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2 Dividend Stocks to Buy That Are Better Than 3M Stock

Will Ashworth

InvestorPlace columnist James Brumley recently discussed the pros and cons of owning 3M (NYSE:MMM) stock. He concluded that, despite 3M’s shrinking profits, MMM stock might be a falling knife worth catching.

Big-Moat, Low-Growth 3M Stock Is Stuck in Neutral

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Brumley believes the things that ail MMM aren’t insurmountable and that MMM stock price has been beaten down due to noise and fear.

It’s hard to argue with his rationale.

MMM stock has fallen 25% in the past six weeks since announcing weaker-than-expected Q1 2019 earnings, lower guidance for the remainder of 2019, and the cutting of 2,000 jobs. But since the Q1 earnings were released, there’s been little new information to justify the ongoing bloodletting iof 3M stock.

MMM now yields 3.61%, a very healthy return for anyone looking for dividend stocks to buy. While I believe 3M stock is an excellent long-term investment, I also think that investors looking for high dividends can find better stocks to buy.

Here are two possible ideas.

Synovus Financial (NYSE:SNV)

Currently yielding 3.66%, the Georgia regional bank has fallen 2.65% in 2019. 

Recently, Synovus named Jamie Gregory, a Regions Bank (NYSE:RF) executive vice president and head of corporate financial strategy, as its new CFO, replacing Kevin Blair, who was promoted to COO in December.

Gregory  has a strong background in corporate finance, which is critical in a highly competitive industry. Not only that, but he brings an understanding of community banking to Synovus.

In the first quarter, Synovus’s adjusted earnings per share grew by 7.6% sequentially and 15.5% on a year- over-year basis. Its adjusted efficiency ratio, which shows how efficiently the bank operated in the quarter, was 50.24%, 7.18 percentage points lower than a year ago. Lower is always good when it comes to this metric.

Thanks to SNV’s acquisition of FCB Financial Holdings, the owner of the Florida Community Bank, in January,  Synovus added more than $9 billion in loans to its portfolio, which stood just shy of $36 billion at the end of March.

As the south continues to grow, so, too, will Synovus.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (NYSE:BMY)

Currently yielding 3.51%, the New York-based pharmaceutical company on Apr. 25 released better-than-expected Q1  earnings, which temporarily put some air under BMY stock. But it has since fallen back towards the mid-$40s.

Bristol-Myers’ first-quarter earnings per share came in at $1.10, 17% higher than a year earlier and one penny better than analysts’ average estimate. On the top line, its revenue was $5.92 billion, 14% higher than a year earlier, and $170 million higher than analysts’ consensus outlook.

On June 5, Bristol-Myers announced the leadership team that will run the company once it completes its $74-billion acquisition of Celgene (NASDAQ:CELG) later this year.

In a key move, its research and development will be divided into an early- phase development team and a late-phase development team, with a Celgene executive handling the early-phase development group and a former Novartis (NYSE:NVS) executive running the late-phase development efforts.

Celgene CFO David Elkins will replace Bristol Myer’s CFO Charles Bancroft, who is retiring. Current BMY CEO Giovanni Caforio will run the combined business.

Look for several of Celgene’s drugs that are now in the pipeline to get FDA approval later this year and into 2020.  

At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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