In 1857, John Henry Hopkins Jr. wrote “Three Kings of Orient,” the popular Christmas carol more commonly known today as “We Three Kings.” Based on the Biblical Magi who bore gold, frankincense, and myrrh, the song is about the importance of sacrifice — and believe it or not, it has investing connotations.
In stock investing, there are always choices to be made. At the core, picking prospective winners is a tradeoff between risk and reward. Then there are other decisions — U.S. versus international companies, growth versus value, and high or low volatility. Not to mention an array of industry groups.
Of course, the total return of a stock is ultimately what we’re after as investors. This includes both price growth and dividend payments. Opting for growth typically requires sacrificing stable income, and vice versa.
Investors that prefer stability should consider the Dividend Kings, the “perfect light” of perpetually increased dividends. These are companies that have raised their dividend in each of the last 50 years or more.
This elite group of 37 stocks comes from all sorts of sectors and has a range of yields, but have one thing in common — they are great long-term wealth builders. Yes, the tradeoff is usually lower price appreciation. However, given this year’s market selloff, for some, the near-term upside is better than usual.
Here are “Three Kings” that the wise men and women on Wall Street feel have a particularly good upside.
What is National Fuel Gas Company’s Annual Dividend Payout?
National Fuel Gas Company (NYSE: NFG) is a relatively new member of the Dividend Kings club having reached the 50-year mark in 2020. Yet the company carries a more distinguished trait. It is the only energy sector name to appear on the list.
Yes, it operates similarly to a utility, of which there are several among the Dividend Kings — but it is the only one classified as energy by virtue of its oil and natural gas production arm and pipelines.
The stock combines the steady nature of a regulated gas company with the growth potential of an E&P business. National Fuel has paid a dividend for 120 years with strong cash flow generation enabling it to raise its payout for 52 straight years. The $1.90 per share annual payout equates to a 3% forward yield.
Sell-side research firms are mostly bullish on National Fuel because of the rare combination of growth and shareholder value. It ended fiscal 2022 on a high note with 80% adjusted earnings growth, but management lowered its fiscal 2023 outlook on moderating natural gas prices. The Street sees this as a long-term opportunity. The consensus price target of $81.50 implies 29% upside.
What is ABM Industries’ Dividend Growth Streak?
ABM Industries Incorporated (NYSE: ABM) is a mid-cap company that provides building maintenance services. The steady nature of its service contracts generates consistent profits, a portion of which are passed on to shareholders in the form of dividends. ABM Industries is riding a 54-year dividend hike streak after boosting its quarterly dividend to $0.195 per share.
While the 1.7% dividend yield is roughly on par with the broader S&P 400, ABM Industries has above-market upside according to analysts that actively cover the stock. Current price targets range from $52 to $65 and the $58.50 average points to 29% upside.
ABM Industries is a late earnings season reporter scheduled to announce fiscal Q4 results on December 13th. The Street is forecasting 4% year-over-year EPS growth on 16% revenue growth. Not overwhelming figures but considering the company has topped EPS estimates in 7 straight quarters, it could be a good earnings play.
More importantly, ABM Industries screams stability and low risk. Its facilities management solutions — including engineering, electrical, lighting, HVAC, janitorial, and even landscaping and parking — are employed by a wide range of customers from hospitals and schools to airports and data centers. A track record of profitable growth, dividend increases and buybacks make this one to own for at least the next 12 months.
Does Nordson Corporation Have Good Upside?
Nordson Corporation (NASDAQ: NDSN) is another lesser-known industrials Dividend King. The diversified coatings and adhesives conglomerate is a poor man’s 3M — which is a fellow Dividend King along with sector peers Dover, Emerson Electric, Parker-Hannifan and Stanley Black & Decker.
Up nicely from its 2022 low but still, 12% below its 2021 record high, analysts see more room to run for Nordson. The consensus price target of $272 implies a 15% upside from here. Not too shabby for a low-volatility dividend grower.
Big things are expected for Norsdon’s upcoming fiscal Q4 earnings release. On December 14th, the Street will look for 24% year-over-year earnings growth reflecting strong end-market demand and effective cost-cutting measures. The company has surpassed EPS expectations in nine of the last 10 quarters.Aside from the dividend prowess, another reason to like Nordson long-term is the recent acquisition of CyberOptics, a leading global manufacturer of 3D sensing technologies. The addition is slated to boost Nordson’s semiconductor testing capabilities and may turn out to be well-timed given an anticipated rebound for chipmakers.