Top Dividend Stocks For 2015


From a solar-power project sale to new predictions for coal’s comeback, it’s been a busy week for utilities. Here’s what you need to know to stay current on your dividends’ profits.

Duke forecasts sunshine
On Wednesday, Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK  ) announced its purchase of two California solar farms from Germany-based SolarWorld. The new acquisitions will add 21 megawatts of solar electricity to its current 61 MW of capacity. Collectively, the two farms will become Duke’s largest commercial solar farm in the nation, and the company has already arranged a 20-year power purchase agreement with Edison International (NYSE: EIX  ) .


FirstEnergy plays management musical chairs
Following the retirement of two long-term leaders, FirstEnergy (NYSE: FE  ) announced this week that it’s switching up high-level management in all four of its states’ regulated utilities operations. Although the moves reflect positive promotions throughout, a management makeover of this scale could influence FirstEnergy’s short-term efficiency or long-term strategic direction.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Investors Real Estate Trust(IRET)

Investors Real Estate Trust, a real estate investment trust (REIT), engages in the ownership and operation of income-producing real estate properties in the United States. It owns multi-family residential properties and commercial office, medical, industrial, and retail properties located primarily in the upper midwest states of Minnesota and North Dakota. As of April 30, 2008, the company operated a real estate portfolio of 72 multi-family residential; 65 office; 48 medical; 17 industrial; and 33 retail properties. Investors Real Estate Trust has elected to be taxed as a REIT under the Internal Revenue Code of 1986. As a REIT, the trust is not subject to federal corporate income taxes, if it distributes at least 90% of its taxable income to its shareholders. The company was founded in 1970 and is headquartered in Minot, North Dakota with additional offices in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Omaha, Nebraska; and Kansas City, Kansas, and St. Louis, Missouri.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Aaron Levitt]

    Here are five of the best.

    Investors Real Estate Trust (IRET)

    Real estate investment trusts (REITs) have garnered much attention from investors seeking income in our low interest rate environment. Energy investors may want to hone in on them as well. Specifically, Investors Real Estate Trust (IRET).

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: JDS Uniphase Corporation(JDSU)

JDS Uniphase Corporation provides communications test and measurement solutions, and optical products for telecommunications service providers, wireless operators, cable operators, network-equipment manufacturers, and enterprises worldwide. The company?s Communications Test and Measurement segment supplies instruments, software, and services to enable the design, deployment, and maintenance of communication equipment and networks. Its product portfolio consists of test tools, platforms, software, and services for wireless and fixed networks. The company?s Communications and Commercial Optical Products segment offers components, modules, subsystems, and solutions that are used by communications equipment providers for telecommunications and enterprise data communications. This segment?s products comprise transmitters, receivers, amplifiers, ROADMs, optical transceivers, multiplexers and demultiplexers, switches, optical-performance monitors and couplers, splitters, and circ ulators, which enable the transmission of video, audio, and text data through fiber-optic cables. It also provides various laser products, including diode, direct-diode, diode-pumped solid-state, fiber, and gas lasers for micromachining, materials processing, bioinstrumentation, consumer electronics, graphics, medical/dental, and optical pumping; and photovoltaic products, such as concentrated photovoltaic cells and receivers for generating energy from sunlight, as well as fiber optic-based systems for delivering and measuring electrical power. The company?s Advanced Optical Technologies segment offers optical solutions for security and brand-differentiation applications; and thin film coatings for a range of public and private-sector markets. This segment also provides multilayer product-security solutions that deliver overt, covert, forensic, and digital product and document verification. JDS Uniphase Corporation was founded in 1979 and is headquartered in Milpitas, Calif o rnia.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Dan Caplinger]

    Facebook certainly took the spotlight in the decision from S&P Dow Jones Indices to include the social media giant in the S&P 500. But lost in the Facebook news was the fact that Alliance Data Systems (NYSE: ADS  ) and Mohawk Industries (NYSE: MHK  ) also gained admission to the prestigious index, while Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF  ) , JDS Uniphase (NASDAQ: JDSU  ) , and Teradyne (NYSE: TER  ) made their exit. Let’s take a closer look at the other winners and losers in the Facebook index shuffle.

  • [By James O’Toole]

    S&P also announced Wednesday that clothing retailer Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF) and communication technology firm JDS Uniphase Corp. (JDSU) will be leaving the index, to be replaced by Alliance Data Systems (ADS) and floor-covering producer Mohawk Industries (MHK, Fortune 500).

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Pepsico Inc.(PEP)

PepsiCo, Inc. engages in the manufacture, marketing, and sale of foods, snacks, and carbonated and non-carbonated beverages worldwide. The company operates in four divisions: PepsiCo Americas Foods (PAF); PepsiCo Americas Beverages (PAB); PepsiCo Europe; and PepsiCo Asia, Middle East, and Africa (AMEA). The PAF division offers Lay?s and Ruffles potato chips, Doritos and Tostitos tortilla chips and dips, Cheetos cheese flavored snacks, Fritos corn chips, Quaker Chewy granola bars, and SunChips multigrain snacks in North America; Quaker oatmeal, Aunt Jemima mixes and syrups, Cap?n Crunch cereal, Quaker grits, and Life cereal, as well as Rice-A-Roni, Pasta Roni, and Near East side dishes in North America; and various snack foods under Doritos, Marias Gamesa, Cheetos, Ruffles, Emperador, Saladitas, Sabritas, and Lay?s brands in Latin America. The PAB division provides carbonated soft drinks, beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under Pepsi, Mountain Dew, Gatorade, 7UP, Tropicana Pure Premium, Electropura, Sierra Mist, Epura, and Mirinda brands; ready-to-drink tea, coffee, and water products through joint ventures with Unilever and Starbucks; and sells concentrate to authorized bottlers, and branded finished goods directly to independent distributors and retailers. This division also manufactures third-party brands, such as Dr Pepper, Crush, Rock Star, and Muscle Milk. The PepsiCo Europe division offers Frito Lay Snacks, Pepsi-Cola beverages, Gatorade sports drinks, Tropicana juices, and Quaker foods in Europe. The AMEA division provides snack food under the Lay?s, Kurkure, Chipsy, Doritos, Smith?s, Cheetos, Red Rock Deli, and Ruffles brands; Quaker-brand cereals and snacks; and beverage concentrates, fountain syrups, and finished goods under the Pepsi, Mirinda, 7UP, and Mountain Dew brands. PepsiCo, Inc. was founded in 1898 and is headquartered in Purchase, New York.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Getty Images/Joe Raedle Nelson Peltz doesn’t want to wash down his Fritos with a Pepsi — at least, not if they’re both sold by the same company. His investment firm, Trian Fund Management, is a major shareholder in PepsiCo (PEP), which owns both of those brands, and he’s pushing for it to separate its beverage business from its snack foods. The proposal cuts at the foundation of PepsiCo’s business strategy, which revolves around the perceived synergies between its liquid offerings and its foodstuffs. Not surprisingly, the company has been swift to reject Peltz’s idea in the strongest possible terms. But before we toss it out with the recycling, let’s take a look to see if the proposal could be beneficial, or if it’s really just so much flat soda. On its website, PepsiCo’s lineup of products appears under the category “Brands You Love.” Indeed, you’d be hard-pressed to fine someone who isn’t a fan of at least one — Pepsi, Tropicana, Lipton, Quaker Oats, Doritos, Fritos, Lay’s and Ruffles, among many others. Synergy Among a Portfolio of Lovable Brands But Peltz argues the familiarity and renown of those products has not translated into meaningful returns lately. In a letter Trian sent PepsiCo, it said that under the reign of current CEO Indra Nooyi, the firm’s growth in earnings per share “has significantly trailed that of peers.” Trian argues that separating the two businesses would eliminate the overhead that comes from a sprawling corporate structure, and make each of the resultant companies leaner and more “entrepreneurial.” A glance at recent history seems to indicate otherwise. Look at the arc of a recent snack food divorcee, Mondelez International (MDLZ). The company, which divested itself of what is now Kraft Foods Group (KRFT) in October 2012, saw fourth-quarter 2013 revenues of just under $9.5 billion. This was slightly lower than the result in the same quarter last year, its first as a stand-alone entity. Attributable net ballooned more than th

  • [By Victor Selva]

    Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio) is the founder and Chief Investment Officer of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. The success of the hedge fund made Ray Dalio (Trades, Portfolio) 84th richest person in the world, according to Forbes. On Dec. 31, he bought PepsiCo Inc. (PEP), and holds 293 stocks in total, in a portfolio valued at $12.5 billion.

  • [By Patricio Kehoe]

    As the only brewer in Chile with a nationwide distribution network, United Breweries benefits from significant economies of scale, in addition to its brand power. The company’s product portfolio not only features the Cristal beer brand, but also includes wine, spirits and company-owned non-alcoholic beverages. In addition to this, the firm benefits from licenses to sell PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) and Heineken beverages, while also importing Anheuser Busch Inbev SA (ADR) (BUD)’s Budweiser beer to Chile and Argentina. This strong market position has allowed the firm to generate excess returns on invested capital above 20%, making it an attractive investment.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Sysco Corporation(SYY)


Sysco Corporation, through its subsidiaries, distributes food and related products primarily to the foodservice or food-away-from-home industry in North America and Europe. The company offers a line of frozen foods, such as meats, fully prepared entrees, fruits, vegetables, and desserts; a line of canned and dry foods; fresh meats, custom-cut fresh steaks, other meat, seafood, and poultry; dairy products; beverage products; imported specialties; and fresh produce. It also supplies various non-food items, including paper products, such as disposable napkins, plates, and cups; tableware, which include china and silverware; cookware comprising pots, pans, and utensils; restaurant and kitchen equipment and supplies; and cleaning supplies. In addition, the company offers personal care guest amenities, equipment, housekeeping supplies, room accessories, and textiles to the lodging industry. It serves restaurants, hospitals and nursing homes, schools and colleges, hotels and mote ls, lodging establishments, and other foodservice customers. Sysco Corporation was founded in 1969 and is headquartered in Houston, Texas.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Only five privately held firms will participate in this two-year contract (extendable up to five years). No publicly traded firms at all were chosen to participate — but publicly traded firms did still win a few of the day’s smaller contracts, among them:

    A $76.1 million contract modification awarded to the Bell-Boeing Joint Project Office, a joint venture between Textron  (NYSE: TXT  ) and Boeing (NYSE: BA  ) , which instructs the JPO to delivery one single additional CV-22 tiltrotor aircraft to the U.S. Air Force by December 2016. A $39.4 million fixed-price with economic-price-adjustment contract for Sysco (NYSE: SYY  ) to provide “prime vendor food and beverage support” to the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, and Job Corps in Florida through April 16, 2019. A $32.3 million option exercise for NuStar Energy L.P. (NYSE: NS  ) subsidiary Shore Terminals LLC to provide “petroleum storage services” to the U.S. Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps through Nov. 30, 2016. A $7.7 million undefinitized contract modification compensating Lockheed Martin (NYSE: LMT  ) for “non-recurring sustainment activities” performed on behalf of the government of the United Kingdom, related to the latter’s purchase of F-35 Lightning II stealth fighter jets. This contract has a completion date of June 201

  • [By Selena Maranjian]

    For example, consider Bridgewater Associates, one of the world’s largest hedge fund companies. According to its recently released 13F statement, the company has reduced its positions in Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ  ) and Sysco Corporation (NYSE: SYY  ) , while eliminating its position in Valero Energy Corporation (NYSE: VLO  ) .

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Telefonica SA(TEF)

Telefonica, S.A. provides fixed and mobile telephony services primarily in Spain, rest of Europe, and Latin America. Its fixed telecommunication services include PSTN lines; ISDN accesses; public telephone; local, domestic, and international long distance and fixed-to-mobile communications; corporate communications; video telephony; supplementary and business-oriented value-added services; network services; leasing and sale of handset equipment; and telephony information services. The company?s Internet and broadband multimedia services comprise Internet service provider service; portal and network services; retail and wholesale broadband access; narrowband switched access to Internet; naked ADSL, a broadband connection; residential-oriented value-added services; companies-oriented value-added services; television services, such as IPTV, cable television, and satellite television; and Fiber to the Home, a service for high speed Internet access and digital video recording. Its data and business-solutions services principally include leased lines; virtual private network services; fiber optics services; the provision of hosting and application; outsourcing and consultancy services; desktop services; and system integration and professional services. The company?s wholesale services for telecommunication operators primarily comprise domestic interconnection services; international wholesale services; leased lines for other operators? network deployment; local loop leasing under the unbundled local loop regulation framework; and bit stream services. It also offers various mobile and related services and products that include mobile voice services, value added services, mobile data and Internet services, wholesale services, corporate services, roaming, fixed wireless, and trunking and paging services. The company has a strategic alliance with China Unicom (Hong Kong) Limited. Telefonica, S.A. was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Madrid, Spai n.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Charles Sizemore]

    As was the case with KMI, ARCP insiders have been using the recent weakness as a buying opportunity. In the month of November, four company officers bought a combined 72,500 shares of ARCP stock worth over $950,000, and this followed a steady stream of insider buying throughout the summer.

    Dividend Stocks to Buy Now: Telefonica (TEF)

    TEF Dividend Yield: 6%

  • [By WALLSTCHEATSHEET]

    Telefonica provides fixed and mobile communication services primarily in Europe and Latin America. The company reported earnings that fell; however, the company is beginning to see a turnaround. The stock has been surging higher after hitting lows last year and is currently trading near highs for the year. Over the last four quarters, earnings have been mixed while revenues have been decreasing, but investors remain optimistic about the company. Relative to its peers and sector, Telefonica has been a relative performance leader year-to-date. Look for Telefonica to OUTPERFORM.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Vivo Participacoes S.A.(VIV)


Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo S.A.-TELESP provides fixed-line telecommunications services to residential and commercial customers in the state of Sao Paulo, Brazil. Its services include local voice services, such as activation, monthly subscription, measured service, and public telephones; intraregional, interregional, and international long-distance voice services; data services comprising broadband services; pay TV services through direct to home satellite technology and land based wireless technology multichannel multipoint distribution service; and network services, such as interconnection and rental of facilities, as well as other services consisting of extended maintenance, caller identification, voice mail, cell phone blockers, computer support, and antivirus for Internet service subscribers. The company also offers multimedia communication services, such as audio, data, voice and other sounds, images, and texts and other information. In addition, it provides interc onnection services to cellular service providers and other fixed telecommunications companies through the use of its network. Further, the company offers telecommunications solutions and IT support designed to address the needs and requirements of companies operating various types of industries, including retail, manufacturing, services, financial institutions, and government. Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo S.A.-TELESP provides its products and services through person-to-person sales, telesales, indirect channels, Internet, and door-to-door sales. As of December 31, 2010, its telephone network included 11.3 million fixed lines in service, including residential, commercial, and public telephone lines; 3.3 million broadband clients; and 0.5 million pay TV clients. The company was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Telecomunicacoes de Sao Paulo S.A.-TELESP is a subsidiary of Telefonica S.A.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Telefonica Brasil, S.A. (NYSE: VIV) is one of the top telecom and communications players in Brazil. At $20.10, its 52-week range is $17.91 to $27.71.

  • [By Inyoung Hwang]

    Royal Mail (RMG) Group Ltd. jumped the most in a month after the U.K. postal service that listed its shares in October said first-half earnings almost doubled. Vivendi SA (VIV) advanced 1.9 percent after saying it will replace its chairman once it spins off its wireless business. Accor SA dropped 3.9 percent after saying it will separate the operation and ownership of hotels into two businesses.

  • [By Sarah Jones]

    Vivendi SA (VIV) lost 1.7 percent to 15.72 euros in Paris after the owner of SFR, France’s second-biggest mobile-phone operator, reported a 21 percent drop in first-quarter Ebit to 1.18 billion euros. That missed analyst estimates.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Triumph Group Inc.(TGI)

Triumph Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, engineering, manufacture, repair, overhaul, and distribution of aircraft components. The company operates in two segments, Aerospace Systems and Aftermarket Services. The Aerospace Systems segment provides mechanical and electromechanical controls, such as hydraulic systems and components, main engine gearbox assemblies, and accumulators and mechanical control cables. It also involves in stretch forming, die forming, milling, bonding, machining, welding, and assembling and fabricating various structural components used in aircraft wings, fuselages, and other assemblies. In addition, this segment provides composite assemblies for floor panels, environmental control system ducts, non-structural cockpit components, and thermal acoustic insulation systems. The Aftermarket Services segment provides maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for commercial and military markets. This segment offers its services on auxiliary power units, and air frame and engine accessories, including constant-speed drives, cabin compressors, starters and generators, and pneumatic drive units; and on thrust reversers, nacelle components, and flight control surfaces, as well as supplies spare parts of cockpit instruments and gauges for a range of commercial airlines. The company serves the aerospace industry, including original equipment manufacturers of commercial, regional, business, and military aircraft and components, as well as commercial airlines, air cargo carriers, and military customers. Triumph Group, Inc. was founded in 1993 and is based in Wayne, Pennsylvania.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Textron have gained 1.2% to $36.63 at 1:09 p.m., while Embraer (ERJ) has risen 0.5% to $32.30, Triumph Group (TGI) has advanced 0.2% to $75.73 and Spirit AeroSystems (SPR) is off 0.8% at $33.90.

  • [By Alex Planes]

    What: Shares of Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI  ) are down nearly 7%, and reached an intraday low of 10% beneath yesterday’s close, after releasing an earnings report that pairs solid quarterly results with disappointing forward guidance.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Triumph Group (NYSE: TGI) now holds a new asset following a deal inked with Precision Castparts (NYSE: PCP). Triumph has acquired Primus Composites from its counterpart. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Littelfuse Inc.(LFUS)

Littelfuse, Inc. designs, manufactures, and sells circuit protection devices for use in the automotive, electronic, and electrical markets in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. The company offers electronic circuit protection products, such as fuses and protectors, positive temperature coefficient resettable fuses, varistors, polymer electrostatic discharge suppressors, discrete transient voltage suppression diodes, TVS diode arrays and protection thyristors, gas discharge tubes, and power switching components, as well as fuseholders, blocks, and related accessories under PICO II, and NANO2 SMF, TECCOR, SIDACtor, and Battrax brand names. It offers its electronic circuit protection products for use in wireless telephones, consumer electronics, computers, modems, telecommunications equipment, telephones, data transmission lines, and alarm systems. The company also provides automotive fuses that are used in automobiles, trucks, buses, and off-road equipment to protec t electrical circuits and the wires that supply electrical power to operate lights, heating, air conditioning, radios, windows, and other controls, as well as offers fuses for the protection of electric and hybrid vehicles. It markets its automotive fuse products under ATO, MINI, MAXI, MIDI, MEGA, MasterFuse, JCASE, and CablePro brand names. In addition, Littelfuse manufactures various low-voltage and medium-voltage circuit protection products, such as power fuses that are used in the protection from over-load and short-circuit currents in motor branch circuits, heating and cooling systems, control systems, lighting circuits, and electrical distribution networks to electrical distributors and their customers in the construction, original equipment manufacturers, and industrial maintenance and repair and operating supplies markets. Littelfuse sells its products through direct sales force and manufacturers? representatives. The company was founded in 1927 and is headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Smith]

    Littelfuse (NASDAQ: LFUS  ) has signed an agreement to acquire Key Safety Systems’ Hamlin subsidiary for $145 million in cash, Littelfuse announced Monday.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: ConAgra Foods Inc.(CAG)

ConAgra Foods, Inc. operates as a food company primarily in North America. It operates in two segments, Consumer Foods and Commercial Foods. The Consumer Foods segment provides branded, private label, and customized food products, which are sold in various retail and foodservice channels. It offers products in various categories, such as meals, entrees, condiments, sides, snacks, and desserts in frozen, refrigerated, and shelf-stable temperature classes. This segment?s principal brands include Alexia, ACT II, Banquet, Blue Bonnet, Chef Boyardee, DAVID, Egg Beaters, Healthy Choice, Hebrew National, Hunt?s, Marie Callender?s, Orville Redenbacher?s, PAM, Peter Pan, Reddi-wip, Slim Jim, Snack Pack, Swiss Miss, Van Camp?s, and Wesson. The Commercial Foods segment provides commercially branded foods and ingredients that are sold to foodservice, food manufacturing, and industrial customers. Its primary products consist of specialty potato products, milled grain ingredients, a ran ge of vegetable products, seasonings, blends, and flavors. This segment sells products under brands, such as ConAgra Mills, Lamb Weston, and Spicetec Flavors & Seasonings. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Omaha, Nebraska.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Get ready for rotten food stocks today. Dean Foods (DF) has fallen 11% to $13.50 after it met earnings expectations but said the first quarter of 2014 would be “difficult.” Annie’s (BNNY), meanwhile, has dropped 8.7% to $38.19 after it missed earnings forecasts and offered a disappointing 2014 outlook. ConAgra Foods (CAG) has declined 5.5% to $29.35, after it too cut its full year guidance.

  • [By Dividends4Life]

    Fair Value: In calculating fair value, I consider the NPV MMA Differential Fair Value along with these four calculations of fair value, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:


    1. Avg. High Yield Price
    2. 20-Year DCF Price
    3. Avg. P/E Price
    4. Graham Number

    HRL is trading at a premium to all four valuations above. The stock is trading at a 27.6% premium to its calculated fair value of $35.92. HRL did not earn any Stars in this section.

    Dividend Analytical Data: In this section there are three possible Stars and three key metrics, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:

    1. Free Cash Flow Payout
    2. Debt To Total Capital
    3. Key Metrics
    4. Dividend Growth Rate
    5. Years of Div. Growth
    6. Rolling 4-yr Div. > 15%


    HRL earned one Star in this section for 2.) above. The stock earned a Star as a result of its most recent Debt to Total Capital being less than 45%. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1928 and has increased its dividend payments for 48 consecutive years.

    Dividend Income vs. MMA: Why would you assume the equity risk and invest in a dividend stock if you could earn a better return in a much less risky money market account (MMA) or Treasury bond? This section compares the earning ability of this stock with a high yield MMA. Two items are considered in this section, see page 2 of the linked PDF for a detailed description:


    1. NPV MMA Diff.
    2. Years to > MMA

    HRL earned a Star in this section for its NPV MMA Diff. of the $984. This amount is in excess of the $500 target I look for in a stock that has increased dividends as long as HRL has. If HRL grows its dividend at 13.2% per year, it will take 7 years to equal a MMA yielding an estimated 20-year average rate of 3.68%.

    Memberships and Peers: HRL is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achiever

  • [By Reuters]

    Toby Talbot/AP NEW YORK — A voluntary effort by the world’s largest food and beverage companies to remove billions of calories from the products they sell in the United States to help combat the nation’s obesity epidemic has far exceeded its five-year goal, according to an independent evaluation released Thursday. In May 2010, 16 of the nation’s biggest food and beverage companies, from Coca-Cola (KO) to Kraft Foods Group (KRFT), pledged to remove 1 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015, compared with a 2007 baseline. In fact, as of 2012 they sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories, found an analysis by researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Reports like this, and the fact that they exceeded their commitment by fourfold, really shows that you can make progress in giving American families more healthy options,” said Larry Soler, president of the Partnership for a Healthier America, a non-profit chaired by first lady Michelle Obama. The group was formed in 2010 to work with the private sector on anti-obesity strategies. At the time, critics said the Partnership relied too heavily on the good will of the industry and couldn’t replace the role of tighter regulation on how food is manufactured and marketed. Such voluntary efforts by industry “are not a magic bullet,” said Jeff Levi, executive director of Trust for America’s Health, a non-profit policy group. “Particularly with kids, there is a role for regulation” in reducing demand for unhealthy, high-calorie fare. It isn’t clear yet how the companies accomplished the dramatic calorie reduction, said UNC public health researcher Barry Popkin, who led the analysis funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the nation’s largest public health philanthropy. Some of the decline may have come from the recession, as financially strapped families cut back on junk food. When the pledge was announced, companies said they would substitute lower-calorie pro

  • [By DailyFinance Staff]

    Stocks took a breather Thursday after racing higher on Wednesday, and the price of gold sank to a three-year low. The major averages ended mixed — and that’s good news, as the market mostly held onto the huge gains that followed the Federal Reserve’s taper announcement. The Dow Jones industrial average (^DJI) edged up 11 points, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index (^GPSC) slipped a point, and the Nasdaq composite index (^IXIC) fell 12 points. But the price of gold slumped by $39 an ounce, closing below $1,200 for the first time in more than three years. Gold related stocks followed suit. Newmont Mining (NEM), Barrick Gold (ABX) and Goldcorp (GG) all fell about 1.5 percent. Another story getting lots of play today is Target’s (TGT) announcement that as many as 40 million credit and debit card customers may have had their account information stolen over the past few weeks. Target shares fell 2 percent. Even though earnings season is still a few weeks away, earnings news was a big factor today. On the upside: Oracle (ORCL), up 6 percent. The software maker beat Wall Street profit and revenue estimates. Food giant ConAgra (CAG), up 5 percent, after topping expectations. And Pier 1 (PIR), also up 5 percent. Net slightly missed, but the retailer raised its dividend by 20 percent.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: MCG Capital Corporation(MCGC)


MCG Capital Corporation is a private equity firm specializing in investments in middle market companies. The firm does not prefer investments in highly cyclical and volatile industry sectors and businesses with significant volatility exposure. It seeks to invest in small to mid sized companies. The firm prefers to invest in acquisitions, growth financings, organic growth, recapitalization, and leveraged buyouts. It invests in companies based in the United States. The firm seeks to invest upto $75 million in debt and equity in companies having revenues between $20 million and $200 million and EBITDA between $3 million and $25 million. It seeks to invest in the form of senior debt, including amortizing, bullet maturity, term loans, and revolving credit facilities; institutional sub debt, including junior capital; second lien debt, that includes term loans on sole source and participant basis; secured and unsecured subordinate loans structured as current interest, deferred in terest, and equity linked components; mezzanine debt and equity that includes minority equity investments. The firm may invest in minority or control equity positions. It was formerly known as MCG Credit Corporation. MCG Capital Corporation was founded in 1990 and is based in Arlington, Virginia.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Equities Lab]

    The stocks that currently pass the stock screen in order of market cap are Frontier Communications Corp , Crown Media Holdings (CRWN), Vonage Holding (VG), MCG Capital Corp (MCGC), 1-800-FLOWERS.COM (FLWS), MTR Gaming Corporation (MNTG), Alaska Communications (ALSK), and Enzon Pharmaceuticals (ENZN).

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Altria Group(MO)

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. It offers cigarettes under the Marlboro, Virginia Slims, Parliament, Benson & Hedges, Basic, and L&M brands; smokeless tobacco products under the Copenhagen, Skoal, Red Seal, Husky brands, and Marlboro snus brands; and machine-made large cigars and pipe tobacco. The company also produces and sells blended table wines under the Chateau Ste Michelle and Columbia Crest names; and distributes Antinori and Villa Maria Estate wines and Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte in the United States. In addition, it maintains a portfolio of leveraged and direct finance leases in rail and surface transport, aircraft, electric power, real estate, and manufacturing. The company sells its tobacco products to wholesalers, including distributors; large retail organizations, such as chain stores; and the armed services. Altria Group, I nc. markets its wine products to restaurants, wholesale clubs, supermarkets, wine shops, and mass merchandisers. The company was founded in 1919 and is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Jon C. Ogg]

    Reynolds is worth roughly $30 billion, versus about $20 billion for Lorillard. Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO), which is just the domestic side of the old Phillip Morris tobacco giant, is worth a whopping $73.3 billion. The real question is how the combined Reynolds-Lorillard would fare against Altria when competing for investor dollars and in selling to the public.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Shares of Lorillard have jumped 4.6% to $51.29 at 1:32 p.m. today, while Reynolds American has gained 2.5% to $52.12 and British American Tobacco has dropped 1.1% to $107.62. Altria Group (MO), meanwhile, has risen 0.4% to $36.43 and Philip Morris International (PM) has declined 0.9% to $80.21.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.(SBGI)


Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc., a television broadcasting company, owns or provides certain programming, operating, or sales services to television stations in the United States. The company broadcasts free over-the-air programming, such as network provided programs, news produced locally, local sporting events, programming from program service arrangements, and syndicated entertainment programs. It owns or provides programming and operating services pursuant to local marketing agreements, or provides sales services pursuant to outsourcing agreements to 58 television stations in 35 markets. The company was founded in 1952 and is based in Hunt Valley, Maryland.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Westcott Rochette]

    Assuming all of its announced mergers are completed (as we anticipate), Maryland-based Sinclair Broadcast Group (SBGI) will soon own or operate some 162 stations in 77 markets that, together, reach about 40% of US television households.

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    In the latest of a string of acquisitions, Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: SBGI  ) is to buy Fisher Communications (NASDAQ: FSCI  ) . The merger transaction will cost the former roughly $373 million. Fisher stockholders are to receive a cash payout of $41.00 per share, which, according to Sinclair, is a 44% premium to the stock’s recent closing price.

  • [By Brian Pacampara]

    What: Shares of television broadcasting company Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: SBGI  ) sank as low as 11% today after announcing disappointing quarterly results and a public offering of common stock.  

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Sinclair Broadcast Group (NASDAQ: SBGI  ) is tapping the markets in a new, underwritten public share offering. The company has priced its issue of 18 million class A common shares at $27.25 apiece. Sinclair said that certain selling stockholders have granted the underwriters of the offering a 30-day purchase option for up to an additional 2.7 million shares.

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: ProLogis(PLD)


Prologis Inc. is an independent equity real estate investment trust. It invests in the real estate markets across the globe. The firm engages in the ownership, development, management, and leasing of industrial distribution and retail properties. It was previously known as Security Capital Investment Trust. Prologis Inc. was formed in 1991 and is based in San Francisco, California with an additional office in Denver, Colorado.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Eric Volkman]

    Prologis (NYSE: PLD  ) has announced that it will sell 31 million new pieces of itself. That’s the number of common shares it will float in an upcoming, underwritten public stock offering. The price of the shares will be $41.60 apiece, and the company’s underwriters have been granted a 30-day purchase option for up to an additional 4.65 million shares to cover overallotments, if any.

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Industrial real estate developer Prologis  (NYSE: PLD  )  has declared regular and preferred dividends for the second quarter of 2013. The company plans to distribute $0.28 per share of its common stock on June 28 to shareholders of record as of June 11. For its 8.54% Series Q cumulative redeemable preferred stock, Prologis will distribute $1.0675 per share, which will be paid on July 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 18.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    But the S&P 500′s biggest losers show the kind of carnage long predicted by those fearful of higher yields. How’s this for evidence: Real-estate investment trusts, whose yields look more paltry with every tick higher in the 10-year Treasury, made up half of the top-10 losers. Prologis (PLD) fell 8.4% to $35.08, the Macerich Co. (MAC) dropped 8.2% to $56.72 and Health Care REIT (HCN) was off 8.1% at $58.57.

  • [By Dimitra DeFotis]

    Among real estate trusts:

    American Tower  (AMT), the diversified  REIT, is the best performer in the index. It was up 4.6% after saying Friday it will buy the parent of tower operator Global Tower Partners for $4.8 billion. HCP (HCP), a healthcare REIT, was up 3.3%. Prologis (PLD) an industrial REIT, was up 2.8%. Vornado Realty Trust (VNO) was up 2.7%. Boston Properties (BXP), the office REIT, was up 2.3%. Equity Residential (EQR), a residential REIT, was up 2.4%. Ventas (VTR), a healthcare REIT, was up 2%.

     

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Progress Energy Inc.(PGN)


Progress Energy, Inc., a utility holding company, engages in the generation, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida. It uses coal, oil, hydroelectric, natural gas, and nuclear power to generate electricity. The company also engages in various alternative energy projects to generate electricity from swine waste and other plant or animal sources, biomass, solar, hydrogen, and landfill-gas technologies. Progress Energy serves various industries, including chemicals, textiles, paper, food, metals, wood products, rubber and plastics, and stone products, as well as phosphate rock mining and processing, electronics design and manufacturing, and citrus and other food processing. It has approximately 22,000 megawatts of regulated electric generation capacity and serves approximately 3.1 million retail electric customers, as well as other load-serving entities. The company was formerly known as CP&L Energy, Inc. Progress En ergy, Inc. was founded in 1925 and is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina.


Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Holly LaFon] ess Energy shares climbed over 2011 as the company announced in January it would merge with Duke Energy. Together, they will form the nation’s largest utility with a combined enterprise value of $65 billion and $37 billion in market cap. The new company will have 57 gigawatts of domestic generating capacity through a mix of coal, nuclear, natural gas, oil and renewable resources. Progress energy shareholders will receive an approximately 3 percent dividend increase.

    Incidentally, development of a comprehensive energy policy was one of what Grantham called “the most important and most dangerous issues” facing the world.


    Progress is at the forefront of the push for nuclear energy in the U.S., which has been deemed the “nuclear renaissance.” Thirty-five percent of the electricity used by Progress Energy customers comes from one of their four nuclear sites, two in North Carolina, and one each in South Carolina and Florida. It plans to build another reactor in Levy County, Florida.

    Revenue at Progress Energy has declined at a 2.6% annual rate over the past five years, and it achieved cash flow of $95 million in 2010, after three years of losses. Earnings have remained positive, reaching a record for the decade of $856 million in 2010.

    RSC Holdings (RRR)

    RSC is a machinery rental service for construction, industrial, petrochemical, governmental and manufacturing businesses in the U.S. and Canada. RSC tends to benefit in economic downturns, as more businesses turn to renting rather than buying equipment to cut costs. Rented equipment rose 20.7% percent (the sixth consecutive quarter of double-digit growth) and rental revenue increased 27% in the fourth quarter of 2011, compared to last year.

    United Rentals (URI), one of RSC’s largest competitors, had a rental revenue increase of 18.5% in the fourth quarter compared to last year, which included a 6.7% increase in rental rates.

    The company’s fl eet utilization also

Top Dividend Stocks For 2015: Agrium Inc.(AGU)

Agrium Inc., together with its subsidiaries, produces and markets agricultural nutrients, industrial products, and specialty products worldwide, as well as involves in the retail supply of agricultural products and services in North and South Americas. The company?s Retail segment markets crop nutrient products, including nitrogen, phosphate, potash, sulphur, and micronutrients; crop protection products, such as herbicides, fungicides, adjuvants, and insecticides; and seeds. This segment also offers agronomic services, as well as product application, soil and leaf tissue testing and analysis, and crop scouting services. This segment operates 1,192 outlets in the United States, Canada, Australia, Argentina, Chile, and Uruguay. The company?s Wholesale segment produces, markets, and distributes nitrogen, phosphate, potash, sulphate, and other crop nutrient products for agricultural and industrial customers. This segment also owns and operates facilities that upgrade ammonia t o other nitrogen products, such as urea, nitric acid, and ammonium nitrate, as well as provides Rainbow plant food products. Agrium?s Advanced Technologies segment produces and markets controlled-release crop nutrients and micronutrients for the agriculture, specialty agriculture, professional turf, horticulture, and consumer lawn and garden markets. The company was formerly known as Cominco Fertilizers Ltd. and changed its name to Agrium Inc. in 1995. Agrium Inc. was founded in 1931 and is headquartered in Calgary, Canada.

Advisors’ Opinion:

  • [By Rich Duprey]

    Canpotex, the cartel’s rival North American potash marketing association, comprised of Mosaic (NYSE: MOS  ) , PotashCorp (NYSE: POT  ) , and Agrium (NYSE: AGU  ) , is a major supplier of potash to Brazil, with some analysts estimating it owns 38% of the market. In years past, Latin America — primarily the Brazilian market — has comprised as much as 26% of Canpotex’s potash sales.

  • [By Ben Levisohn]

    Potash Corp of Saskatchewan (POT), for instance, lost 16% last year, while Mosaic (MOS) dropped 15%, Intrepid Potash (IPI) plunged 26% and Agrium (AGU) declined 5.9%.

  • [By James E. Brumley]

    As anyone who’s tried to trade fertilizer stocks like Potash Corp./Saskatchewan (NYSE:POT), Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU), or Mosaic Co. (NYSE:MOS) already knows, these agricultural chemical names are all over the map. They’re affected by their underlying fundamental values, as most stocks are. MOS, POT, and AGU are also pressured like any other commodity stocks are, and those ebbs and flows don’t necessarily jive with the normal, fundamental-based ebb and flow. Finally, stocks like those of Potash – sometimes still referred to as Saskatchewan – Mosaic, or Agrium are also impacted by the ever-changing level of crop yields, crop supply and demand, and food-commodity prices. And, that market isn’t in sync with the stock market or the overall commodity market. The overall result is a lot of volatility, but not a lot of predictability…. or is there?