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7 Dividend Aristocrat Stocks to Buy in September for Gains and Stability

I’ll start by stating that any month is a great month to buy dividend aristocrat stocks. September is proving to be a volatile month in terms of economic headwinds posed by Covid-19. That has essentially been true for all of 2021, let’s hope 2022 is better.

But that volatility leaves investors searching for stability. That is of course where dividend aristocrat stocks come into the picture: Steady in the best of times and the worst of times. 

We often come across the term “dividend aristocrats” while searching for general investment advice, but what exactly defines this class of stocks?

Most investors know that in order to make the cut, a stock has to have a track record of 25 straight years of dividend increases. In addition, those stocks also have to be members of the S&P 500. I’d venture to guess that most investors didn’t know that there are standards beyond that. 

Dividend aristocrats must also meet a few other requirements including being valued at $3 billion or greater at the point of each quarterly rebalancing. On top of that, companies also have to record an average daily volume of $5 million for each trailing three month period at rebalancing. That means companies can and do fall off the list regularly. 

In 2021 Carrier Global (NYSE:CARR), Otis Worldwide (NYSE:OTIS), and Raytheon (NYSE:RTX) were all removed from the list. 

That should actually give confidence to investors because those that remain have dividend income and potential for capital appreciation. Let’s get into seven such picks right now. 

Amcor (NYSE:AMCR)  Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ)  Caterpillar (NYSE:CAT) Nucor (NYSE:NUE)  Roper Technologies (NYSE:ROP)  Chevron (NYSE:CVX)  AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) 

Dividend Aristocrat Stocks for September: Amcor (AMCR)  green beer bottles in a factory line, ready to be sealed. represents packaging companieSource: shutterstock.com/zedspider

Amcor, like almost all companies on this list, operates in an unsexy business: Packaging. Dividend aristocrats are generally old economy companies, so I won’t belabor the point. 

The point here is that Amcor provides packaging solutions across many markets: Beverages, food, healthcare, home care, personal care, pet care, specialty cartons, and technical applications. 

Let’s look at some metrics that matter to dividend investors. In particular, let’s look at Amcor’s growth and its dividend. 

The company’s most recent dividend of 11.8 cents provides a yield of 3.67%, that’s relatively high among the dividend aristocrats. The other thing to note about Amcor is that the AMCR stock has appreciated in price by 9.2% year-to-date. That’s a much higher return than you’ll receive on bonds or a savings account, and quite good in any case. 

Factor in an annualized dividend of 47 cents and that return rises even further. That’s the point with Amcor and the rest of the dividend bearing stocks on this list: Steady, reliable returns around 10% with all factors accounted for. That isn’t an easy feat to achieve even chasing growth stocks. And it’s much, much safer and more reliable.  

The good news is that Amcor is anticipating further growth. Per its most recent earnings report: “Fiscal 2022 outlook: Adjusted EPS growth of 7-11% on a comparable constant currency basis and Adjusted Free Cash Flow of $1.1-$1.2 billion. Allocating approximately $400 million of cash towards share repurchases.”

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)  jnj healthcare stocksSource: Raihana Asral / Shutterstock.com

Johnson & Johnson is likely the company on this list with the most attention on it. That is of course attributable to its role in the ongoing pandemic. 

The most recent news on that front relates to Covid-19 vaccine booster shots. Officials representing the Pfizer (NYSE:PFE)/BioNTech (NASDAQ:BNTX) vaccine, the Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) vaccine, and Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine are all seeking FDA approval for their vaccines as booster shots. 

It is very likely that approval for all three vaccine booster shots will be authorized by mid-September.

That should mean increased revenue at Johnson & Johnson from its pharmaceutical arm, the Janssen subsidiary. 

At this point, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that the JNJ vaccine will be approved as a booster shot. Beyond that, though, investors simply have a reputable dividend stock in Johnson & Johnson. 

The stock’s yield is 2.44% and recently increased from $1.01 to $1.06. So investors can count on between 2% and 3% return from its dividend. JNJ stock has also appreciated in price by 10% YTD, which only helps its appeal. 

Dividend Aristocrat Stocks for September: Caterpillar (CAT)  Image of a yellow construction vehicle with the Caterpillar (CAT) logo on itSource: astudio / Shutterstock.com

Caterpillar is a heavy equipment company, so it’s primed for success with the recent passing of the $1 trillion infrastructure plan in the U.S. Senate. A recent Wall Street Journal article summed up the idea through its title: “Ride the Global Construction Boom with Caterpillar.”

The article notes that Caterpillar should benefit from a cyclical recovery as the “developed world appears poised to embark on a multiyear construction binge.”

Countries are utilizing the current low interest rate environment to undertake these large projects. In the U.S. the $1 trillion infrastructure bill is moving its way through both houses of Congress and is one of few projects with bipartisan support. That all bodes well for Caterpillar of course. 

With Caterpillar, investors get a dividend bearing a 2.1% yield and a stock which has been appreciating in price. Year-to-date, CAT stock is up 16.4%. However, analysts believe there is further growth ahead based on their target stock prices. 

Their consensus target stock price is $233.49, 10.2% above current levels. That’s a nice return to aspire to and there’s safety even if it doesn’t quite reach those levels. 

Nucor (NUE)  a steel frame for a buildingSource: Shutterstock

Let’s begin by discussing Nucor’s price appreciation this year because it’s been quite phenomenal. In 2021 alone NUE stock has increased in price from $52 to $120. That’s exceptional for any class of stock, and unheard of among the dividend class. 

Based on analyst sentiment, Nucor has plateaued and should trade in its current range for the foreseeable future. The high analyst price is $142, but that should be taken as an outlier. 

The good news is that Nucor’s forward price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 6.66 looks to be below the forward P/E ratio of the broader steel industry at 17.02. That suggests value following its massive rise.

The stock provides a modest yield of 1.34%, which of course increases return. 

And Nucor certainly has room to grow. It recently completed a $370 million purchase of Hannibal Steel on Aug. 23. And there’s plenty of growth left in the steel industry. Steel prices are up 87% this year, hitting $1,900 a ton. 

Analysts believe that those price levels will persist for some time. Nucor will benefit handsomely should that prove true. 

Dividend Aristocrat Stocks for September: Roper Technologies (ROP)  Image of Roper Technologies logo visible on display screenSource: IgorGolovniov / Shutterstock.com

Roper Technologies is an under the radar business in the sense that it isn’t a household name. The company was recently mentioned in a Barron’s article discussing the importance of water as both a resource and an asset class. It mentioned Roper Technologies in relation to the company’s water metering solutions, but the company operates across multiple industries and services. 

Roper Technologies sells software, analytics, measurement and process technology solutions across lots and lots of verticals. The business isn’t likely to appear attractive to outsiders, but growth is clearly there. 

While Roper Technologies’ dividend only provides a 0.47% yield, the stock itself has appreciated at a healthy pace. Year-to-date it has risen by 12%. That’s part of a broader trend over the past few years. 

ROP stock has steadily increased from under $300 to near $500 within the last 3 years. There’s no indication that the company will increase its dividend drastically anytime soon, but it could if it chose to: Its dividend payout ratio is 0.22 and anything up to 0.50 is considered very sustainable. 

Chevron (CVX)  Chevron (CVX) logo on gas station sign with "diesel" and "food mart" written underneathSource: Sundry Photography / Shutterstock.com

Big Oil stocks are becoming less and less of a fixture on the dividend aristocrat list. Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE:RDS.A, NYSE:RDS.B) famously cut its dividend for the first time since World War II in April of last year.

Some have speculated that Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) could be next. Chevron, though, has continued, raising its dividend from $1.29 to $1.34 back in May. That equates to a strong 5.45% yield for the stock. It must be noted that questions regarding the sustainability of Chevron’s dividend persist as well. CVX stock certainly carries a bit of risk due to that.

That dividend payout ratio is 2.79 meaning that Chevron is paying $2.79 in dividends for every $1 of net income. As you can imagine, that isn’t something a company can sustain in the long run.

The hope is that the metric will fall as business normalizes for Chevron. If the economy rebounds, more people will be driving and Chevron will benefit. That could mean that CVX stock will approach the $124.40 target price analysts have assigned to it. In that case, everything will be going better for the company and dividend worries will likely have subsided.

Dividend Aristocrat Stocks for September: AbbVie (ABBV) ABBV Stock: Offering Oil Yield Without Oil's RiskSource: Piotr Swat / Shutterstock.com

AbbVie has multiple factors working in its favor as a stock: It has shown strong growth YTD, it bears a strong dividend and it is well regarded. Those are among the reasons that it ends this list of dividend aristocrat stocks to buy in September.

Year-to-date, ABBV stock has increased from $105 to $120. It also bears a dividend yield of 4.31% which well exceeds returns from many assets by itself. Finally, analysts have it rated overweight and see it rising to $127.30 per share.

AbbVie reported strong revenue growth in its latest earnings report. The $13.959 billion it recorded in revenues in Q2 worldwide represented an increase of 33.9%

The hope is that with Humira sales slowing somewhat,  the company can replace them with drugs including Skyrizi. Overall the company has managed to improve its sales so the issues look to be well under control.

On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

Alex Sirois is a freelance contributor to InvestorPlace whose personal stock investing style is focused on long-term, buy-and-hold, wealth-building stock picks. Having worked in several industries from e-commerce to translation to education and utilizing his MBA from George Washington University, he brings a diverse set of skills through which he filters his writing.

7 Hot Post-Pandemic Stocks Set to Soar

Companies rushed to have their employees work from home as governments imposed locked downs. This led to a goldrush in stay-at-home investments, particularly for technology firms. Software companies that enabled virtual meetings and remote working flourished while other sectors floundered.

Now that countries in the developed world have rolled out vaccinations, investors should consider hot post-pandemic stocks that are poised to soar.

The hardest-hit sectors of the pandemic market include tourism and travel. The energy and automotive markets also suffered from lower travel volumes. Looking ahead to the fall, countries with the highest vaccination rates have lower risks of facing hospitalization rates. That makes it a perfect time to buy into post-pandemic stocks, before the market catches on.

Here are 7 hot post-pandemic stocks to consider:

Airbnb (NASDAQ:ABNB) Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) General Motors (NYSE:GM) Las Vegas Sands (NYSE:LVS) Match Group (NASDAQ:MTCH) Norwegian Cruise Line (NYSE:NCLH) Zoom Video Communications (NASDAQ:ZM)

While the risk of coronavirus variants undermining vaccine impact is present, drug companies are ready to respond. Investors should still reposition their portfolios to maximize their potential returns in a world after Covid-19. So let’s take a closer look at some of the best post-pandemic stocks to buy now.

Post-Pandemic Stocks to Buy: Airbnb (ABNB) A close-up shot of the Airbnb (ABNB) app on a smartphone screen.Source: AngieYeoh / Shutterstock.com

Due to travel coming to a standstill last year, Airbnb’s business growth stalled. Yet it still posted revenue tripling to $1.34 billion from the year prior.

Gross booking value of $13 billion smashed past analyst consensus estimates of $11.19 billion. The firm posted bookings of 83.1 million, double from last year, and recovering to the same pre-Covid levels.

New booking trends will emerge now and after the pandemic. For example, ABNB stock will benefit from higher gross nights booked. The company also introduced new product innovations to adjust to the new ways that people travel.

In February, the company launched Flexible Dates; customers have since run 500 million searches using the tool (from slide 4). That strong interaction illustrates how ABNB continues to meet customer demand.

In Q2, active listings grew. Higher non-urban listings in Europe and North America will drive ABNB’s revenue higher.

On Wall Street, analysts have an average price target of $180 (per Tipranks).

Exxon Mobil (XOM) A view of a well-lit Exxon Mobil (XOM) gas station in Pasadena, CA during nighttime. representing exxon mobil stockSource: Michael Gordon / Shutterstock.com

Among the many oil and gas companies to consider, Exxon is a widely held stock for post-pandemic investing.

In the second quarter, Exxon posted earnings per share of $1.10 on earnings of $4.7 billion. XOM certainly didn’t hold back on capital and exploration activities either, spending $3.8 billion in the period.

In the second half of the year, Exxon will ramp up key project activities. This includes Guyana, Brazil, Permian and Chemical projects.

Yet despite $9.7 billion in cash flow from operations, Exxon did not resume its stock buyback. This is a mistake.

Exxon could increase shareholder returns by buying back stock. Still, by reducing its debt instead, the firm will have less exposure to the risks of higher interest rates. Besides, the stock is now trading at a 52-week low. Shareholders also get rewarded by a dividend that yields around 6%.

Higher energy demand as travel resumes will lift Exxon’s revenue. Management will sustain robust returns through new projects. The firm has around $4 billion in potential annual earnings from new projects (per slide 19).

General Motors (GM) Source: Jonathan Weiss / Shutterstock.com

In the automotive sector, General Motors is a strong contender in the electric vehicle market. And as workers return to work physically, demand for gas-powered GM vehicles will also rise.

In the second quarter, GM posted revenue of $34.2 billion, recovering from last year’s depressed $16.8 billion in revenue. It earned $1.90 a share, compared to a 56-cent EPS-diluted loss last year. GM expects full-year EPS in the range of $5.12 to $6.12.

Despite a chip shortage and heavy costs from its electrification plans, GM will produce its high demand vehicles first; strong full-size pickup sales will lift average unit sales.

Consumers eager to spend in the post-pandemic world may order GM’s Hummer EV. Companies may buy GM’s BrightDrop EV 600 commercial EV. And in 2022, GM will have an all-electric Cadillac Lyriq SUV.

Chevrolet’s Bold next year is likewise getting good reviews from critics. Strong EV sales will lead to GM raising next year’s forecasts.

Las Vegas Sands (LVS) a red sign with the Las Vegas Sands logoSource: Andy Borysowski / Shutterstock.com

Casino stocks slumped over the past few months, with Las Vegas Sands leading the decliners. As tourism recovers, people will visit casinos and stay at Las Vegas Sands’s resorts.

In the second quarter, LVS posted net revenue of $1.17 billion, up from $62 million last year. LVS stock fell because the company posted an operating loss of $139 million.

In the period, LVS announced the sale of Las Vegas real property and operations for $6.25 billion. This will help it lower its debt, which stood at $14.42 billion as of June 30, 2021.

LVS is a pure-play on the pandemic recovery in Asia. While North America’s vaccination rates are good, Asia is lagging, with many Asian countries facing rising infection rates. On the conference call, Chief Executive Officer Rob Goldstein said that China adopts a no-tolerance policy on Covid. So if there is an outbreak, it will be widely reported and the country returns to lockdown.

LVS expects the best-case scenario in the region to be steady business activity among China, Hong Kong, and Macao only.

Match Group (MTCH) mobile phone screen displaying match group's (MTCH) logoSource: Shutterstock

The online dating scene thrived as the lockdown intensified. Now that re-openings allow users to meet in person, Match Group will likely continue to grow.

In the second quarter, Match posted second-quarter revenue of $708 million and up by 27.6% YoY. Adjusted EBITDA of $263 million is an increase of 15% compared to the year ago period.

In the third quarter, MTCH stock should get a lift. The company is guiding revenue of up to $805 million, above the consensus estimate of $765.94 million.

Paying subscribers grew in the double digits for all regions. In the Americas, it grew by 16% to 7.9 million. In Europe, subscribers grew by 13% YoY to 4.33 million. In the Asian Pacific region, it grew by 17% to 2.74 million.

In the near term, Match could post revenue growth above 30% as people seek soulmates online. In the next decade, investors may reasonably expect growth of 15% to 20%.

On Wall Street, the average price target is $175 and ranges from $148 to $190 (per Tipranks).

Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) Norwegian Pearl, a Norwegian Cruise Line (NCLH) ship, in the middle of the oceanSource: Vytautas Kielaitis/shutterstock.com

Investors might be worried by Norwegian’s losses in the second quarter. What really matters are advanced ticket sales, bookings, and pricing trends.

In the second quarter, the cruise line said that 2022 booking and pricing trends are very positive. It is benefiting from pent-up demand. For the full year 2022 period, NCLH will have bookings ahead of 2019 levels. Advance ticket sales were $1.4 billion.

The return to service plan is the biggest near-term catalyst. This starts with a multi-layered health and safety strategy, detailed on slide 4.

The company committed to a 100% vaccination of all guests and crew. Then, it will relaunch all 28 of the company’s vessels embarking within and outside the U.S. by April 2022.

A widespread sell-off could scare investors away from NCLH stock, given its weak balance sheet. As of June 30, 2021, NCLH had total debt of $12.3 billion. It held cash and cash equivalents worth $2.8 billion.

Zoom Video Communications (ZM) Zoom (ZM) logo on a buildingSource: Michael Vi / Shutterstock.com

Zoom Video is the hottest post-pandemic stock. The video conferencing firm will grow if countries re-impose a lockdown due to the pandemic. Conversely, companies will start with a hybrid return-to-work model. With a staggered rollout of workers at work, corporations still need to attend video conferences.

If the hybrid work environment is here to stay for the next few years, then Zoom’s revenue will steadily grow. Furthermore, Zoom faces no real competition. Cisco’s (NASDAQ:CSCO) WebEx is too restrictive. Even though it is widely used, Microsoft’s (NASDAQ:MSFT) Teams App has an inferior user experience compared to Zoom.

Last month, Zoom agreed to buy Five9 (NASDAQ:FIVN) for $14.7 billion in an all-stack deal. The acquisition will help Zoom strengthen its presence with enterprise clients. It widens its addressable market as Zoom enters the contact center market worth $24 billion. By paying in stock only, Zoom is taking advantage of the recent share price strength.

Zoom and Five9 have a natural fit. Five9 is already a referral partner of choice for Zoom phone. The two firms are also located in the same state of California.

On the date of publication, Chris Lau did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.