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Why These Dividend Stocks Should Be on Your Radar

Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report)

Microsoft has been a disappointment over the past couple of years. The company's inability to compete effectively with Apple (AAPL) is widely documented. But the software giant has always been an excellent payer with a current yield of 3.40%. Also, the company has just raised its payout from 20 cents to 23 cents.

The good news is this will protect the stock from massive sell-offs. Unfortunately, it provides no answers as to how the company will address weakness in the mobile devices market and in the enterprise, where it is also losing share to Oracle (ORCL) in the now popular cloud and Software as a Service (SaaS) market. Also, if Microsoft's first quarter was any indication, the company still has a lot of work to do.

The company disappointed the street by reporting net income of $4.47 billion, or 53 cents per share, on revenue of $16.01 billion, missing top- and bottom-line estimates of $18.11 billion and 65 cents per share, respectively. The drop of 8% in revenue ended its streak of revenue growth, which spanned four quarters, while EPS also declined by 22%.

As disappointing as these numbers were, they could have been much worse. Nonetheless, for a company with much to prove, this wasn't the start investors were expecting. The good news is the company understands what it is up against and seems eager to morph out of what it is traditionally known for.

To that end, the company has invested its resources and R&D towards a renewed commitment to giving consumers what they want. Basically, things can't get any worse. Microsoft still brings in steady streams of cash flow and presents solid reward potential for minimal risk. On that basis alone, the stock is worth buying.

At the time of publication the author had a position in AAPL.

This article was written by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.

Richard Saintvilus is a private investor with an information technology and engineering background and has been investing and trading for over 15 years. He employs conservative strategies in assessing equities and appraising value while minimizing downside risk. His decisions are based in part on management, growth prospects, return on equity and price-to-earnings as well as macroeconomic factors. He is an investor who seeks opportunities whether on the long or short side and believes in changing positions as information changes.
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