Amid continued fears of a coronavirus outbreak in Asia and elsewhere, the stock market has seen a bit of volatility.
However, investors should remember that one bad day in the market doesn’t mean this rally is over. After all, there are a lot of stocks that continue to offer upside potential even as they provide the stability of regular dividend payments.
The following five stocks are all running strong with outperformance since the start of the year, ignoring recent market uncertainty. On top of that, they all pay a generous dividend of at least 3%. That makes these picks the best dividend stocks to buy for March regardless of whether you’re looking for share appreciation or long-term income. These dividends are:
- Ares Management Corp. (ticker: ARES)
- Chemours Co. (CC)
- Medical Properties Trust (MPW)
- Realty Income (O)
- Signet Jewelers (SIG)
Ares Management Corp. (ARES)
Ares is one of several publicly traded stocks that operates similar to a private equity fund, allocating roughly $150 billion in investments around the globe in pursuit of big returns. These include direct investments in real estate, loans to middle-market companies and corporate restructurings.
The last month or so has been pretty good for Ares. The financial firm posted great earnings on Feb. 13, topping Wall Street expectations on both profit and revenue totals for its fiscal fourth quarter.
ARES has seen its stock jump by double-digits since the start of the year in part thanks to this performance, and several investment banks have issued upgrades to their share price targets.
Current yield: 3.2%
Chemours Co. (CC)
If you don’t recognize Chemours, you surely recognize its parent DuPont (DD) that spun out this smaller “performance chemicals” business in 2015. These include branded products like the refrigerant Freon, the nonstick coating Teflon and various titanium dioxide products used as a brilliant white pigment on manufactured goods, including appliances and automobiles.
In 2019, CC stock stumbled in part because of a large debt load and lackluster fundamentals. However, things have been looking up in the new year – including a roughly 20% jump in CC stock since Jan. 1.
That momentum is on top of a very generous dividend, too.
Current yield: 5.4%
Medical Properties Trust (MPW)
Alabama-based MPW is one of the largest hospital operators in the country, with about 390 facilities and more than 41,000 licensed beds.
This stock is a recession-proof play that provides steady cash flow in any market environment, since patients don’t exactly see surgery or a trip to the emergency room as a discretionary expense.
MPW is structured as a real estate investment trust, or REIT, which means it delivers 90% of its taxable income back to shareholders in the form of big dividends. That is close to a guarantee that the generous payday will keep coming from this health care investment.
Current yield: 4.5%
Realty Income (O)
Realty Income is another REIT popular with dividend investors.
This stock recently topped expectations, driven by a one-two punch of rising rents and high occupancy rates at its commercial real estate holdings. And with its top tenants including Walmart (WMT) and CVS Health Corp. (CVS), it’s highly unlikely any of these tenants will be packing up shop anytime soon.
The stock is riding strong momentum, but the long-term income potential is the real appeal for dividend investors.
Since its founding in 1969, O stock has paid 595 consecutive monthly dividends featuring 105 increases over that period.
Current yield: 3.5%
Signet Jewelers (SIG)
You might think that a small-cap jewelry merchant is hardly an exciting investment opportunity. However, Signet has been roaring lately as it has more than doubled since its August lows thanks to improving fundamentals.
A $2 billion company that operates 3,300 branded stores and kiosks including Jared and Kay Jewelers, SIG is a force of luxury retail. Brick-and-mortar sales are indeed a challenge in a digital age, but the big margins help cushion SIG.
Furthermore, its generous dividend offers income potential on top of share price gains – and remains very sustainable at only about half of total earnings per share in fiscal year 2020.
Current yield: 5.7%
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