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UBS Dividend Ruler Stocks Keep Raising Payouts: 4 to Buy Now – 24/7 Wall St.

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One thing that should be a huge tailwind for investors in the near future is stocks that provide solid total return. With the market priced to perfection, stocks that pay dividends and have the chance to go higher in value can provide the total return that may become crucial, as advances in the market probably will slow down going forward.

In a new research report, the portfolio team that runs UBS’s Dividend Ruler stocks was able to report a very solid earnings season from their companies. The report noted this:

For Dividend Ruler stocks, the earnings season has impressed. Twenty-six of the 30 Dividend Ruler stocks have reported results and aggregate earnings should be up 18% versus year-ago levels; 13% excluding the out sized percentage earnings gains from the two energy companies in our model portfolio.

In addition, over the past two months four companies in the portfolio have raised their dividends. All four make good sense for long-term investors looking for sensible stocks to own, and the fact that three are based in Europe is an added bonus.

British American Tobacco

While many investors eschew tobacco stocks, this company is also focusing on smokeless products. British American Tobacco PLC (NYSE: BTI) is the largest European tobacco company and the second-largest listed global tobacco company. It has subsidiary operations in most major markets across the globe, other than in the United States, where it is represented by its 42% owned listed associate Reynolds-American. British American Tobacco is viewed as an industry consolidator.

The company’s solid brand portfolio makes it a Wall Street favorite, and it tends to outperform the market and has consistently gained market share. In addition, its 42% of Reynolds American provides sales of the popular Camel and Newport brands. The report noted:

The company pays a semiannual dividend and raised its interim payout by 10% in July after lifting its final dividend by 13% early in the year in February. Management noted in its second quarter earnings call that they “remain committed to rewarding shareholders with an increasing dividend.”

Shareholders receive a 3.37% dividend. The UBS price target was posted in British currency. The Wall Street consensus target is $78.93. Shares traded early Tuesday at $65.40.

Diageo

This is one of the largest producers of alcoholic beverages in the world. Diageo PLC (NYSE: DEO) produces, markets and sells beverages worldwide. It offers scotch whiskey, gin, vodka, rum, beer and spirits, Irish cream liqueurs, wine, Raki, tequila, Canadian and American whiskey, Cachaça, and brandy, as well as adult beverages and ready to drink products. The company’s premium brands include Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff, Captain Morgan, Baileys, Tanqueray and Guinness.

Diageo’s reserve brands include Johnnie Walker Blue Label, Johnnie Walker Green Label, Johnnie Walker Gold Label 18 year old, Johnnie Walker Gold Label Reserve, Johnnie Walker Platinum Label 18 year old, John Walker & Sons Collection, Johnnie Walker The Gold Route, Johnnie Walker The Royal Route and other Johnnie Walker super premium brands, as well as The Singleton, Cardhu, Talisker, Lagavulin and other malt brands.

The company pays a semiannual dividend, and after raising its interim dividend by 5% in January 2017, the company raised its final dividend by 5% again last month. Good news for investors looking for income.

Shareholders receive a 2.42% dividend. The UBS team has a Buy rating, but the price target also was posted in British currency. The Wall Street consensus price target is $141.19, and shares traded Tuesday at $133.10.