dividend stocks fall 2023

4 Dividend Stocks to Buy in Fall 2023

The American stock market has struggled in September 2023, a historically volatile month. The combination of higher interest rates and oil prices has taken the wind out of the market’s momentum.

However, many equities are mispriced as investors fret about the future and focus on tech and growth companies. This fact presents investors with some bargains. Moreover, buying dividend growth stocks or adding to existing positions makes sense when they are bargains.

Below are four dividend stocks to buy in Fall 2023.


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4 Dividend Stocks to Buy in Fall 2023

American Tower

American Tower (AMT) is one of the few publicly traded data center REITs. The company owns and operates United States data center facilities and more than 226,000 communication sites globally in 25 countries. The communication sites are cell phone towers, like monopole, lattice, guyed, and stealth types. 

American Tower usually owns the tower structure and can support four to five tenants. The tenants typically own and operate the antenna equipment, base station, and HVAC. The REIT grows by adding more towers and leasing more space on them. The leases with escalators are 5 to 10 years long and are typically non-cancellable, providing for a consistent recurring revenue stream. Moreover, the transition to 4G, LTE, 5G, and more device connections drives demand for more data capacity.

In 2021, American Tower acquired CoreSite Realty, adding 20 interconnected data center facilities.

The Trust’s strategy works well because rental revenues have grown annually over the past five years from ~$7,314 million in 2018 to $10,470 million in 2022. Operating income has trended up, too. However, net income has fluctuated more because of asset write-downs.

American Tower has rewarded shareholders with 13 years of increasing dividends, making the stock a Dividend Contender. The dividend growth rate is about 17.5% in the past five years and 21% in the last decade. Because the real estate sector has struggled in 2022 and 2023, the forward dividend yield has climbed to 3.9%.

The declining share price has caused the valuation to fall in parallel. The REIT trades at a forward price-to-FFO of ~17X. Investors seeking a market leader with a wide moat should look at this stock.

Portfolio Insight - Dividend Growth AMT
Source: Portfolio Insight*

Dollar General

Next on this list of 4 dividend stocks to buy in Fall 2023 is Dollar General (DG), the ubiquitous dollar store retailer. The company sells merchandise in four categories: consumables, seasonal, home products, and apparel. About 80% of its items are offered at $5 or less, with 77% of sales from consumables. Dollar General operated 19,488 stores as of May 5, 2023. Most stores are in towns with 20,000 or fewer people and are about 7,400 sq. ft. Total revenue was $37,845 million in 2022 and $37,807 million in the last twelve months.

Dollar General grows by adding more stores, increasing consumer traffic, and raising checkout amounts. The retailer is aggressive in adding stores, typically opening almost 1,000 annually. On top of that effort, it remodels hundreds to thousands of stores. Additionally, the company started the new pOpshelf store concept and is expanding internationally in Mexico for the first time. This blueprint has proven successful over time. Revenue has grown at ~9% on average each year, while earnings per share has grown even faster at 14.9%+ CAGR in the past decade.

The retailer only started paying dividends in 2012 and is a Dividend Challenger with nine annual increases. The plunging stock price has caused the dividend yield to spike to ~2.2%, the highest ever. Furthermore, the safety is solid with a conservative payout ratio of only 25%. This modest value will allow for more increases.

Dollar General’s share price is down a whopping 56% year-to-date because inflation and interest rates are stressing its core customers. The firm is facing challenges in 2023 but is still profitable. In the meantime, the earnings multiple has declined to ~13.6X, below the 5-year and 10-year ranges. Investors may want to dip into this stock now.

Portfolio Insight - Dividend Yield History DG
Source: Portfolio Insight*

Eversource Energy

Eversource Energy (ES) is a diversified utility in the Northeastern United States and number three out of the 4 dividend stocks to buy in Fall 2023. It is one of the few utilities in the country providing regulated water, gas, and electricity service. The utility serves more than four million customers in Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire.

The utility grows organically by increasing its base rate and adding more customers. It invests in transmission, distribution, and generation infrastructure and submits for rate increases with its regulator. The most significant project is the 1,735 MW offshore wind generation joint venture.

Because the northeast part of America grows slowly, Eversource Energy has acquired competitors. It purchased NStar’s Massachusetts utilities in 2012, Aquarion in 2017, and Columbia Gas in 2020. The growth plan is working, as total revenue has increased annually since 2018, and net income has trended up.

Eversource Energy became a Dividend Champion in 2023 with 25 consecutive years of increases. The company plans to increase the dividend at a 5% to 7% compound annual rate, the same as earnings growth. Moreover, the dividend is safe with a 62% payout ratio and a lower to upper medium investment grade credit rating. The forward dividend yield is 4.3%, the highest in a decade. In addition, the dividend quality grade is outstanding at an ‘A+.’

Like almost all utilities, the share price has been under pressure because of rising interest rates. The price-to-earnings ratio is the lowest since the worst months of the COVID-19 pandemic. We view the stock as a long-term buy.

Portfolio Insight - P_E Fair Value (Non-GAAP EPS) ES
Source: Portfolio Insight*

Related Articles About Eversource Energy (ES) on Dividend Power


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General Mills

General Mills (GIS) is a company almost everyone knows. It sells over 100 packaged food brands, like Cheerios, Old El Paso, Cascadian Farms, Chex, Blue Buffalo, Yoplait, Fiber One, Bisquick, Muir Glen, Haagen-Daz, Pillsbury, etc. In addition, the firm is one of the largest in the packaged foods business, with total revenues of $22,094 million in fiscal 2022 and $20,281 million in the trailing twelve months.

The firm grows through product extensions, buying bolt-on brands, expanding distribution, price hikes, and M&A. The packaged foods business is fiercely competitive, but General Mills is a market leader and consolidator. Over time, the company has grown, and revenue and EPS have increased annually since 2018.

That said, General Mills had a tailwind during the pandemic but is now facing headwinds. Consumers are no longer eating at home as much, and sales volumes are falling. Margins are also under pressure because of inflation. The packed food company has raised prices appreciably to counter inflation’s impact.

General Mills’s dividend growth streak is only four years because it paused raises in 2019 after the Blue Buffalo acquisition. However, it has not made a dividend cut for 122 years, signifying the strength of its business model. The forward dividend yield is ~3.6%, slightly above the 5-year average. But the dividend is only growing from 1% to 2% annually. The moderate payout ratio of approximately 53% gives confidence about the safety.

The share price is under pressure and down 22% for the year, and the P/E ratio is ~14.5X. We see the stock as undervalued and a long-term buy.

Portfolio Insight - P_E Fair Value (Non-GAAP EPS) GIS
Source: Portfolio Insight*

Disclosure: Long DG, GIS

A version of this post by Dividend Power originally appeared on Investor Place and was republished with permission.

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Here are my recommendations:

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Prakash Kolli is the founder of the Dividend Power site. He is a self-taught investor, analyst, and writer on dividend growth stocks and financial independence. His writings can be found on Seeking Alpha, InvestorPlace, Business Insider, Nasdaq, TalkMarkets, ValueWalk, The Money Show, Forbes, Yahoo Finance, and leading financial sites. In addition, he is part of the Portfolio Insight and Sure Dividend teams. He was recently in the top 1.0% and 100 (73 out of over 13,450) financial bloggers, as tracked by TipRanks (an independent analyst tracking site) for his articles on Seeking Alpha.

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