Medtronic ( MDT) Background: Medtronic manufactures and sells device-based medical therapies worldwide. Medtronic trades an average of 4.4 million shares per day and has a market cap of $42 billion. 52-Week Range: $33.11 to $44.79 Book Value: $16.91 Price-to-Book Ratio: 2.5 Earnings Payout Percentage: 30% As a result of the recent price decline, investors are receiving a yield of 2.5% for a total of $1.04 in dividends per year. Shares are now slightly lower in the last month of trading. Shares are about breakeven at 1.6% less than a month ago. The drop in price offers us the dip that makes the timing aspect of Medtronic attractive. Medtronic appreciated a very bullish 19% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Medtronic is $45.16. Will Medtronic reach the target price? No one can say with certainty, but I think Medtronic has a great prognosis. There is almost zero desire by short sellers to move against this stock. Short interest hardly moves the needle at only 0.9% of the float. MDT Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
U.S. Bancorp ( USB) Background: U.S. Bancorp is a financial services holding company. It is the parent company of Firstar Bank and U.S. Bank. U.S. Bancorp trades an average of 8.4 million shares per day with a market cap of $62 billion. 52-Week Range: $23.72 to $35.46 Book Value: $18.03 Price-to-Book Ratio: 1.9 Earnings Payout Percentage: 25% I really like U.S. Bancorp as an investment and use the bank for my personal banking. The customer service is top notch, and the stock is top-shelf. Travis Kraker epitomizes the gold standard in relationship building that other investment advisers should strive for. U.S. Bancorp pays out 78 cents annually in dividend payments, and even with a 2.4% yield, the payout rate is under 30%. Look for a dividend increase next year (March maybe)? Shares retraced 1.4% from a high of more than $35 a month ago, presenting investors with a buying dip opportunity. If U.S. Bancorp approaches the climbing 200-day moving average much more, the price-to-earnings ratio may fall into single digits. U.S. Bancorp is a classic value buy, and outside a strong move lower from an outsized event, the risk appears limited. For a company analysts mostly rate as a hold, the stock really appreciated, gaining 26% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for U.S. Bancorp is $36.75. Short-sellers are next to impossible to find with just 1% of the float short. USB Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
Abbott Laboratories ( ABT) Background: Abbott Laboratories is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to discovering new medicines, new technologies and new ways to manage health. Abbott Laboratories trades an average of 6.4 million shares per day and has a market cap of $103 billion. 52-Week Range: $52.05 to $72.47 Book Value: $15.60 Price-to-Book Ratio: 4.2 Earnings Payout Percentage: 48% Abbott pays a large $2.04 annually in dividend payments. The yield is 3.3% and makes Abbott an almost must own for retirees trying to make it on investment income. In the last month, shares have pulled back 2.6%. The new discount in price provides the buying dip for exposure to a portfolio-performing 3.3% yield. Abbott is in a strong bullish trend. The shares have moved 21% higher over the last 52 weeks. Expect more upside as analysts are calling for a price target of $71.36. Short-sellers are next to impossible to find, and 0.6% of the float is short based on the last reported numbers. Of course, I wouldn't include a stock that the smart money believes has more downside than upside potential. ABT Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
The last reported short interest is only 1.7% of the average trading float. The smart money doesn't believe Apple will continue falling, should you?
If you ask me "what dip are you talking about" I understand. Shares have really appreciated, gaining 49% in the last year, and the average analyst target price for Apple is $767.83. The current drop from $700 is our opening. AAPL Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
AT&T ( T) Background: AT&T Inc. is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the U.S. and around the world. AT&T trades an average of 24 million shares per day with a market cap of $198 billion. 52-Week Range: $27.41 to $38.58 Book Value: $17.69 Earnings Payout Percentage: 73% After three solid weeks of discounting in share price, Ma Bell remains in a bull trend, albeit one that is now on sale. After falling 6.3%, and testing the 200-day moving average, the forward price-to-earnings multiple is near a very conservative 13. The payout percentage is elevated and a concern for ongoing dividends, but next year's earnings are expected at $2.57 per share, lowering the payout ratio to less than 68%. I consider 68% a very high number, and as a result, I don't feel the need to pound on the table and declare this the ultimate buy. I also anticipate the massive $1.76 in annual dividends isn't likely to increase soon, but hey, it's yielding 5.1%, so it doesn't have to increase soon. It's already "increased". AT&T gained 18% in the last year, and while Ma Bell may not be my favorite in this group, it certainly earned its place here. Forget about finding any short-sellers. Short interest is so low I only include it to demonstrate the smart money is not betting against this company. Just 0.8% of the float is short based on the last reported numbers. T Payout Ratio TTM data by YCharts
What is better than buying a bull-trending stock paying a large dividend? How about a bullish dividend-paying stock on sale? At the time of publication the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned. Follow @RobertWeinstein This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.