Why Coke Could Be the Next GE (and 1 Stock to Buy Instead)

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Let’s dive into the General Electric (GE) dividend massacre that sent the market reeling last week. When the dust settled, the payout took a 50% haircut, and the stock had plunged about 11%.

Before I go on, I should tell you that GE isn’t the only household name I’m worried about. Further on, I’ll show you another investor “sacred cow” that’s showing some eerily similar signs. Then we’ll look at an unloved pharma play that’s more than worth your attention now.

First, let’s pick through the GE wreckage and see what we can learn, and where the stock could go from here.…
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If you put your portfolio on autopilot over the summer, you need to dial back in yesterday.

Because you’ll need a sharp eye and a quick hand to dodge two pitfalls that could swamp regular folks now—this month!—and in the long run.

For the first one, look no further than the calendar.

I’m talking about seasonality, and the fact that September is typically the worst month for stocks.

The truth is, the market’s steady grind higher has stalled: through the first 5 trading days (and with 15 more to go), the Dow is off 0.8% and the S&P 500 is down 0.4%.…
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Wall Street’s supposedly elite group of stocks that have increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarter-century – the “Dividend Aristocrats” – are peddled by advisers and pundits alike as supreme plays for income portfolios. And sure, a select few of them are. We’ll discuss two later today.

But a whole lot more of them are simply “dead money.”

The ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL), which invests in the whole lot of dividend royalty, yields 1.9% as I write this. Even a million dollars parked in this fund is generating less than $20,000 in investment income annually.…
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Don’t take any stated yields for granted these days! The financial news has been flooded with dividend cuts lately, with Teva Pharmaceutical (TEVA) and Mattel (MAT) taking the hatchet to their payouts, and telecom Windstream (WIN) dropping its dividend too.

It’s dangerous to buy headline yields – or even supposedly “safe” blue chips with more modest dividends – without looking at the profits funding these payouts. Companies with high payout ratios (how much in earnings, funds from operations and other measures a company pays out in the form of dividends) are a twofold risk:

  1. High payout ratios can lead to a slowing in dividend growth, which means your payout is increasingly likely to fall behind inflation.


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Investors looking for the surest path to dividend growth typically look to the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats. These are the supposedly “elite” dividend stocks within the S&P 500 that have not just paid but hiked their regular distributions at least once a year for a minimum of 25 consecutive years.

It’s not a crowded clubhouse, with just 52 members at the moment, but don’t be fooled – just like most groups of stocks, there are winners and losers, like the group of five Dividend Aristocrats I’ll be breaking down for you today.

You’d think that decades of dividend growth would be a sure indication of stock quality, and thus outperformance.…
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About Author

Brett

Hi, I’m Brett Owens – and I’m a financial junkie. My “problem” started incollege, when I got a little dose of the stock market – man, was I hooked…in no time, I was reading the Wall Street Journal religously.

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