By Robert Hauver
Searching for undervalued dividend paying stocks with strong growth? The Tech sector offers some of the best stocks to buy in 2012 for growth and dependable income. The cash-rich Tech sector gained just 1.03% in 2011, in spite of sector earnings growing by over 18%. However, Standard & Poors is projecting the Tech sector to achieve the largest 2012 EPS increase, and Tech’s P/E is also currently below its 4-year average:
(Data Source: Standard & Poors)
3 Large Cap Tech Dividend Paying Stocks - Although Tech isn’t normally known for high dividend stocks, there are now dependable dividend stocks in this sector, including these iconic firms, all of whom sport low dividend payout ratios. Better yet, their dividend growth rate is on the rise – all 3 companies had big dividend increases in 2011- MSFT: up 25%; INTC: up 16%; IBM: up 15%.
Covered Calls: Want to double or triple your dividends? Selling covered call options is a strategy that allows you to vastly improve upon the dividend yields of a stock. These 3 trades have call options that pay from 3 to 11 times what the dividends pay during their approx. 3-month terms. (All options mentioned in this article expire in April 2012.) Another bonus is that you receive your option premium $ within 3 days of selling a put or call option. In fact, many brokers, such as Schwab, credit your account the same day. The covered call strategy also helps you to hedge gains in a stock that you own, as we’ve detailed in previous articles. This strategy is also used for locking in income and/or lowering risk when buying new stocks.
You can find additional details on over 30 high yield Covered Calls trades we’ve discussed in our recent articles in our Covered Calls Table.
Cash Secured Puts: Selling cash secured puts below or close to a stock’s current price is an alternative strategy to use, if you want to buy shares below the current market price, and have a lower break-even cost. Your break-even is the difference between the put premium and the put strike price. In the table below, the break-even for MSFT is $23.65, which equals the $27.00 Put Strike Price, minus the $1.10 Put Bid Premium. As with the call options, these April put options pay many times over what the quarterly dividends pay.
(Note: You can find more info on over 30 high yield Cash Secured Puts trades in our Cash Secured Puts Table.)
Valuations: MSFT and INTC both currently have P/E’s close to their 5-year low P/E’s.
INTC, however, recently warned that their 4th quarter revenue and earnings will be negatively impacted by the floods in Thailand: “The company now expects fourth-quarter revenue to be $13.7 billion, plus or minus $300 million, lower than the previous expectation of $14.7 billion, plus or minus $500 million. Sales of personal computers are expected to be up sequentially in the fourth quarter. However, the worldwide PC supply chain is reducing inventories and microprocessor purchases as a result of hard disk drive supply shortages. The company expects hard disk drive supply shortages to continue into the first quarter, followed by a rebuilding of microprocessor inventories as supplies of hard disk drives recover during the first half of 2012.” (Source: Intel website)
Will Intel regain these lost sales in the second half of 2012? Even with the supply issues, he current estimate of under 1% 2012 growth for Intel seems very low, especially since Intel has traditionally been very conservative in its earnings projections, and had 4 consecutive quarterly upside earnings surprises in 2011.
IBM’s new CEO, Ginni Romett, has already made a new acquisition, buying cloud software testing firm Green Hat. IBM also had 4 2011 consecutive earnings surprises, (low single-digits), while Microsoft had 3 much larger ones, (approx. 9% to 19%).
Financials: Although IBM carries the highest debt load, but they earn enough $ to cover their interest payments by 53 times – quite a cash machine, to say the least.
Performance: IBM and Intel both outperformed the Tech sector in 2011, but MSFT got no respect. However, MSFT is up the most so far in the first few days of 2012:
Disclosure: Author is long INTC and IBM shares, and short INTC calls at the time of publication.
Disclaimer: This article is written for informational purposes only and isn’t intended as investment advice.
Author: Robert Hauver © 2012 Demar Marketing All Rights Reserved