Uncovering Income: Dividend Stocks with Strong Yields
Amid the current market volatility, attractive income-generating investments can be hard to find.
Treasury bond yields hover near record lows, and U.S. companies face restrictions on issuing dividends if they accept COVID-19 stimulus funds. Moreover, Goldman Sachs estimates dividends for S&P 500 stocks will decline by 25% this year.
Which stocks can investors turn to for stable distributions and relatively high dividend yields? Today’s visualization shows 35 stocks that may meet this criteria, leveraging Goldman Sachs data as published by Forbes.
The Dividend Stocks to Watch
To compile the list, Goldman Sachs identified stocks from the Russell 1000 index that met a number of requirements:
- A minimum annualized dividend yield of 3%
- An S&P credit rating of at least BBB+
- Ample cash on hand
- Strong balance sheets
- ”Reasonable” payout ratios
- At least average performance since the market peak
Dividend yields, which measure dividend income in relation to the share price, were initially calculated March 27. We have updated them as of market close on April 8. Here’s the full breakdown, sorted from highest to lowest dividend yield:
|Rank||Company||Ticker||Annual Dividend Yield||Sector|
|1||CenterPoint Energy, Inc.||NYSE: CNP||6.90%||Utilities|
|2||Wells Fargo & Company||NYSE: WFC||6.74%||Financials|
|3||People's United Financial, Inc.||NASDAQGS: PBCT||6.34%||Financials|
|4||Franklin Resources, Inc.||NYSE: BEN||6.28%||Financials|
|5||Regency Centers||NASDAQGS: REG||5.82%||Real estate|
|6||Truist Financial||NYSE: TFC||5.50%||Financials|
|7||International Business Machines||NYSE: IBM||5.43%||Tech|
|8||Omnicom Group Inc.||NYSE: OMC||4.76%||Communication services|
|9||U.S. Bancorp||NYSE: USB||4.71%||Financials|
|10||Raytheon Technologies (merger of Raytheon and United Tech.)||NYSE: RTX||4.69%||Industrials|
|11||NetApp, Inc.||NASDAQGS: NTAP||4.69%||Information Technology|
|12||The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.||NYSE: PNC||4.62%||Financials|
|13||Eaton Vance Corp.||NYSE: EV||4.34%||Financials|
|14||Nucor Corporation||NYSE: NUE||4.12%||Materials|
|15||United Parcel Service, Inc.||NYSE: UPS||4.09%||Industrials|
|16||M&T Bank Corporation||NYSE: MTB||4.09%||Financials|
|17||Exelon Corporation||NASDAQGS: EXC||4.07%||Utilities|
|18||Archer-Daniels-Midland Company||NYSE: ADM||3.95%||Consumer staples|
|19||3M Company||NYSE: MMM||3.95%||Industrials|
|20||Emerson Electric Co.||NYSE: EMR||3.84%||Industrials|
|21||Sysco Corp.||NYSE: SYY||3.81%||Consumer staples|
|22||Mid-America Apartment Communities||NYSE: MAA||3.61%||Real Estate|
|23||Essex Property Trust, Inc.||NYSE: ESS||3.55%||Real Estate|
|24||MDU Resources Group||NYSE: MDU||3.53%||Utilities|
|25||Cummins Inc.||NYSE: CMI||3.51%||Industrials|
|26||Sonoco Products Co.||NYSE: SON||3.50%||Materials|
|27||Cisco Systems, Inc.||NASDAQGS: CSCO||3.45%||Information Technology|
|28||American Electric Power Company, Inc.||NYSE: AEP||3.36%||Utilities|
|29||The Hartford Financial Services Group, Inc.||NYSE: HIG||3.36%||Financials|
|30||NiSource Inc.||NYSE: NI||3.30%||Utilities|
|31||Caterpillar Inc.||NYSE: CAT||3.23%||Industrials|
|32||Everest Re Group, Ltd.||NYSE: RE||3.13%||Financials|
|33||Bristol-Myers Squibb Company||NYSE: BMY||3.09%||Health care, pharmaceuticals|
|34||The Home Depot, Inc.||NYSE: HD||3.08%||Consumer discretionary|
|35||Bank of America Corporation||NYSE: BAC||3.07%||Financials|
Note: From the original list, 5 stocks have been excluded as they no longer meet the 3% annualized yield threshold.
Centerpoint Energy, an electric and natural gas utility company, is at the top of the list. Since utility stocks are generally considered to be recession-resistant, investors may benefit from both the company’s yield and its defensive qualities.
Financials are the most-represented sector, with 11 companies on the list. Although regulators have pressured European banks to suspend dividend payments, U.S. banks will likely be able to continue their distributions. Top banking executives have argued they have sufficient capital to weather the COVID-19 crisis, and that halting payments would be “destabilizing to investors.”
There are also a number of well-known names on the list, including Home Depot, IBM, and 3M. The latter is the largest maker of respirator masks worldwide, and has been providing critical supplies to the U.S., Canada, and Latin America.
Caution: Volatility Ahead
As the pandemic’s financial impact continues, it’s likely many companies will delay or suspend their dividends. To avoid falling into “yield traps”—a trap in which an attractive yield could be due to a fundamental business problem—investors can screen for the qualities laid out above.
A strong balance sheet, good credit rating, and average or better performance since the downturn can all help point towards stability.
Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World
Which countries are the most (and least) corrupt? This map shows corruption around the world, and the movers and shakers over the last decade.
Mapped: Corruption in Countries Around the World
How bad is public sector corruption around the world, and how do different countries compare?
No matter your system of government, the public sector plays a vital role in establishing your economic mobility and political freedoms. Measuring corruption—the abuse of power for private gain—reveals how equal a system truly is.
For more than a decade, the Corruption Perceptions Index (CPI) by Transparency International has been the world’s most widely-used metric for scoring corruption. This infographic uses the 2021 CPI to visualize corruption in countries around the world, and the biggest 10-year changes.
Which Countries are Most (and Least) Corrupt?
How do you measure corruption, which includes behind-the-scenes deals, nepotism, corrupt prosecution, and bribery?
Over the last few decades, the CPI has found success doing so indirectly through perceptions.
By aggregating multiple analyses from country and business experts, the index assigns each country a score on a scale of 0 to 100, where 0 is highly corrupt and 100 is very clean.
Here are the results of the 2021 CPI, with the least corrupt countries at the top:
|Corruption Perception by Country||Score (2021)|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||59|
|Sao Tome and Principe||45|
|Trinidad and Tobago||41|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||35|
|Papua New Guinea||31|
|Central African Republic||24|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||19|
Ranking at the top of the index with scores of 88 are Nordic countries Denmark and Finland, as well as New Zealand.
They’ve consistently topped the CPI over the last decade, and Europe in general had 14 of the top 20 least corrupt countries. Asia also had many notable entrants, including Singapore (tied for #4), Hong Kong (#12), and Japan (tied for #18).
Comparatively, the Americas only had two countries score in the top 20 least corrupt: Canada (tied for #13) and Uruguay (tied for #18). With a score of 67, the U.S. scored at #28 just behind Bhutan, the UAE, and France.
Scoring towards the bottom of the index were many countries currently and historically going through conflict, primarily located in the Middle East and Africa. They include Afghanistan, Venezuela, Somalia, and South Sudan. The latter country finishes at the very bottom of the list, with a score of just 11.
How Corruption in Countries Has Changed (2012–2021)
Corruption is a constant and moving global problem, so it’s also important to measure which countries have had their images improved (or worsened).
By using CPI scores dating back to 2012, we can examine how country scores have changed over the last decade:
|Change in Corruption by Country||10-Year Trend (2012-2021)|
|Papua New Guinea||+6|
|Sao Tome and Principe||+3|
|Trinidad and Tobago||+2|
|United Arab Emirates||+1|
|Central African Republic||-2|
|Democratic Republic of the Congo||-2|
|Saint Vincent and the Grenadines||-3|
|United States of America||-6|
|Bosnia and Herzegovina||-7|
The biggest climber with +18 was Seychelles, Africa’s smallest country and also its least corrupt with a score of 70. Other notable improvements include neighboring countries Estonia, Latvia, and Belarus, with Estonia rising into the top 15 least corrupt countries.
On the opposite side, both Australia (-12) and Canada (-10) have actually fallen out of the top 10 least corrupt countries over the last decade. They’re joined by decreases in Hungary (-12) and Syria (-13), which is now ranked as the world’s second-most corrupt country.
Which countries will rise and fall in corruption perceptions over the next 10 years, and how do your perceptions compare with this list?
How the Top Cryptocurrencies Performed in 2021
Cryptocurrencies had a breakout year in 2021, providing plenty of volatility and strong returns across crypto’s various sectors.
The Returns of Top Cryptocurrencies in 2021
2021 saw the crypto markets boom and mature, with different sectors flourishing and largely outperforming the market leader, bitcoin.
While bitcoin only managed to return 59.8% last year, the crypto sector’s total market cap grew by 187.5%, with many of the top coins offering four and even five-digit percentage returns.
2021 Crypto Market Roundup
Last year wasn’t just a breakout year for crypto in terms of returns, but also the growing infrastructure’s maturity and resulting decorrelation of individual crypto industries and coins.
Crypto’s infrastructure has developed significantly, and there are now many more onramps for people to buy altcoins that don’t require purchasing and using bitcoin in the process. As a result, many cryptocurrency prices were more dictated by the value and functionality of their protocol and applications rather than their correlation to bitcoin.
|Ethereum||Smart Contract Platform||399.2%|
|Binance Coin||Exchange Token||1,268.9%|
|Solana||Smart Contract Platform||11,177.8%|
|Cardano||Smart Contract Platform||621.3%|
|Terra||Smart Contract Platform||12,967.3%|
|Avalanche||Smart Contract Platform||3,334.8%|
|Polkadot||Smart Contract Platform||187.9%|
Sources: TradingView, Binance, Uniswap, FTX, Bittrex
Bitcoin wasn’t the only cryptocurrency that didn’t manage to reach triple-digit returns in 2021. Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash also provided meagre double-digit percentage returns, as payment-focused cryptocurrencies were largely ignored for projects with smart contract capabilities.
Other older projects like Stellar Lumens (109%) and XRP (278%) provided triple-digit returns, with Cardano (621%) being the best performer of the old guard despite not managing to ship its smart contract functionality last year.
The Rise of the Ethereum Competitors
Ethereum greatly outpaced bitcoin in 2021, returning 399.2% as the popularity boom of NFTs and creation of DeFi 2.0 protocols like Olympus (OHM) expanded possible use-cases.
But with the rise of network activity, a 50% increase in transfers in 2021, Ethereum gas fees surged. From minimums of $20 for a single transaction, to NFT mint prices starting around $40 and going into the hundreds on congested network days, crypto’s retail crowd migrated to other smart contract platforms with lower fees.
Alternative budding smart contract platforms like Solana (11,178%), Avalanche (3,335%), and Fantom (13,207%) all had 4-5 digit percentage returns, as these protocols built out their own decentralized finance ecosystems and NFT markets.
With Ethereum set to merge onto the beacon chain this year, which uses proof of stake instead of proof of work, we’ll see if 2022 brings lower gas fees and retail’s return to Ethereum if the merge is successful.
Dog Coins Meme their Way to the Top
While many new cryptocurrencies with strong functionality and unique use-cases were rewarded with strong returns, it was memes that powered the greatest returns in cryptocurrencies this past year.
Dogecoin’s surge after Elon Musk’s “adoption” saw many other dog coins follow, with SHIB benefitting the most and returning an astounding 19.85 million percent.
But ever since Dogecoin’s run from $0.07 to a high of $0.74 in Q2 of last year, the original meme coin’s price has slowly bled -77% down to $0.17 at the time of writing. After the roller coaster ride of last year, 2022 started with a positive catalyst for Dogecoin holders as Elon Musk announced DOGE can be used to purchase Tesla merchandise.
Gamifying the Crypto Industry
The intersection between crypto, games, and the metaverse became more than just a pipe dream in 2021. Axie Infinity was the first crypto native game to successfully establish a play to earn structure that combines its native token (AXS) and in-game NFTs, becoming a sensation and source of income for many in the Philippines.
Other crypto gaming projects like Defi Kingdoms are putting recognizable game interfaces on decentralized finance applications, with the decentralized exchange becoming the town’s “marketplace” and yield farms being the “gardens” where yield is harvested. This fantasy aesthetic is more than just a new coat of paint, as the project with $1.04B of total value locked is developing an underlying play-to-earn game.
Along with gamification, 2021 saw crypto native and non-crypto developers put a big emphasis on the digital worlds or metaverses users will inhabit. Facebook’s name change to Meta resulted in the two prominent metaverse projects The Sandbox (SAND) and Decentraland (MANA) surge another few hundred percent to finish off the year at 16,261% and 4,104% returns respectively.
With so many eyes on the crypto sector after the 2021’s breakout year, we’ll see how developing U.S. regulation and changing macro conditions affect cryptocurrencies in 2022.
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