Dividend stocks are often associated with the value factor, but not all dividend-payers are inexpensive. In fact, those with quality traits, such as enviable dividend growth, can and do command premium multiples.
Good news for income investors: Some quality dividend stocks are attractively valued today. Investors looking to access multiple dividend equities with compelling valuations can turn to exchange traded funds, including the WisdomTree U.S. Total Dividend Fund (DTD).
The $1.06 billion DTD weights member firms by dividends “to reflect the proportionate share of the aggregate cash dividends each component company is projected to pay in the coming year,” according to WisdomTree.
In other words, DTD isn’t a dedicated high-dividend ETF, but its methodology can turn up a basket of stocks with healthy payout growth prospects. That’s certainly a quality trait.
“The management teams at these companies are focused on delivering a growing cash stream to their shareholders–and income is a key component of total return. That’s a shareholder-friendly mindset,” says Morningstar’s Susan Dziubinski.
There are other long-term benefits to DTD’s methodology, including providing investors access to a broad group of companies with sturdy balance sheets and inflation-fighting capabilities. After all, dividend growth outpaces inflation on a historical basis, which is clearly a relevant consideration today, as the Consumer Price Index (CPI) moves higher on a seemingly monthly basis.
“Moreover, companies that consistently ratchet up their dividends are usually profitable and financially healthy–two especially valuable qualities during a market downturn,” adds Dziubinski. “Last, dividend-growth stocks provide some inflation protection, which is a plus for retirees in particular.”
Among the names that Dziubinski highlights as undervalued are tech giants Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Intel (NASDAQ:INTC). Microsoft is DTD’s largest holding at a weight of 4.05%, while semiconductor behemoth Intel is also a member of the ETF’s portfolio. Overall, DTD has a 15.55% allocation to tech stocks, its second-largest sector exposure behind financial services.
Pharmaceuticals giant Merck (NYSE:MRK) and media conglomerate Comcast (NASDAQ:CMCSA) are also on the Morningstar list and are both DTD components.
Air Products and Chemicals (NYSE:APD) is an example of a basis materials dividend payer that’s undervalued today, according to Morningstar. That stock is also a DTD holding.
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The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.