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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Westlake, Badger Meter, Vermilion Energy, Magic Software and CI Financial

·8 min read

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – August 19, 2022 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Westlake Corp. WLK, Badger Meter, Inc. BMI, Vermilion Energy Inc. VET, Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. MGIC and CI Financial Corp. CIXX.

Here are highlights from Thursday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Solid Stocks That Recently Announced a Dividend Hike

U.S. stocks have been performing well after a solid rebound in July, following the bloodbath suffered in June. The August rally has primarily been driven by some better-than-expected economic data that gave the much-required boost to investor morale. However, the rally seems to be somewhat losing its steam as fears of soaring inflation are haunting again.

This comes as the minutes from the Fed's last meeting, released on Aug 17, suggested that lawmakers might be less aggressive in their September rate hike than presumed. This definitely would give a boost to investor confidence but data released on the same day showed that retail sales remained unchanged.

This indicates that people are still wary of spending freely as they anticipate the Fed to continue with its steep rate-hike policy.

Markets Still Unstable

The Consumer Price Index (CPI) declined in June to 8.5% from 9.1% in June, beating expectations of a rise of 8.7%. The Core CPI that excludes volatile food and energy prices rose 5.9%, lower than the consensus estimate of a rise of 6.1%. July's inflation data might look impressive but it is still significantly higher than the Fed's desired level of 2%.

The Fed has been aggressive with its rate-hike policy, having already increased interest rates by 225 basis points this year, the highest level since 2018. Although July's surprise drop has given investors a feeling that inflation may have hit its optimum level and things will only improve from here, the crisis is far from over.

The Fed has indicated that it will continue hiking rates till it attains complete control over soaring inflation. Interestingly, the Fed has already hiked interest rates four times this year and another is on its way when policymakers meet in September.

Moreover, retail data released on Aug 17 showed that sales remained unchanged but did not decline as fuel costs somewhat stabilized after the June jump. This indicates that people are still struggling to spend freely as higher costs are pinching their pockets. They are also spending cautiously, apprehending steeper rate hikes that could make life more difficult in the near term.

Moreover, geopolitical tensions between Russia and Ukraine are only escalating by the day, and a new confrontation between China and Taiwan has emerged as a result of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan. A further escalation of this conflict will seriously harm the global economy.

Given this situation, it would be wise to keep a watch on stocks that pay out dividends right now. This is due to the fact that dividend stocks have a long history of profitability and a solid business model, both of which help them survive market volatility.

Not only do they offer a consistent stream of revenues but also almost negligible chances of dramatic fluctuations. Actually, during times of market turbulence, dividend-paying equities have generally outperformed non-dividend-paying stocks. Five such companies are Westlake Corp., Badger Meter, Inc., Vermilion Energy Inc., Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. and CI Financial Corp.

Westlake Corporation is a global producer and supplier of materials and innovative products. WLK's range of products includes ethylene, polyethylene, styrene, vinyl intermediates, PVC, PVC Pipe, PVC windows, fence and decking components. Westlake Corporation utilizes most of its internally-produced basic chemicals to make higher value-added chemicals and building products. Westlake Corporation carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

On Aug 12, 2022, Westlake declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.36 per share on Sep 6, 2022. WLK has a dividend yield of 1.12%. Over the past 5 years, Westlake Corporation has increased its dividend six times, and its payout ratio is presently 5% of earnings. Check WLK's dividend history here.

Westlake Corp. dividend-yield-ttm | Westlake Corp. Quote

Badger Meter provides flow measurement, control and communications solutions, serving water and gas utilities, municipalities and industrial customers worldwide. BMI's products measure water, oil, chemicals, and other fluids, and are known for accuracy, long-lasting durability and for providing valuable and timely measurement data. Badger Meter sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

On Aug 12, 2022, Badger Meter declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.23 per share on Sep 9, 2022. BMI has a dividend yield of 0.78%. Over the past 5 years, Badger Meter has increased its dividend six times, and its payout ratio presently stays at 37% of earnings. Check BMI's dividend history here.

Badger Meter, Inc. dividend-yield-ttm | Badger Meter, Inc. Quote

Vermilion Energy Inc. is an international oil and gas producer with properties in Western Canada, Australia, France and the Netherlands. VET, formerly known as Vermilion Energy Trust, is based in Calgary, Canada. Vermilion Energy has a Zacks Rank #3.

On Aug 12, 2022, Vermilion Energy declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.06 per share on Oct 17, 2022. VET has a dividend yield of 0.79%. Vermilion Energy has increased its dividend 14 times, and its payout ratio is currently 4% of earnings. Check VET's dividend history here.

Vermilion Energy Inc. dividend-yield-ttm | Vermilion Energy Inc. Quote

Magic Software Enterprises, a member of the Formula Group, develops, markets and supports software development and deployment technology, enabling enterprises to accelerate the process of building and deploying applications that can be rapidly customized and integrated with existing systems. MGIC's technology, applications and professional services are available through a global network of subsidiaries, distributors and Magic solutions partners. Magic Software Enterprises has a Zacks Rank #3.

On Aug 12, 2022, Magic Software declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.29 per share on Sep 13, 2022. MGIC has a dividend yield of 2.37%. Magic Software has increased its dividend seven times, and its payout ratio is at present 43% of earnings. Check MGIC's dividend history here.

Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. dividend-yield-ttm | Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. Quote

CI Financial offers asset management and wealth management advisory services. CIXX is based in Toronto, Canada. CI Financial has a Zacks Rank #2.

On Aug 12, 2022, CI Financial declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.14 per share on Jan 13, 2023. CIXX has a dividend yield of 4.57%. CI Financial has increased its dividend four times, and its payout ratio is presently 22% of earnings. Check CIXX's dividend history here.

CI Financial Corp. dividend-yield-ttm | CI Financial Corp. Quote

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Westlake Corp. (WLK) : Free Stock Analysis Report
Badger Meter, Inc. (BMI) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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Magic Software Enterprises Ltd. (MGIC) : Free Stock Analysis Report
CI Financial Corp. (CIXX) : Free Stock Analysis Report
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