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3 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With at Least 5% Dividend Yield

Americans went to the polls today under the shadow of a resurging pandemic, with a substantial increase in cases nationwide and the number of people hospitalized with COVID-19 reaching record highs in a growing number of states. Meanwhile, it’s still unclear what a second stimulus package from the federal government may look like and how long it will be until that arrives.To add fuel to this, there are several European governments that are starting to lock down their respective countries all over again in order to prevent the further spread of COVID.With all of this uncertainty, what is an investor to do? Adding dividend stocks as a potential defensive play can add protection to your portfolio.We’ve opened up the TipRanks database, finding three stocks whose profile justifies the entry risk in today’s conditions. All three offer at least 5% dividend yield, and backed by several analysts, enough to earn a “strong buy” consensus rating. Let’s take a closer loo. AbbVie (ABBV)AbbVie is a pharmaceutical company, one of Big Pharma’s major names. Pharmaceutical and biotech companies are known for their combination of high risk and high reward potential. The rewards and risks are both typified in Humira, the company’s successful immunosuppressive anti-inflammatory drug. Humira is expected to bring in ~40% of AbbVie’s 2020 drug division revenues – but with an expired patent, competition is growing. Against this backdrop, AbbVie had acquired another pharmaceutical company, Allergan, that increased top-line revenues by $16B for AbbVie while the combined companies bring in $2B in synergies. The acquisition showed investors that AbbVie is simultaneously looking beyond their holdings in Humira.Future guidance has revenues moving higher along with earnings. Guidance on revenues has been increased to $10.47 – $10.49 EPS versus $10.35 – $10.45 EPS. The earnings were enough to allow management to raise the dividend from $1.18 to $1.30. At $5.20 annualized, this dividend yields 6.11%, more than 2.5x the average dividend found among S&P listed companies. The payout ratio of 49.7% indicates that the dividend is safe – current earnings easily cover it, and there is plenty of room for further growth.Covering the stock for SVB Leerink, analyst Geoff Porges noted, “AbbVie had another strong beat and raise in Q3, demonstrating their very resilient business during the pandemic and highlighting strong growth prospects for their core business. Guidance was once again raised, and the company’s comments about mid- to long-term revenue potential for their core products were very positive […] AbbVie’s valuation seems very attractive at today’s price, and we see substantial upside potential as we expect the stock to revert to its more normalized absolute and relative multiple after the current election blues are resolved in the new year.”To this end, Porges rates AbbVie an Outperform (i.e. Buy) along with a $119 price target. This figure suggests a potential upside of 35% over the next year. (To watch Porges track record, click here)Overall, Wall Street is very bullish on Abbvie. There are a total of 8 ratings; 7 Buys and 1 Hold — all add up to a Strong Buy consensus rating. The stock’s current price is $88 and the average price target is $110.13 suggesting 25% one-year upside move. (See ABBV stock analysis on TipRanks)WesBanco (WSBC)Next up is WesBanco, a bank operating in the region of western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio and Kentucky with 236 branches. The pandemic has struck financial institutions because of loans in default. Loan losses, or their potential, have forced banks and lenders to start building up reserve ratios and set aside revenue for loan losses.WesBanco has spent the past two quarters building up their reserve ratio with a large amount being set aside in Q2 and a smaller amount in Q3 and currently has an above-peer ratio level.Turning to the dividend, WSBC currently pays out 32 cents per common share, and even in the coronavirus crisis it held that payment steady. The 52-cent payment annualizes to $1.32 per share, and gives a considerable yield of 5.16%.Raymond James analyst William Wallace is standing squarely with the bulls, noting: “PTPP earnings came in above expectations as noted, driven largely by lower operating expenses and higher fee income. Ultimately, we expect investors to remain honed in on credit in the nearer-term, where the company’s bolstered reserve continues to provide us with a certain degree of comfort. All in, with shares trading essentially in line with peers, we continue to view the risk/reward dynamic positively given the company’s solid capital levels (+9% TCE), along with both promising core earnings and deferral trends.”Unsurprisingly, Wallace rates WesBanco an Outperform (i.e. Buy) along with a $29 price target. This target suggests a potential upside of 15% over the next year. (To watch Wallace’s track record, click here)Wallace is not the only fan of WSBC on Wall Street, as TipRanks analytics exhibit the stock as a Strong Buy. Based on 4 analysts tracked in the last 3 months, 3 rate the stock a Buy, while one says Hold. The 12-month average price target stands at $26.88, marking a 6.5% upside from where the stock is currently trading. (See WSBC stock analysis on TipRanks)CatchMark Timber (CTT)CatchMark Timber is an owner and operator of timberlands located in various parts of the country. The pandemic has not directly affected the timber industry. However, timber itself has maintained higher prices as home builders in the United States have seen increased demand. A lot of this new demand is generated from individuals moving out of cities into suburban areas.In the most recent quarter, Q3 2020 EBITDA for CatchMark Timber was above expectations coming in at $12.4MM versus $11MM consensus. The above-expectation earnings were attributed to cost controls from logging and hauling as well as SG&A costs. At the same time that CatchMark reported Q1 earnings, it also declared the Q3 dividend. The payment remains steady at 13.5 cents per share, yielding a solid 6%. The company has a 6-year history of keeping up its dividend payments, in all economic conditions.Adding to the good news, RBC Capital analyst Paul Quinn, rated 5-stars with TipRanks, has upgraded CTT to Outperform (i.e. Buy), while keeping his price target at $10. (To watch analyst track record, click here)As Quinn states, “CatchMark reported Q3 results that were in line with our forecasts but above consensus expectations. Although there have been minimal changes in business prospects over the last few months, CatchMark shares have moved in a wide range around our target price of $10. With the share price having pulled back to an attractive level and future prospects remaining solid, we are increasing our rating.”Overall, CTT’s Strong Buy analyst consensus is derived from 3 “buy” and 1 “hold” ratings. Shares are priced at $8.91, and the average price target of $10.88 indicates potential for 22% growth. (See CTT stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks’ Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks’ equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

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