Freddie Mac released its weekly update on national mortgage rates Thursday morning, and once again, it appears that the Federal Reserve has saved the day (for homebuyers).
Following a sharp spike last week on worries that the Federal Reserve was planning to reduce future bond purchases, a release of “minutes” from Fed committee meetings that took place on June 18 and 19 suggested bond purchases will, in fact, continue. That sent mortgage rates right back down again.
Thirty-year fixed-rate mortgages (FRM) dropped 14 basis points to land at 4.37% this morning. Fifteen-year FRMs shed 12 basis points, falling to 3.41%.
Among variable-rate mortgages, 5/1 ARMs gave up nine basis points, declining to 3.17%. One-year adjustable-rate mortgages held steady at 2.66% — now in their fourth straight week at this rate.
Freddie Mac vice president and chief economist Frank Nothaft credited Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke with the easing of rates, noting: “During a question and answer session following a speech on July 10th, Chairman Bernanke indicated that a highly accommodative monetary policy is what’s needed in the U.S. economy.”
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: Northstar Realty Finance Corp. (NRF)
NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. operates as a real estate investment trust in the United States. It invests in real estate debt business, which acquires, originates, and structures debt investments secured primarily by income-producing real estate properties; real estate securities business that invests in commercial real estate debt securities, including commercial mortgage backed securities, REIT unsecured debt, and credit tenant loans; and net lease properties business, which acquires properties that are primarily net leased to corporate tenants. The company has elected to be taxed as a REIT and it would not be subject to federal income tax, provided it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. NorthStar Realty Finance was founded in 1997 and is based in New York City.
- [By alicet236]
Northstar Realty Finance Corporation (NRF): Chairman and CEO David T. Hamamoto Sold 639,182 Shares
Chairman and CEO of Northstar Realty Finance Corporation (NRF) David T. Hamamoto sold 639,182 shares on 01/13/2014 at an average price of $14.14. NorthStar Realty Finance Corporation is a Maryland corporation formed in October 2003. Northstar Realty Finance Corporation has a market cap of $4.16 billion; its shares were traded at around $14.00 with and P/S ratio of 4.15. The dividend yield of Northstar Realty Finance Corporation stocks is 5.57%.
- [By Lauren Pollock]
NorthStar Realty Finance Corp.(NRF) disclosed a plan to spin off its asset-management business into a separate publicly traded company, a move investors praised. NorthStar’s shares rose 17% to $11.60 premarket.
- [By Rich Duprey]
Not only will following the north star help you find your way when lost, but it will lead you to riches, too. NorthStar Realty Finance (NYSE: NRF ) announced yesterday it will pay a regular quarterly dividend of $0.19 per share on May 17 to the holders of record at the close of business on May 13.
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: HCP Inc. (HCP)
HCP, Inc. is an independent hybrid real estate investment trust. The fund invests in real estate markets of the United States. It primarily invests in properties serving the healthcare industry including sectors of healthcare such as senior housing, life science, medical office, hospital and skilled nursing. The fund also invests in mezzanine loans and other debt instruments. It engages in acquisition, development, leasing, selling and managing of healthcare real estate and provides mortgage and other financing to healthcare providers. The fund benchmarks the performance of its portfolio against the S&P 500 Index, Berkshire Hathaway Index, and MSCI REIT Index. HCP, Inc. was formed in 1985 and is based in Long Beach, California with additional office in Nashville and San Francisco.
- [By Matthew Coffina]
HCP is an economically defensive, diversified real estate investment trust focused on healthcare properties. HCP primarily uses long-term triple-net leases, which leave tenants responsible for property operating and maintenance costs.
- [By Dan Burrows]
Despite its prominence in the industry, ESV stock has been having a crummy year. It’s off more than 9% for the year-to-date and can’t expect much help from higher oil prices anytime soon. The slide is deep enough that adding in the big dividend yield still brings the ESV stock total return to -8.7%.
#4: HCP (HCP)
HCP Dividend Yield: 5.83%
- [By Jim Fink]
Industry Diamond Offshore (NYSE: DO) $55.39 $7.7 billion 3.3 -14.2% Oil Drilling HCP Inc. (NYSE: HCP) $36.22 $16.5 billion 3.5 -16.0% Healthcare REIT American Realty Capital Properties (Nasdaq: ARCP) $12.64 $2.4 billion 8.6 1.9% Retail and Office REIT Southern Co. (NYSE: SO) $40.88 $36.1 billion 9.8 -0.1% Electric Utility Cooper Tire & Rubber (NYSE: CTB) $22.01 $1.4 billion 10.3 -11.8% Automobile Tires CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL) $31.36 $18.5 billion 11.8 -14.5% Telecommunications Quest Diagnostic (NYSE: DGX) $54.05 $7.8 billion 13.4 -5.4% Medical Diagnostic Tests Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (NYSE: KMP) $79.57 $34.9 billion 15.4 6.0% Energy pipeline MLP Altera (Nasdaq: ALTR) $31.98 $10.3 billion 15.9 -5.6% Semiconductors ADT Corp. (NYSE: ADT) $40.01 $8.0 billion 16.8 -12.9% Home Security
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: Scana Corporation(SCG)
SCANA Corporation and its subsidiaries engage in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity to retail and wholesale customers in South Carolina. It owns nuclear, coal, hydro, oil and gas, and biomass generating facilities. The company also purchases, sells, and transports natural gas; offers energy-related risk management services; acquires, owns, and provides financing for nuclear fuel, fossil fuel, and emission allowances; and offers service contracts on home appliances, and heating and air conditioning units. In addition, SCANA Corporation owns two liquefied natural gas plants, including one located near Charleston, and the other in Salley, South Carolina; and provides tower site construction, management, and rental services in South Carolina and North Carolina. As of December 31, 2010, the company supplied electricity to approximately 660,000 customers; and natural gas to approximately 482,000 residential, commercial, and industrial customers i n North Carolina, and 313,500 customers in South Carolina, as well as to approximately 460,000 customers in Georgia. Further, SCANA Corporation owns and operates a 500-mile fiber optic telecommunications network and Ethernet network, and data center facilities in South Carolina. Through a joint venture, it builds, manages, and leases communications towers with interest in 2,280 miles of fiber in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia. The company?s retail customers comprise municipalities, electric cooperatives, other investor-owned utilities, registered marketers, and federal and state electric agencies. It primarily serves chemicals, educational services, paper products, food products, lumber and wood products, health services, textile manufacturing, rubber and miscellaneous plastic products, and fabricated metal products industries. The company is based in Cayce, South Carolina.
- [By David Dittman]
Answer: I like NextEra Energy, which has significant renewables exposure and operates in a region with solid economic fundamentals. I also like smaller utes that operate in smaller footprints with solid long-term fundamentals, including Cleco (NYSE: CNL), Pinnacle West, Vectren (NYSE: VVC) and SCANA (NYSE: SCG).
- [By Roger Conrad]
And it’s what SCANA Corp. (SCG) is locked-in to deliver, at least to the end of the decade. The company’s biggest project is constructing two 1,117-mega-watt nuclear reactors using Toshiba-Westinghouse’s AP 1000 model.
- [By Justin Loiseau]
In March 2012, Southern Company (NYSE: SO ) received the first construction approval in over 30 years for two new units at its Vogtle plan in Georgia totaling 2,200 MW of electric capacity. SCANA (NYSE: SCG ) wasn’t far behind with approval for two units of its own in South Carolina totaling around 2,100 MW. Southern expects its units to come on line by 2017, while both of SCANA’s will power up by 2019.
- [By Seth Jayson]
Calling all cash flows
When you are trying to buy the market’s best stocks, it’s worth checking up on your companies’ free cash flow once a quarter or so, to see whether it bears any relationship to the net income in the headlines. That’s what we do with this series. Today, we’re checking in on SCANA (NYSE: SCG ) , whose recent revenue and earnings are plotted below.
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: ConocoPhillips(COP)
ConocoPhillips operates as an integrated energy company worldwide. The company?s Exploration and Production (E&P) segment explores for, produces, transports, and markets crude oil, bitumen, natural gas, liquefied natural gas, and natural gas liquids. Its Midstream segment gathers, processes, and markets natural gas; and fractionates and markets natural gas liquids in the United States and Trinidad. The company?s Refining and Marketing (R&M) segment purchases, refines, markets, and transports crude oil and petroleum products, such as gasolines, distillates, and aviation fuels. Its Chemicals segment manufactures and markets petrochemicals and plastics. This segment offers olefins and polyolefins, including ethylene, propylene, and other olefin products; aromatics products, such as benzene, styrene, paraxylene, and cyclohexane, as well as polystyrene and styrene-butadiene copolymers; and various specialty chemical products comprising organosulfur chemicals, solvents, catalyst s, drilling chemicals, mining chemicals, and engineering plastics and compounds. The company?s Emerging Businesses segment develops new technologies and businesses. It focuses on power generation; and technologies related to conventional and nonconventional hydrocarbon recovery, refining, alternative energy, biofuels, and the environment. This segment also offers E-Gas, a gasification technology producing high-value synthetic gas. ConocoPhillips was founded in 1917 and is based in Houston, Texas.
- [By Annalisa Kraft-Linder]
Nati Harnik/AP Warren Buffett, chairman of the board of Berkshire Hathaway (BRK-B), is surprisingly open about his mistakes, chronicling them for all to read — and learn from — in his annual shareholder letters. The Cigar Stubs The textile mill that gave Berkshire Hathaway its name turned out to be an albatross for more than two decades as Buffett dithered over shutting it down. Located in Massachusetts, far from the new textile and cotton hubs down South, it was a money-loser from the start. He has since admitted his stubborn attachment to it probably cost Berkshire $200 billion in lost opportunity costs to invest in better companies. Back then, Buffett was more a proponent of the “cigar stub” theory of investing — buying a downtrodden company or stock and smoking out the last few puffs of profit. Another iteration of this thesis gone wrong was his purchase of Blue Chip Stamp Co. in the late ’60s. It was a lesser rival of the Sperry & Hutchinson Green Stamps Co. Both involved an early form of loyalty program in which shoppers collected stamps that could be redeemed for merchandise. “When I was told that even certain brothels and mortuaries gave stamps to their patrons, I felt I had finally found a sure thing,” Buffett said in his 2006 shareholder letter. However, Blue Chip revenues declined by more than 80 percent from 1970 to 1980 and by almost 99 percent by 1990 as credit-card loyalty programs and increasing affluence made shoppers reluctant to waste time pasting stamps in books. What Buffett learned became a new leg of his investing stool: to only buy businesses for their demonstrated profitability. The Economic Moat Buffett coined the term “economic moat” to describe the competitive and hopefully monopolistic advantages that will help a company thrive. He has long said he regrets buying Dexter Shoes in 1993, purchasing it with Berkshire Hathaway stock then worth $433 million for an estimated loss of $3.5 billion. He admits now it didn’t have t
- [By Lee Jackson]
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is a name that draws a solid rating at Baird. The company has spent the past five years divesting assets, and although it is cash rich, but the company has dampened earnings and growth expectations. Continued strong pricing could bode well for the company. Investors are paid a very nice 4.1% dividend. The Thomson/First Call price target for the stock is $75.83. Conoco closed Thursday at $67.90.
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: Merck & Company Inc.(MRK)
Merck & Co., Inc. provides various health solutions through its prescription medicines, vaccines, biologic therapies, animal health, and consumer care products. The company?s Pharmaceutical segment provides human health pharmaceutical products, such as therapeutic and preventive agents for the treatment of human disorders in the areas of bone, respiratory, immunology, dermatology, cardiovascular, diabetes and obesity, infectious diseases, neurosciences and ophthalmology, oncology, vaccines, and women’s health and endocrine. This segment also offers human health vaccines, such as preventive pediatric, adolescent, and adult vaccines. Its Animal Health segment discovers, develops, manufactures, and markets animal health products. This segment offers antibiotics, anti-inflammatory products, vaccines, products for the treatment of fertility disorders, and parasiticides for cattle, swine, horses, poultry, dogs, cats, salmons, and fish. The Consumer Care segment develops, manufac tures, and markets over-the-counter, foot care, and sun care products. Its over-the-counter product line includes non-drowsy antihistamines; treatment for occasional constipation; decongestant-free cold/flu medicine for people with high blood pressure; nasal decongestant spray; and treatment for frequent heartburn. This segment?s foot care products comprise topical antifungal, and foot and sneaker odor/wetness products; and sun care products include sun care lotions, sprays and dry oils; and sunburn relief products. The company serves drug wholesalers and retailers, hospitals, government agencies, physicians, physician distributors, veterinarians, animal producers, and managed health care providers, as well as food chain and mass merchandiser outlets in the United States and Canada. Merck & Co., Inc. was founded in 1891 and is headquartered in Whitehouse Station, New Jersey.
- [By Todd Campbell]
That could be particularly true for these three dividend-paying health-care companies: GlaxoSmithKline (NYSE: GSK ) , Merck (NYSE: MRK ) , and Quest Diagnostics (NYSE: DGX ) . They not only pay healthy dividend yields that can blunt the pain of a sell-off, but they’re also strong performers during the coming quarter. That suggests investors may not want to sell them, and investors who have been considering them may want to step in and buy them.
- [By Ben Levisohn]
Stocks bounced back from yesterday’s losses–and it was blue chips like International Business Machines (IBM), Johnson & Jonson (JNJ), Caterpillar (CAT), Merck (MRK) and 3M (MMM) that led the market higher.
- [By David Williamson and Michael Douglass]
These two catalysts have caused analyst price targets to jump, with Piper Jaffray coming out and raising its target on the stock to $36; shares currently sit at $28. In this segment from Friday’s Market Checkup, Motley Fool health-care analysts David Williamson and Michael Douglass discuss Endocyte’s partnership with Merck (NYSE: MRK ) on the drug, as well as just how much blockbuster potential the drug could have, and why even after a near double the stock is filled with upside.
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: Philip Morris International Inc(PM)
Philip Morris International Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes and other tobacco products in markets outside of the United States. Its international product brand line comprises Marlboro, Merit, Parliament, Virginia Slims, L&M, Chesterfield, Bond Street, Lark, Muratti, Next, Philip Morris, and Red & White. The company also offers its products under the A Mild, Dji Sam Soe, and A Hijau in Indonesia; Diana in Italy; Optima and Apollo-Soyuz in the Russian Federation; Morven Gold in Pakistan; Boston in Colombia; Belmont, Canadian Classics, and Number 7 in Canada; Best and Classic in Serbia; f6 in Germany; Delicados in Mexico; Assos in Greece; and Petra in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. It operates primarily in the European Union, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Canada, and Latin America. The company is based in New York, New York.
- [By Matthew Coffina]
Philip Morris International (PM)
Among our holdings, Philip Morris is arguably the most exposed to depreciating emerging market currencies, since it doesn’t have any US sales. Unfortunately, currency fluctuations are an unavoidable tradeoff for emerging markets’ relatively stable cigarette volumes.
- [By Lawrence Meyers]
That means you should go with either Altria Group (MO) or Philip Morris International (PM). And if you’re only interested in buying one, I think I’d select MO stock. It pays a slightly better divided (5.2% vs. 4.7%).
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: Colgate-Palmolive Company(CL)
Colgate-Palmolive Company, together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets consumer products worldwide. It offers oral care products, including toothpaste, toothbrushes, and mouth rinses, as well as dental floss and pharmaceutical products for dentists and other oral health professionals; personal care products, such as liquid hand soap, shower gels, bar soaps, deodorants, antiperspirants, shampoos, and conditioners; and home care products comprising laundry and dishwashing detergents, fabric conditioners, household cleaners, bleaches, dishwashing liquids, and oil soaps. The company offers its oral, personal, and home care products under the Colgate Total, Colgate Max Fresh, Colgate 360 Advisors’ Opinion:
- [By Douglas A. McIntyre]
Some traditional brand powerhouses have lost ground in the Top 100 since 2009. These include BMW, FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) and Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL).
- [By Lee Jackson]
Colgate-Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) is a top consumer staples name to make the UBS. Colgate sells its products in more than 200 countries and makes more than 75% of its revenue outside the United States, which provides geographic diversification and growth opportunities in emerging markets for the company. This diversity, matched with a huge list of consumer products, keeps revenues and dividends growing. Investors are paid a 2.3% dividend. The consensus target is $67.14. Colgate closed Tuesday at $64.34.
- [By TaniaC]
Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL) is a consumer products company whose products are marketed in over 200 countries and territories throughout the world. It operates in two segments: Oral, Personal and Home Care and Pet Nutrition.
Hot Dividend Companies To Watch For 2014: H&R Block Inc. (HRB)
H&R Block, Inc., through its subsidiaries, provides tax preparation, retail banking, and various business advisory and consulting services. It operates in three segments: Tax Services, Business Services, and Corporate. The Tax Services segment offers H&R Block At Home, an income tax preparation software, as well as a range of online tax services, including tax advice, professional and do-it-yourself tax return preparation, and electronic filing services through its Web site at hrblock.com primarily in the United States, Canada, and Australia. This segment also provides the H&R Block Prepaid Emerald MasterCard and Emerald Advance lines of credit through H&R Block Bank, as well as other retail banking services, including checking and savings accounts, individual retirement accounts, and certificates of deposit; and sells refund anticipation loans and refund anticipation checks offered by third-party lending institutions, as well as offers income tax return preparation course s to the public. The Business Services segment provides tax and consulting services, wealth management, and capital markets services to middle-market companies. The Corporate segment engages in various operations, which include interest income from the United States passive investments, interest expense on borrowings, net interest margin and gains or losses relating to mortgage loans held for investment, real estate owned, residual interests in securitizations and other corporate expenses principally related to finance, legal, and other support departments. The company was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri.
- [By Myra P. Saefong , Sital S. Patel]
Shares of H&R Block Inc. (HRB) rose more than 6%, with the tax preparation and banking services provider getting a boost ahead of the April 15 U.S. tax filing deadline.
- [By Credit.com]
Getty Images Tax time can be stressful enough without worrying about whether your tax issues will spill over to your credit reports and affect your scores. The good news is that simply filing an extension or finding that you owe the IRS a chunk of money come tax time shouldn’t affect your credit reports. It’s only when you don’t have the money to pay what you owe that it can affect your credit. Following are five ways that your yearly payment to Uncle Sam can affect your credit. Going Into Hock to Pay Taxes Many years ago, in my first year of self-employment, my accountant calculated my estimated taxes but forgot about the “self-employment tax” — the portion of taxes that cover Medicare and Social Security. As a result, I learned on April 14 (!) that I owed a much bigger tax bill than I expected. At that time there was no option to pay by credit card, and I didn’t want to drain my savings entirely to pay it. I ended up taking out a personal loan from my bank at a low interest rate and paid it off fairly quickly. It worked out OK. The loan, however, did appear on my credit reports. It didn’t create any problems for me, but if you are going to borrow from another source such as credit cards or a personal loan to pay your taxes, keep in mind that debt can affect your credit scores. How much it will hurt (or help) your scores depends on everything else in your credit reports. Keep it in perspective, though. After all, you may find it’s better to owe a credit card issuer than to owe the IRS. Another option is to enter into an installment agreement with the IRS where you pay them monthly until your balance is paid off. In most cases, these payment plans don’t appear on your credit. However, if you owe a large amount, you could wind up with a Notice of Federal Tax Lien filed against you, and that will definitely affect your credit. (More on that later.) Quick Refund Woes If you need your refund fast, you may be tempted to take advantage of a “refund
- [By John Kell and Lauren Pollock var popups = dojo.query(“.socialByline .popC”); ]
H&R Block Inc.’s(HRB) fiscal third-quarter loss widened sharply as the tax-services provider couldn’t book $277 million in tax return revenue due to the delayed opening of the federal government’s e-file system. Shares dropped 2.5% to $30.20 premarket.