firm’s $3.6 billion worth of 13F securities – but do expect to find solid returns and reliable dividends. After all, that’s where the profit is.To find out just how good that profit can get, we’ve taken three of Soros’ big dividend moves and looked them up in the TipRanks database. These are investments that the Stock Screener tool reveals as ‘Buy’ rated and, more importantly, all three offer robust dividend yields, between 4% and 11%. The average dividend yield of the S&P-listed stocks is just about 2%, so Soros’ choices start at double that – and work their way up.BP (BP)Up first is BP, the world’s sixth largest oil and gas company. The company’s revenues in calendar year 2018 totaled $303.7 billion, and gave a net profit of $9.6 billion. BP has had some trouble maintaining that sort of performance in 2019, however. In the Q3 earnings release, the company reported $2.3 billion in profits, a 17% decline sequentially and a 39% drop year-over-year.The drop in profits comes on the heels of declining oil prices. Brent crude, the global benchmark price on the oil markets, is down 12.7% from its peak in April of this year. There are subtleties in pricing, however. BP’s quarterly earnings reflect the generally low oil prices, but those same oil prices have been trending slightly upwards since October – and BP’s Q3 numbers did beat the analysts’ expectations. Among the headwinds the company faces is a CEO transition, as current head Bob Dudley will be stepping down this coming March. He will be followed by the company’s upstream chief. The promotion from within promises continuity despite the upper level churn.So, BP is a stock that is weathering a down time in commodity prices, with the resources to wait out a low-price regime. That’s a good position for a company to hold. Even better, for investors, the company has maintained its dividend. The quarterly payment has been set at 61 cents for the last six quarters, and the was 60 cents prior to that. The annualized dividend of $2.44 gives a yield of 6.67%, more than triple the S&P average. At 92%, the payout ratio, while high, is sustainable long-term.With a background like that, it’s no wonder that Soros moved heavily into BP in Q3. The stock offers a solid industry position, a reliable dividend, and a clear path for future profits. Soros’ purchase of BP marked a new position, of 270,000 shares for his fund. At today’s prices, those shares are worth nearly $10 million.Wall Street is upbeat about BP prospects. Setting that tone is BMO analyst Daniel Boyd, who writes, “We think BP is turning a corner after years flagging financial performance driven in part by oil-spill payments that are dropping off. We expect strong production and cashflow growth, enabled by high margin projects, to fuel dividend growth and improved returns.”Boyd’s Buy rating is backed up by a $53 price target, suggesting a strong upside of 43%. (To watch Boyd’s track record, click here)BP shares have received three recent Buy ratings, giving the stock a unanimous ‘Strong Buy’ from the analyst consensus. The average price target stands tall at $51.33 -- indicating a robust upside potential of 39%. (See BP stock analysis on TipRanks)Dominion Energy (D)BP wasn’t the only energy industry company that Soros was interested in. The master investor also made a large entry purchase in Dominion Energy, a power company based in Richmond, Virginia. Dominion is a major supplier of electricity in Virginia and the Carolinas, and also supplies natural gas to customers in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia.Utilities are a profitable business. Dominion’s earnings in Q3 2019 came in at $1.18 per share, beating the estimates by 1.7%, and beating the year-ago number by 2.6%. Revenues were up more than 23% year-over-year, but missed the Q3 forecast by 3%.Dominion is due to pay out its next dividend on December 20. The payment, of 92 cents, annualizes to $3.67, giving a solid yield of 4.54%. The company has a 10-year history of committing to its dividend payment, and has been raising it annually for the last three years. Dominion has proven itself a reliable dividend stock.Long-term reliability of return likely drew in Soros, who purchased 150,000 D shares in Q3. His purchase is now worth over $12 million. Like BP, this was a new position for Soros, signaling an interest in the energy industry.Wolfe analyst Steve Fleishman takes a bullish stance on Dominion. Writing on the stock this week, he said, “Dominion has a balanced strategy, combining high-growth electric and gas utility operations with heavily contracted gas pipeline and LNG export assets. The company has done a good job de-risking the earnings mix and balance sheet, and we see it as attractive at current levels…”Fleishman gives D shares a ‘Buy’ rating with a $90 price target. His target indicates confidence, and about 12% upside potential for the stock. (To watch Fleishman’s track record, click here)Wall Street is evenly split right now on Dominion, with the analysts giving the stock 4 Buys and 4 Holds. The stock is trading for $80.69, and the $87.57 average price target implies a premium of 8.5% from the trading price. (See Dominion stock analysis on TipRanks)Annaly Capital Management (NLY)Turning away from the energy industry, we come to a stock in which Soros had already held a position. In the third quarter, the billionaire added over 1.15 million shares to his exiting holding in Annaly Capital Management, a substantial increase of 49%. The company is a real estate investment trust, and one of the largest in the US.Real estate investment trusts (REITs) are companies that own and manage combinations of residential or commercial properties, or invest in the loans and mortgages used to fund those properties. Annaly invests primarily in mortgage-backed securities, and holds some $133 billion worth of assets in its portfolio.For dividend investors, whether small-scale or billionaire hedge gurus, the stock is an obvious target. US tax code regulations require REITs to return as much as 90% of their income directly to shareholders, which is usually done in the form of dividends. For income investors, this is a boon. Stocks like NLY generally have dividend payout ratios that start at 85%; in Q3, NLY’s ratio was just over 100%, meaning all of the company’s income was sent back to investors. The current dividend, paid out quarterly at 25 cents per share, annualizes to a yield exceeding 10%.The high dividend makes up for slipping share value, helping to keep investors interested in NLY even though the stock has slipped 4.8% this year. As noted above, Soros’ interest in the company is substantial – and his total holding in the stock, of 3.517 million shares, is worth $32.88 million.4-star Barclays analyst Mark Devries lays out a clear thesis for investing in Annaly: “NLY's diversification into non-Agency and commercial real estate investments are initiatives that could generate attractive returns longer term. We like Agency focused Mortgage REITs at this point in the cycle given their defensive nature and ability to outperform in a bear market for equities.”Devries puts a $10 price target and a Buy rating on this stock. His target suggests a 7% upside to the stock – not spectacular, but still profitable. (To watch Devries’ track record, click here)Wall Street’s analyst give approval to NLY by a 3 to 1 advantage, putting a Strong Buy consensus rating on the stock. The average price target, $9.69, implies a modest upside of 4% from the $9.35 share price. From an investor’s perspective, the high yielding dividend here is more attractive than the shares’ appreciation potential. (See Annaly stock analysis on TipRanks)

  • NerdWallet

    4 Questions to Consider Before Opening a New Credit Card

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  • Barrons.com

    Here’s Proof That 401(k) Plans Are Not Working for Most Americans

    This article originally appeared on MarketWatch, a sister publication of Barron’s. We publish articles from other Dow Jones sites when we think our readers will enjoy them. Clearly, the country’s in the midst of a savings crisis as families struggle to cover rising home costs, hefty student-loan debt and everything in between. With almost half of all working-age families having zero in retirement savings, the fact that the median family had only $7,800 in these accounts shouldn’t come as a surprise.

  • South China Morning Post

    China's Hebei province imposes total ban on P2P platforms

    China's Hebei province has shut down all peer-to-peer lending platforms, underlining the latest effort by regulators to clean up the industry rife with fraud and mismanagement.None of the 35 platforms in the region that had applied for administrative checks to continue their business met the relevant regulations, the Hebei government said in a statement on its official website on Friday.P2P companies that were not subjected to the check will be deemed as conducting illegal businesses and be banned as well, it said. The closure follows an earlier exit of 93 companies from the market, a separate statement said.Hebei has become the second province in China to outlaw the P2P business after Hunan, which imposed the ban in October, as authorities ramp up a drive to clean up the industry that is increasingly undermining the stability of the country's financial system. P2P: China's once-booming lending industry must close within two yearsAbout 6,000 P2P platforms have missed payments to investors, mostly individuals, stolen funds and suddenly suspended operations, putting more than 214 billion yuan (US$30.7 billion) of investments at risk.China last month required all P2P firms to be reorganised as small loan lenders within two years, according to a notice issued by China's Internet Financial Risk Special Rectification Work Leadership Team Office.All the platforms need to clear their outstanding loans in less than 12 months before the revamp is made, while units with more than 5 billion yuan in outstanding longer maturity loans, the grace period can be extended to two years at most,Only 427 P2P companies were still in operation at the end of October, compared with a peak of 6,000 in 2015, according to the latest data from China Banking and Insurance Regulatory Commission.Ping An Insurance-backed Lufax also said it would pull out of the P2P market, one of the first signs that the tide was turning against Chinese lenders.This article originally appeared in the South China Morning Post (SCMP), the most authoritative voice reporting on China and Asia for more than a century. For more SCMP stories, please explore the SCMP app or visit the SCMP's Facebook and Twitter pages. Copyright © 2019 South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved. Copyright (c) 2019. South China Morning Post Publishers Ltd. All rights reserved.

  • Bloomberg

    A Startup Fired Its CEO for Expensing $76,120 at Strip Clubs

    (Bloomberg) -- Scott Lang, the new chief executive officer of Turvo Inc., wants to emphasize an important corporate policy at his startup: Employees may not entertain clients at strip clubs and certainly not bill those trips to the business. The rule is salient because his predecessor was fired for doing just that.The board accused the co-founder, Eric Gilmore, of expensing $76,120 at strip clubs over a three-year span and removed him as CEO in May, according to legal filings. Gilmore, 39, didn’t deny the accusations, but he sued the company, claiming the board didn’t follow the proper protocol for his termination. Turvo said it did, and they settled in September. Gilmore declined to comment through a spokesman.Lang, a former executive in the energy industry, joined Turvo just before Thanksgiving. The Silicon Valley startup makes software to help companies track the movement of freight and is backed by about $85 million in venture capital. In his first interview since taking the job, Lang said he’s focused on helping the company move past the scandal. When asked about trying to win over prospective clients at stripper joints, he said: “Never have. Never will.”The situation at Turvo, which hasn’t been previously reported, illustrates the steps some boards are taking to quietly address allegations of misconduct before they become public. The MeToo movement has claimed the jobs of many technology executives, such as Kris Duggan of Betterworks Systems Inc. and Andy Rubin of Essential Products Inc., and venture capitalists Justin Caldbeck and Shervin Pishevar. Often, the consequences only arrive after allegations are published in the news.Gilmore, a veteran of Microsoft Corp. and Coupons.com, started Turvo in 2014. Mubadala Investment Co., the Abu Dhabi-based sovereign wealth fund, led a $60 million investment in the Sunnyvale, California-based company last year. Soon after, Gilmore hired a new chief financial officer, who discovered a pattern of unusual charges from the CEO in a review of corporate spending.The stripper-related expenses spanned most of the company’s life, and Gilmore made no attempt to conceal them. Strip clubs represented more than half of the $125,000 in entertainment charges initially flagged by the CFO.At a hastily called meeting in May after the board learned of the expenses, directors from Mubadala and venture capital firms Felicis Ventures and Activant Capital told Gilmore he was out. They demanded he sign a separation agreement. Gilmore declined and argued the process violated company bylaws because the confrontation wasn’t at first presented as a formal board meeting and didn’t adhere to other rules. The board disagreed. Gilmore’s lawsuit over the dispute lasted three months. Terms of the settlement weren’t disclosed.Gilmore remains on the board and is the company’s largest shareholder, according to a person familiar with the matter who wasn’t authorized to discuss it publicly and asked not to be identified. Gilmore’s two co-founders still hold executive roles at Turvo, and there has been no suggestion they misused their expense accounts.The Turvo board selected Lang as the new CEO in the hope he could reinvigorate a company still grappling with a demoralizing situation. Lang, the former CEO of Silver Spring Networks, praised the 200-person team at Turvo for winning several big contracts recently and posting “massive” growth this year. He declined to provide details.To contact the author of this story: Sarah McBride in San Francisco at smcbride24@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Arizona-based electronics maker to close San Jose facility
    American City Business Journals

    Arizona-based electronics maker to close San Jose facility

    With the closure of Benchmark Electronics' location in South San Jose, 181 jobs will be affected, the company said.

  • Barrons.com

    There’s a Trade Deal With China. Here’s Why the Stock Market Isn’t Thrilled.

    The U.S. and China say they have a “phase one” trade agreement, a positive for the global economy. But details were scarce and the deal hasn’t been signed, which means trade issues could continue to rattle markets.

  • Futures Cops Hunt Wall Street for Government Leaks

    Futures Cops Hunt Wall Street for Government Leaks

    Dec.12 -- U.S. regulators are digging into a topic that has been the talk of Wall Street and Washington ever since a controversial Vanity Fair article suggested investors made billions of dollars trading ahead of market-moving news: Are government leaks fueling big profits in the futures market? Bloomberg's Matt Robinson has more on "Bloomberg Markets."

  • This Biotech Stock Just Got A Highly Anticipated FDA Approval
    Investor's Business Daily

    This Biotech Stock Just Got A Highly Anticipated FDA Approval

    Amarin stock remained halted late Friday after U.S. regulators approved its drug, Vascepa, to cut down on cardiovascular events in patients with an above-normal level of triglycerides.

  • This DFW family is helping to tackle the global pilot shortage
    American City Business Journals

    This DFW family is helping to tackle the global pilot shortage

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  • Fox Business

    Mega Millions jackpot hits $340M, but here's what you get after taxes

    The jackpot is the 14th largest in the game's history.

  • Nestle Sells U.S. Ice Cream Brands

    Nestle Sells U.S. Ice Cream Brands

    Dec.12 -- Nestle SA is selling its U.S. ice cream business to a joint venture with private equity firm PAI Partners. It’s valued at $4 billion. The deal aims to create a stronger challenger to Unilever. Bloomberg Intelligence’s Duncan Fox discusses the deal on “Bloomberg Markets: European Open.”

  • Barrons.com

    Where Can Investors Find Value in a Long Bull Market? Here Are Our 10 Stock Picks for 2020.

    FEATURES - MAIN U.S. stocks are ending the year on a high note. The S&P 500 index boasts a total return of 29% year to date—a great showing in the 11th year of an extraordinary bull market. With stocks near record highs, where can investors turn for 2020? Barron’s has identified 10 top stocks for the coming year, as it has every December for the past decade.

  • Barrons.com

    Stocks Are Headed Higher in 2020, Strategists Say. Here’s Which Sectors Will Benefit the Most.

    Strategists see modest gains ahead for stocks in 2020, supported by a stable economy, accommodative monetary policy, and a pickup in manufacturing.

  • What Is the Roth IRA 5-Year Rule?

    What Is the Roth IRA 5-Year Rule?

    The Roth IRA 5-year rule applies in three situations and dictates whether withdrawals get dinged with penalties.

  • Seattle’s Wage Mandate Kills Restaurants
    The Wall Street Journal

    Seattle’s Wage Mandate Kills Restaurants

    The legal minimum is going to $16.39 an hour, while my pay drops to zero.

  • How ethanol plant shutdowns deepen pain for U.S. corn farmers

    How ethanol plant shutdowns deepen pain for U.S. corn farmers

    RACCOON TOWNSHIP, Ind./NEW YORK (Reuters) - When the U.S. ethanol industry was booming, Indiana farmer Paul Hodgen made good money selling about a quarter of his crop to a local facility that produced the corn-based fuel. Now that plant has stopped churning out ethanol and has instead converted to a grain elevator for storage, Hodgen still sells his corn there, but for a fraction of the price. "We are suffering for demand," said Hodgen, a 40-year-old father of four.

  • The real reason a Baltimore company’s $10 million holiday bonus is such an outlier

    The real reason a Baltimore company’s $10 million holiday bonus is such an outlier

    A Baltimore commercial real estate developer floored its 198 employees with a surprise $10 million bonus at the firm’s holiday party this past weekend. Fewer companies have been doling out performance-based bonuses in recent years, according to a survey from Challenger, Gray & Christmas, an outplacement firm. The Baltimore company, St. John Properties, was celebrating the overall production of 20 million square feet of office, retail and warehouse space, and awarded employees based on how many years they have worked at the 48-year-old company.

  • Top Retirement Savings Tips for 55-to-64-Year-Olds

    Top Retirement Savings Tips for 55-to-64-Year-Olds

    If you plan to retire within the next 10 years, you still have time to boost your 401(k) contributions and make these other moves to increase your savings.

  • Barrons.com

    Biotech Stocks Are Poised to Rise in 2020, Analyst Says. Here Is His Top Pick.

    Credit Suisse says big-picture issues are unlikely to hurt the stocks next year despite concern over potential changes to pricing policies.

  • Saxo Bank's ‘Outrageous’ Predictions for 2020

    Saxo Bank's ‘Outrageous’ Predictions for 2020

    Dec.12 -- Steen Jakobsen, chief economist and chief investment officer at Saxo Bank A/S, talks about his "outrageous" predictions for 2020. He also discusses the market implications of the U.K. election. He speaks with Juliette Saly and Rishaad Salamat on "Bloomberg Markets: Asia."

  • Barrons.com

    Costco’s Earnings Could Have Been Even Better. Here’s Why.

    “It was unfortunate,” Richard Galanti, Costco’s executive vice president and chief financial officer, said during a conference call with shareholders Thursday.

  • MarketWatch

    Chesapeake Energy, trading under $1, gets NYSE listing warning

    Chesapeake Energy Corp. got a notice earlier this week from the New York Stock Exchange for being out of compliance with a trading rule that requires listed companies to keep an average closing price of at least a dollar over 30 days, the energy company said late Friday. Chesapeake plans to regain compliance by working on its ongoing plans to cut expenses, sell assets, look into a reverse share split, and find more savings, Chesapeake said. It also intends to respond to the NYSE notice shortly, it said. In the meantime, the stock will trade under its existing ticker plus the suffix "BC" to indicate below compliance, Chesapeake said. Chesapeake shares fell 1.8% to 77 cents a share in the extended session Friday after ending the regular trading day up 0.8%. The natural-gas producer has struggled with falling natural-gas prices that have also hit Chevron Corp. this week. The company last week secured a $1.5 billion loan facility after spooking markets with a "going concern" warning in November.

  • Here's Why GE Stock Could Have A Big Year In 2020
    Investor's Business Daily

    Here's Why GE Stock Could Have A Big Year In 2020

    General Electric could be set for a big comeback in 2020 as its turnaround makes solid progress, a new GE analyst said.

  • 5 tricky retirement taxes boomers should watch out for

    5 tricky retirement taxes boomers should watch out for

    For the last four decades, baby boomers have been saving for retirement. No more pensions, rising health care costs and increased longevity all add up to a very expensive retirement that could last 10 years longer than their parents’. Perhaps the most surprising and complex set of retirement rules that boomers must navigate is the maze of ‘retirement taxes.’ The rulebooks are long (300 pages +) and the penalties are high (50% penalty for underpayment of RMDs).