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More Special Dividends on Tap from 2% to 18%

As the year comes to a close, there are more special dividend announcements.  Company’s continue to pay cash to shareholders before the decision to raise taxes in 2013.  Here is a list of special dividends from 2.0% to 18%:

Republic Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:RBCAA), parent company of Republic Bank & Trust Company and Republic Bank, announced today that its Board of Directors has approved a one-time special cash dividend of$1.10 per share on Class A Common Stock and $1.00 per share on Class B Common Stock. The special cash dividend will be payable December 21, 2012 to shareholders of record as of November 30, 2012.  In addition, the Board also declared the Company’s regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.165per share on Class A Common Stock and $0.15 per share on Class B Common Stock. The regular quarterly dividend payment will be payable January 18, 2013 to shareholders of record as of December 21, 2012.

The combined dividend payments are a dividend yield of 5.81% on Class B shares.  Republic Bancorp has an equity summary score of 9.9 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

The Board of Directors of Waddell & Reed Financial, Inc. (NYSE:WDR) approved a special cash dividend on its Class A common stock of$1.00 per share payable on December 6, 2012 to stockholders of record as of November 26, 2012.  In addition to the special cash dividend, the Board has approved an increase in the
quarterly dividend to $0.28 per share payable on February 1, 2013 to stockholders of record as of January 11, 2013. This new quarterly rate represents an increase of 12% over the previous$0.25 dividend per share rate.

The combined dividend payments are a dividend yield of 3.97%.  Waddell & Reed Financial has an equity summary score of 9.0 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

NetEase (NASDAQ:NTES) makes the lion’s share of its revenue from online games.  The company said Tuesday it is paying a special dividend of $1 per American depositary share, and launching a share buyback program of $100 million, as it seeks to boost shareholder returns. The dividend will cost the company around $131 million.

The special dividend payment is a dividend yield of 2.0%.  NetEase has an equity summary score of 5.7 out of 10 for a Neutral outlook.

Primus Telecommunications Group, Incorporated (NASDAQ:PTGI) , a global facilities-based integrated provider of advanced telecommunications products and services, announced that its Board of Directors has approved a special cash dividend of$2.50 per share on all issued and outstanding PTGI common stock. The special cash dividend will be paid on December 11, 2012 to holders of record of PTGI common stock as of November 27, 2012.

The special dividend payment is a dividend yield of 18.0%.  Primus Telecommunications Group has an equity summary score of 2.0 out of 10 for a Bearish outlook.

RLI Corp. (NYSE:RLI) announced today its board of directors has declared an extraordinary cash dividend of $5.00 per share of common stock, which is expected to total approximately $105 million, and a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.32 per share. Both dividends are payable on December 20, 2012, to shareholders of record as of November 30, 2012.

The combined dividend payments are a dividend yield of 7.97%.  RLI Corp. has an equity summary score of 3.7 out of 10 for a Neutral outlook.

Get a 9.6% Special Dividend from this Retailer

The Buckle, Inc. (NYSE: BKE) announced that at a meeting of the Board of Directors, held on November 5, 2012, the Board authorized a $4.50 per share special cash dividend to be paid to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 7, 2012.

The Board also authorized a $0.20 per share quarterly dividend to be paid to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 7, 2012. The $0.20 per share quarterly dividend accelerates and replaces the regular quarterly dividend that has historically been paid in January.

Both the special cash dividend and the regular quarterly dividend are payable on December 21, 2012 and will be paid together.

The combined special and regular dividends are a dividend yield of 9.6%.

Buckle Inc. is a retailer of moderate to better-priced casual apparel, footwear and accessories for fashion-conscious men and women between the ages of 15 and 30, with the “sweet spot” being college students and recent college graduates.  About 40% of the company’s merchandise mix is men’s and the remaining 60% women’s.

BKE is known as a denim destination; the company carries more than 1,000 denim styles from over 20 leading brand names, including Buffalo, 7 For All Mankind, Diesel, GStar RAW and Buffalo, as well as its own private label brands such as BKE, ReClaim, Buckle Black and Daytrip.

The company operated 439 stores in 43 states as of August 30, 2012. Stores average about 5,000 square feet, with individual store inventories tailored to reflect climate and seasonal differences, as well as historical sales data. In FY 12 (Jan.), average sales per store were $2.3 million and average sales per square foot were $462, up 8.5% and 7.9% from FY 11, respectively.

The Buckle has an equity summary score of 7.3 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  The Buckle has a 12-month price target of 52.

Company Shares Blowout Earnings with a Special Dividend

Television broadcasting company Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: SBGI) sees revenues increase 49% in quarter, 36% in 9 months and net income increase of 59% over 9 months 2012.  Sinclair rewarded shareholders with a special dividend added to the regular quarterly dividend.

The Company announced that its Board of Directors has declared a special cash dividend of $1.00 per share and a quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share on the Company’s Class A and Class B common stock.  The dividends are payable on December 14, 2012, to the holders of record at the close of business on November 30, 2012.  Sinclair is currently trading at $13.21 so the combined dividend yield is 8.71%.

Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $226.4 million for the three months ended September 30, 2012, an increase of 49.0% versus the prior year period result of $151.9 million.  The Company had operating income of $78.6 million in the three-month period, as compared to operating income of $52.4 million in the prior year period.  Net income attributable to the Company was $26.2 million in the three-month period, versus net income of $19.2 million in the prior year period.

The Company reported diluted earnings per common share of $0.32 for the three-month period ended September 30, 2012 versus diluted earnings per common share of $0.24 in the prior year period. Excluding $3.4 million in one-time expenses related to the Company’s amendment of its bank credit facility, net of taxes, diluted earnings per share would have been$0.36 in the third quarter 2012.

Net broadcast revenues from continuing operations were $637.6 million for the nine months ended September 30, 2012, an increase of 36.5% versus the prior year period result of $467.2 million.  The Company had operating income of $210.2 million in the nine-month period, as compared to operating income of $162.1 million in the prior year period.  Net income attributable to the Company was $85.7 million in the nine-month period, versus net income of$53.1 million in the prior year period.

The Company reported diluted earnings per common share of $1.05 in the nine-month period ended September 30, 2012 versus diluted earnings per common share of $0.66 in the prior year period.

Sinclair Broadcast Group has an equity summary score of 9.9 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.  The stock has a 12-month price target of $15.

Sinclair Broadcast Group, the largest and one of the most diversified television broadcasting companies, owns and operates, programs or provides sales services to 74 television stations in 45 markets.  Sinclair’s television group reaches approximately 26.3% of U.S. television households and is affiliated with all major networks.

Hatteras Financial (HTS) has a 12% Dividend Yield

Hatteras Financial (HTS) is a real estate investment trust formed in 2007 to invest in single-family residential mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed or issued by U.S. Government agencies or U.S. Government-sponsored entities, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae.   Hatteras announced financial results for the quarter ended September 30, 2012.

Book value per share increased 7.8% in the quarter to $29.60; 4.3% higher than our estimate. Book value growth was aided by the opportunistic deployment of capital from the August preferred deal into the 15-year sector ahead of QE3.

During the quarter ended September 30, 2012, the Company earned net income of $82.0 million, or $0.83 per diluted common share, compared to net income of $89.1 million, or $0.91per diluted common share, during the quarter ended June 30, 2012. Net interest income for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 was $79.6 million, compared to $83.0 million for the quarter ended June 30, 2012 reflecting the continued compression of net interest margin.

The Agency MBS portfolio increased by $4 billion (18%) in the quarter. The end of period balance was 14% above our estimate. The percentage of 15-year fixed MBS as a percentage of the portfolio increased to 17% from 7% last quarter, now totaling $4.4 billion from $1.6 billion. Average earning assets for the quarter increased by 15%, and were 7% above our estimate.

The Company declared a dividend of $0.80 per share of common stock with respect to the quarter ended September 30, 2012, compared to a $0.90 per share dividend for the quarter ended June 30, 2012.

Hatteras is trading at an 11% discount to third quarter book value and yielding 12.15% on the expected next 12 months dividends.

Hatteras has an equity summary score of 9.2 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Homeowners Choice is a Strong Buy with Special Dividend

Homeowners Choice, Inc. (HCII) announced that its board of directors has declared a regular quarterly cash dividend on its common shares in the amount of $0.225 per share, which represents a 12.5% increase over the previous quarterly rate of $0.20 per share.  Homeowners Choice has a current dividend yield of 3.74%.

In addition, the board declared a special dividend of $0.10 per common share.  Both the regular quarterly dividend and the special dividend will be paid Dec. 21, 2012 to shareholders of record on the close of business Nov. 16, 2012.

Homeowners Choice, a leading provider of homeowners’ insurance, today announced that it will transfer the listing of its common stock from the NASDAQ Global Select Market to the New York Stock Exchange. The company expects its shares to begin trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Oct. 25, 2012, under the new ticker symbol “HCI.” Until the transfer is complete, the company’s common shares will continue to trade under the ticker symbol “HCII” on the NASDAQ Global Select Market.

Better-than-expected second-quarter earnings, growth in revenues and strong credit quality are the primary rank drivers for this stock.

Homeowners Choice reported its second-quarter results on August 1 with earnings per share of 74 cents, beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate of 60 cents by 23.3% and year-ago earnings of 30 cents by 146.7%. Strong results for the quarter were primarily aided by substantially higher net premiums earned. However, slightly lower net investment income and higher expenses were the downsides.

Net premiums earned increased 112.8% to $36.3 million from $17.0 million in the year-ago quarter.

The Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2012 increased 8.8% to $2.46 per share based on two out of three upward estimate revisions over the last 30 days. The current estimate implies year-over-year growth of 101.4%.

For 2013, two out of three estimates was revised higher over the same time frame, lifting the Zacks Consensus Estimate by 23.1% to $2.45 per share.

Homeowners Choice has an equity summary score of 9.7 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

This High Yield Stock Just Increased Distributions by 5%

Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. (CLMT) announced an increase in its quarterly cash distribution to $0.62 per unit ($2.48 per unit on an annualized basis) for the quarter ended September 30, 2012 on all of its outstanding limited partner units.  The distribution will be paid on November 14, 2012 to holders of record of such units at the close of business on November 2, 2012.

This distribution represents an increase of 5.1% over the quarterly distribution of $0.59 per unit ($2.36 per unit on an annualized basis) paid in August 2012 for the second quarter of 2012 and a 24.0% increase over the third quarter of 2011.

Calumet has a current dividend yield of 7.88% based on today’s stock price.  Calumet has an equity summary score of 8.8 out of 10 for a BULLISH outlook.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners, L.P. produces and sells specialty hydrocarbon products in North America. It operates in two segments, Specialty Products and Fuel Products.

Be Prepared for Earnings Season with these Stocks

The overall tone at the start of the earnings season is looking downbeat.  The S&P 500 index is on pace for its fourth day of declines over concern the global economic slowdown was hurting profits and causing companies to lower their outlooks.  The index is testing the technical support level of 1,440.  If the overall earnings picture does disappoint, the market can break the support level and fall into correction territory.

But as important as beating consensus earnings expectations for the third quarter are, it is even more important to provide reassuring enough guidance for the fourth quarter and beyond.  The overall earnings scorecard for the third quarter is that we have 28 companies from the S&P 500 already report results as of this morning (October 10), with total earnings down 4.9% from the same period last year and less than half of the companies beating earnings expectations.

It is still early in the earnings season, but if the quality of guidance remains weak, then estimates for the fourth quarter will have to come down from current expectations.  Prudent investors will want to protect against this potential decline by seeking safety in high quality dividend stocks.  Here are some stocks to consider if the earnings season disappoints and the markets pullback from current levels.

Food producer Conagra Foods (CAG) is showing price strength in the past few weeks on the heels of several analyst upgrades.   Conagra beat Q1 earnings and raised 2013 earnings outlook.  In addition, Conagra raised its dividend 4% and now has a dividend yield of 3.60%.  The Company has a low beta of 0.46 meaning it has low price volatility compared to the overall market.  Conagra has an equity summary score of 9.6 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Ketchup maker H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) has a flat stock price which is up only 5% year to date but it is a stable stock with a low beta of 0.50.  Heinz is continuing to exhibit strong sales in emerging markets, where organic sales rose 19.3% last quarter.  Heinz is increasing marketing efforts in the U.S. as shoppers remain frugal with their grocery budgets.  The Company has a current dividend yield of 3.63% that was increased 7.3% in the past year.  Heinz has an equity summary score of 9.1 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Medical device maker Medtronic (MDT) has a 1-year total return of 32%. However, it is still considered a low volatility stock with a beta of 0.67.  Medtronic just agreed to buy China Kanghui Holdings (KH) for $816 million in cash, in a growth move to enter China’s medical device market to accelerate its overall globalization strategy.  The Company has a current dividend yield of 2.41% that was increased 7.2% in the past year.  Medtronic has an equity summary score of 9.1 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Everyone’s favorite tobacco stock Altria Group (MO) is always a stable stock.  Altria has a low beta of 0.27.  Altria’s Board of Directors in August approved a 7.3% increase to their quarterly dividend.  Altria has a current dividend yield of 5.25%.  Altria has an equity summary score of 7.9 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

3 High Yield REITs with a Bullish Outlook

Shares of high yielding REITs have been relatively flat in August.  The Vanguard REIT ETF (VNQ), which tracks the performance of an index that measures the performance of publicly traded equity REITs, is up over 14 percent this year, nearly double the Dow Jones gain of 8 percent over the same period.  Investors have looked to mortgage REITs to take advantage of the recovering U.S. housing market. Mortgage REITs do not directly invest in real estate but invest in the mortgages on real estate properties.

While the housing market has gone from bad to less bad, these REITs have just declared higher dividends for their investors.  Each of these REITs has high dividend yields over 10% with a Bullish outlook.

Newcastle Investment Corp. (NYSE: NCT) announced that its Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.22 per common share for the third quarter of 2012, representing a 10% increase from the prior quarter’s dividend of $0.20per common share. The dividend is payable on October 31, 2012 to shareholders of record on October 1, 2012.  Newcastle has a current dividend yield of 10.3%.

Newcastle Investment announced that it has completed the sale of 100% of its interests in CDO X in connection with the liquidation and termination of CDO X.  Newcastle received $130 million for $89.75 million face amount of subordinated notes and all of its equity in CDO X.  The sale and resulting deconsolidation of CDO X from the Company’s balance sheet will eliminate the impact of CDO X’s negative net book value and generate an approximately $200 million gain for the third quarter.

Newcastle has an equity summary score of 8.7 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  First Call analysts’ consensus has a Buy rating of 1.7.  Newcastle has a 12-month price target of $8.75.

Newcastle Investment (operated as a REIT) focuses on investing in and actively managing opportunistic investments in real estate related assets. The Company primarily invests in two distinct areas: (1) Residential Servicing and Securities and (2) Commercial Real Estate Debt and Other Assets.

The Board of Directors of CreXus Investment Corp. (NYSE: CXS) declared the third quarter 2012 common stock cash dividend of $0.32 per common share.  This dividend is payable October 25, 2012 to common shareholders of record on October 1, 2012. The ex-dividend date is September 27, 2012.

This is an 18.5% increase from the prior dividend of $0.27.  CreXus Investment has a current dividend yield of 10.2%.  EPS is projected to increase 21% in 2013 and 18% in 2014.

CreXus has an equity summary score of 7.6 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  First Call analysts’ consensus has a Buy rating of 2.3.  CreXus has a 12-month price target of $12.50.

CreXus (operated as a REIT) acquires, manages and finances, directly or through its subsidiaries, commercial mortgage loans and other commercial real estate debt, commercial real property, commercial mortgage-backed securities and other commercial and residential real estate-related assets.

New York Mortgage Trust, Inc. (NYMT) announced that its Board of Directors declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.27 per share on shares of its common stock for the quarter ending September 30, 2012. The dividend will be payable on October 25, 2012 to common stockholders of record as of September 28, 2012.  New York Mortgage has a current dividend yield of 14.5%.

New York Mortgage has completed an underwritten registered public offering of 10,000,000 shares of common stock at $6.73 per share.  New York Mortgage also granted the underwriters an option to purchase up to an additional 1,500,000 shares of common stock.  The proceeds will be used to purchase more assets.

New York Mortgage has an equity summary score of 9.0 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.  First Call analysts’ consensus has a Buy rating of 2.0.  New York Mortgage has a 12-month price target of $8.25.

New York Mortgage invests in mortgage-related and financial assets and targets multi-family CMBS and Agency RMBS, including Agency RMBS consisting of adjustable-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate RMBS and Agency IOs consisting of interest only and inverse interest only RMBS that represent the right to the interest component of the cash flow from a pool of mortgage loans.

Sunoco Logistics Partners offers a 3.95% Dividend Yield

Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (NYSE: SXL), headquartered in Philadelphia, is a master limited partnership that owns and operates a logistics business consisting of a geographically diverse portfolio of complementary pipeline, terminalling and crude oil acquisition and marketing assets.

Operating income for the second quarter 2012 increased to a record level compared to the prior year period due primarily to expanded crude oil volumes and margins which were the result of expansion in our crude oil trucking fleet and market related opportunities in West Texas. Operating results were further improved by increased volumes from the assets acquired from Texon L.P. in the third quarter of 2011.

Sunoco Logistics Partners net income attributable to partners for the second quarter 2012 of $152 million ($1.28 per unit diluted), compared with $94 million ($0.80 per unit diluted) for the second quarter 2011. Additionally, Sunoco Partners LLC, the general partner of the Partnership, declared a cash distribution for the second quarter 2012 of $0.47 per common unit ($1.88 annualized).  This represents a 10 percent increase over the first quarter 2012 cash distribution of $0.4275 per common unit ($1.71 annualized) and a 16 percent increase over the second quarter 2011 distribution of $0.4050 per common unit ($1.62 annualized).  Sunoco Logistics Partners has a current dividend yield of 3.95% and a 5-year average annual dividend growth rate of 10.98%.

Sunoco Logistics Partners has several projects in process to increase their fee-based services in 2013.  Permian Express Phase I, a crude oil pipeline project currently in open season, provides West Texas producers and Gulf Coastrefiners with a fast and flexible crude oil solution. It is expected to be operational in the first quarter of 2013 at an initial capacity of 90,000 barrels per day, with full capacity of 150,000 barrels per day on-line in the second half of 2013.

Allegheny Access, a refined products pipeline project currently in open season, will transport refined products from the Midwest to markets in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania. It is expected to be operational in the first half of 2014 with an initial capacity of 85,000 barrels per day and will be expandable to 110,000 barrels per day.

Sunoco Logistics Partners has a projected 5-year EPS growth rate of 20%.  Sunoco Logistics Partners has an equity summary score of 9.8 out of 10 for a Very Bullish Outlook.  Sunoco Logistics Partners has a 12-month target price of $52.

Get an 11% Dividend Yield from this Private Equity Company

Kohlberg Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: KCAP) is a private equity and venture capital firm specializing in mid market, buyouts, and mezzanine investments. It focuses on mature and middle market companies.

For the three months ended June 30, 2012, Kohlberg Capital reported total investment income of approximately $9.5 million, as compared to approximately $6.1 million for the three months ended June 30, 2011. Investment income from debt securities increased 30% to $2.7 millionas a result of the continued growth in their debt securities portfolio.  Their debt securities portfolio was $143.3 million at June 30, 2012, as compared to $114.7 million at December 31, 2011.   At June 30, 2012, the fair value of KCAP Financial’s investments totaled approximately $299 million.

KCAP Financial is projected to increase EPS by 20% in FY 12 and 18% in FY 13.  KCAP Financial is up 35% in price over the past 52 weeks.

For the second quarter of 2012, KCAP Financial increased its dividend 33% to$0.24 per share from the 2012 first quarter dividend of $0.18 per share. KCAP Financial has a current dividend yield of 11.06%.

Dayl Pearson, chairman and chief executive officer, noted, “As expected, our strong second quarter results are indicative of the full and successful integration of Trimaran Advisors and to the continued performance of our investment portfolio, as we migrate to higher yielding middle market loans.”

On August 25, 2012 Columbine Capital Services, Inc. upgraded KCAP FINANCIAL INC from NEUTRAL to FAVORABLE.

On August 21, Zacks Investment Research, Inc. upgraded KCAP FINANCIAL INC from HOLD to BUY.

On August 17, KCAP Financial is upgraded to Buy from Hold at Stifel Nicolaus.

Kohlberg Capital has an equity summary score of 7.5 out of 10 for a Bullish Outlook.  Analysts at First Call have a 2.0 rating for a Buy recommendation.  Kohlberg Capital has a 12-month price target of $9.50, a 10% increase from current stock price.

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