2 Dow Dividend Stocks With Undervalued Earnings Growth

By Robert Hauver

Although the market has had a large rally over the past few months, the Dow 30 still lags the NASDAQ significantly in 2012, (the DOW is only up 6.78% YTD vs. NASDAQ’s 17.59% gain as of 3/22/12),  This led us to look for undervalued Dow dividend stocks with low PEG ratios, and strong earnings. Our search produced these two familiar stocks, Boeing, and Microsoft:

BA-MSFT-PEG

Boeing has gained nearly 7% in 2012, (there’s a Performance table at the end of this article), but it’s still only up less than 3% over the past 12 months.  Meanwhile, BA has grown its earnings substantially, so that it now has a much lower P/E than its industry peers.

With its strong growth forecast for its next fiscal year, BA has the second lowest PEG ratio of all the Dow 30 stocks.  Although BA has a very high Price/Book, this is partially explained by its very high Return On Equity, (ROE), of 127.72%. (See Financials table further on in article.)

After being range-bound within the $20’s for around two years, Microsoft has risen into the low $30’s.  However, it still looks fairly cheap on a PEG basis, coming in at .97. Even though its earnings and sales growth trail its industry averages, MSFT is one of the few dividend paying stocks within its industry, and offers a fairly good dividend yield, and a very good dividend growth rate.

Dividends: MSFT increased its quarterly dividend by 25% in 2011, from $.16 to $.20/share.  Boeing increased its quarterly dividend in Feb. 2012, to $.44/share from $.42/share.  Both stocks have a conservative dividend payout ratio:

BA-MSFT-DIVS

Covered Calls: Income investors wanting to hedge their bets often sell covered call options, creating additional immediate income by receiving call options premiums, and thereby lowering their break-even cost.

As the table below illustrates, in these 2 covered call trades, the call options pay you 3 to 6 times what the dividends pay during the 4-5 month period. What’s the catch?  By selling a call option, you’re obligated to potentially have to sell the shares at the call strike price by expiration time. (Generally, your shares will get assigned/sold if the stock goes above the strike price at or near expiration.)

There are 2 strategies in the trades listed below – the BA call has a higher strike price than BA’s share price, which gives you some room for potential price gains- (BA $75 .00 strike price is $1.08 above BA’s $73.92 share price). Conversely, the MSFT call strike price is right “at the money”, meaning the $32.00 strike price equals MSFT’s $32.00 share price. This leaves no room for potential price gain, but gives you a higher call option premium.

More bullish covered call sellers sell at higher strike prices, earning a lower call premium, whereas less bullish call sellers would sell calls with strike prices that are closer to the share price, and would get paid a higher call premium.

(You can see additional details for this and over 30 other high options yields trades in our Covered Calls Table.)

BA-MSFT-CALLS

Cash Secured Puts: An alternative option trading strategy is to sell cash secured puts, which obligate you to potentially have to buy the stock at the strike price, if the stock goes below the strike at or near expiration.  Generally, call and put options don’t get assigned until sometime near the expiration date, since call and put buyers don’t want to forfeit too much of the options’ time value.

Why would you sell cash secured put options?  If you want to buy a stock at a lower price than its current price, the put premium $ that you receive lowers your break-even cost, so that, even though you may end up being assigned/sold BA at the $72.50 strike price, your net cost is only $68.70, the difference between the $72.50 strike price and the $3.80 put premium you received.  Meanwhile, you have the use of that put premium $.

Investors are often surprised to hear that Warren Buffett has been known to sell put options, via private off-market deals, on companies he’s interested in buying, sometimes pocketing millions in put premiums now on expiration dates that go out a few years – it’s a very good cash flow deal.

These put options pay out 4 to over 7 times what the dividends pay out during this 4-5 month term. (You can see more details on these and over 30 other high yield Cash Secured Puts trades in our Cash Secured Puts Table.)

BA-MSFT-PUTS

Financials: BA and MSFT both have mgt. efficiency ratios that far outshine their industry averages.  BA’s debt load is higher than avg., but their interest coverage is very strong, but not as high as MSFT’s very high interest coverage of 77. BA’s ROE of 127.72% is currently the highest of any stock in the Industrials sector.

BA-MSFT-ROE

Performance:  Although MSFT has been one of the best stocks to buy in 2012 for price gains so far, it’s still has a moderate Relative Strength of 55.55. With its RSI of 43.33, BA is closer to the sub-40 oversold area:

BA-MSFT-PERF

Disclosure: Author holds no shares of any stocks mentioned in this article at this time, but may sell cash secured puts during future market pullbacks.

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

3 Large Cap Tech Dividend Stocks With Double Dividends

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:

SP-SECTOR-EPS

(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%.

ibm-INTC-MSFT-DIVS

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.

IBM-INTC-CALLS

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.)

IBM-INTC-PUTS

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%).

IBM-INTC-PEG

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.

IBM-INTC-ROE

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:

IBM-INTC-PERF

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

2 Solid Dow Dividend Stocks With 2 Ways to Earn 20% Yields

By Robert Hauver

Looking for the best stocks to buy in 2011? With the S&P down over 9% year to date, you may be looking for dividend paying stocks that have outperformed the market. In this respect, the Tech sector offers some of the best stocks around, as this sector has beaten all other sectors except Utilities over the last trading quarter. We found 2 well-known, undervalued Dow dividend stocks in the Tech sector with good earnings growth, strong financials, both of which offer high options yields for covered all sellers and cash secured put sellers

One of these stocks, Intel, is listed in our High Dividend Stocks By Sector Tables, since it has a higher dividend yield than average for the Tech sector. Intel increased its quarterly dividends from $.1812 to $.21 for the 3rd quarter of 2011. Microsoft just announced an even bigger dividend increase for the third quarter, rising to $.20 from $.16/share.

INTC-MSFT-DIVS

Selling Options Offers Much Higher Yields:

Even though these aren’t in the upper realm of high dividend yields, by selling options, you can greatly increase your yield to over 20% annualized on these stocks. In these 2 strategies the option yields outstrip the dividend yields by up to over 10 times.

Covered Calls: The INTC call option expires in December, and the MSFT calls expire in Jan. 2012.

The call option premiums for MSFT pay nearly over 9 times that of MSFT’s dividends during this 4-month period, ($1.78/call premium vs. $.20/dividend).

You’ll find more details on this and many other high yielding covered call trades in our Covered Call Table.

INTC-MSFT-CALLS

Cash Secured Puts: If you want to be more conservative, and achieve a lower break-even entry price, you can sell cash secured put options just below the current stock price and receive some rather high option yields. Due to the present market volatility, the difference in put options premiums vs. dividends is even higher than calls vs. dividends.

Again, MSFT offers the most dramatic advantage for selling options vs. dividends:  MSFT pays $2.10 for puts. vs. $.20 for dividends. The puts listed below all expire in Jan. 2012.

There are more details on this and many other cash secured puts trades in our Cash Secured Puts Table.

Note: Dividends in our puts tables only for comparison – unlike covered call sellers, put sellers don’t receive dividends.

INTC-MSFT-PUTS

Financials: In addition to having very low debt loads, (INTC is nearly debt-free), both of these stocks have strong management efficiency and margin metrics.

INTC-MSFT-ROE

Valuations: The 3.39% EPS growth figure for INTC might be too low, given that analysts typically undervalue Intel’s future earnings, as evidenced by INTC’s 4 consecutive earnings surprises over the past year. Thus, Intel’s PEG for the next fiscal year looks high. The Price to Book metrics for both firms are below the 3.91 average for the Tech sector.

INTC-MSFT-PEG

Technical Data: Intel has had a better time of it in 2011 than Microsoft, and has fared well in the correction. MSFT’s Relative Strength of 39.11 puts it just inside oversold territory.

INTC-MSFT-PERF

Disclosure: Author is long shares of Intel.

Disclaimer: This article is written for informational purposes only and isn’t intended as individual investment advice.

Dow Dividend Stocks – Top 5 Covered Calls

By Robert Hauver

Maybe you want to buy blue chip Dow dividend stocks, but you don’t have much faith in price appreciation, given the market’s performance in 2010 thus far.  Selling covered calls often allows you to lock in a much higher yield than the current dividend yield of most dividend paying stocks.

We screened for the highest at the money covered call trades for the Dow 30, and came up with yields ranging from 8.54% to 10.17% for CAT, GE, BA, MSFT, and INTC. (Full names in table below.)  Pretty nice yields, especially when you consider that the annual yields for these 5 stocks range from just 2.18% to 3.20%.  Given that these option trades are all 6 to 8 month trades, their annualized yields are even higher, as you can see below:

DowCovCalls-9-1-10

(We’ve listed these trades this week in our Covered Calls Table, which gives you more specifics.)

Here’s a Performance table which lists each stock’s Year-to-Date, 2nd Quarter, and 1-Year price performance:

Dow5-Perf.2010thru9-1

This group’s Industrials far outperformed the Techs in a declining market YTD.  The overall Tech sector also lagged Industrials over the past year, with Industrials up 18.3% and Tech up only 9.8%.  Year-to-date, Tech is down -2.9%, and Industrials are up 3.1%.

As most value investors will tell you, lagging sectors can often be a good place to look for bargains.  The 2 Tech firms in this group, Intel, (INTC), and Microsoft, (MSFT) both have PEG ratios below 1, a statistic which is generally recognized as indicating that a stock may be undervalued.

Dow5PEGS-9-1-10

As with any strategy, there are pros and cons you should consider when selling covered calls.

Pros:

  1. Immediate Cash Inflow – Instead of waiting each quarter to collect dividends, when you sell a covered call, you’ll receive the call bid premium money into your account within 3 days from making the sale, often even the same day, depending upon your broker.  Of course, you’ll also keep collecting the dividends on the underlying shares.
  2. Superior Yield – As you can see from the table, these particular call yields are 3 to 4+ times the dividend yields.  This strategy allows you to transform a modest yield into a superior one.
  3. Downside Protection – The call premium $ you receive lowers your break-even cost, giving you more downside protection.
  4. You Know The Trading Range Before Making The Trade – This strategy tells you your exact upside profit potential, and your downside break-even, before you trade, as opposed to buying a stock and trying to determine what your upside potential will be.
  5. The Odds Are With You – It’s been proven that 3 out of 4 options expire worthless. When you’re an option seller, time is on your side, as opposed to the options buyer, who must not only guess the stock’s ultimate direction and approximate price, but must do it before expiration.

Cons:

  1. Limited Rally Participation – Once you sell a covered call, you’re obligated to deliver the underlying shares at your sold call’s strike price if they get assigned, (sold) away from you, no matter how high the stock goes. So, if you think there’s going to be a big rally, then you may not want to sell covered calls.
  2. Higher Entry Costs – You must own 100 shares of the underlying stock for every covered call that you sell.  Therefore, covered call sellers have a greater initial outlay than call options buyers.
  3. Assignment Risk – Selling covered calls against a stock puts you in jeopardy of having your shares sold away from you.  You have to weigh many factors, such as the dividend yield today, and potential dividend growth, and possible price appreciation.  However, if you think that the market is going to be range-bound, or bearish, then the covered call strategy will give you some added downside protection.

Deciding whether or not to sell covered call options comes down to many issues, such as, your risk profile and your market outlook.  If you want to capture some cash yields immediately, and not wait for the market to decide its direction, then this strategy may be right for you.

Disclosure: Author is long shares of INTC, and short INTC calls.

Disclaimer: This article is written for informational purposes only, and isn’t intended as investment advice.