It's been a volatile two weeks for U.S. stocks. The Dow
Jones Select Dividend Index (DVY), the benchmark of the
model portfolio, has declined three straight sessions,
yet is virtually unchanged over the past couple of weeks.
Even though the model portfolio has dipped into negative
territory for 2015 this week, we maintain that dividends
offer investors relative stability in a volatile market
environment. We continue to find value in companies that
consistently grow earnings that can fund annual dividend
increases. Along those lines, we will issue a list of
companies next Monday that we believe can increase their
dividends in the second quarter.
ConocoPhillips (COP:NYSE) rebounded more than 3% this
week and recently changed hands around $63.36. Ahead of
the company's analyst meeting on April 8, management said
they have extended projected capital spending budget cuts
through 2017, because of lower expected oil prices. That
said, ConocoPhillips believes it can still grow overall
production and support its quarterly dividend of $0.73 a
We maintain the stock is attractive at current levels,
for its 4.6% dividend yield.
General Electric (GE:NYSE) lost 2% over the past
two weeks and recently changed hands around $24.79. The
company said on March 15 that it sold its Australia/New
Zealand financial services unit to a consortium of
buyers, for an enterprise value of $6.3 billion. As
management continues to move the firm back to its
industrial roots, we believe earnings growth can re-
accelerate in the coming quarters.
The stock remains attractive to purchase at current
levels, for its 3.7% dividend yield.
Helmerich & Payne (HP:NYSE) bounced back 9% over
the past two weeks, along with the underlying price of
oil, and recently changed hands around $68.92. We
maintain the company is attractive at current levels for
its 4% dividend yield.
Campbell Soup (CPB:NYSE) declared its next quarterly
dividend of $0.312 a share (2.75% yield) on March 25.
Investors at the close of trading on April 8 will qualify
for the payment on May 4.
David S. Peltier
We will be ready to commit new funds on the next market pullback.
We expect the company to continue its streak of raising the quarterly payout.
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