Stocks to buy

One thing that you always have to be aware of with dividend stocks is the yield. Yes, high-yielding stocks are appealing. But often, a dividend stock has an outsized yield because the stock price tumbled, robbing you of returns. What you want are safe high-yield dividend stocks.

Safe high-yield dividend stocks may not have a ridiculously high yield, but they are as good or better than the average dividend stock on the market. You also can have confidence that the yield will stay intact without sacrificing the stock price.

That’s important for dividend investors. Many chasing yield do so because they rely on the quarterly or monthly income to supplement their retirement checks. Dividend investors often need that income to keep their retirement plans on track.

I suggest using the Portfolio Grader and the Dividend Grader to help identify the best safe high-yield dividend stocks to buy today. Here are seven that have outstanding scores.

Ford (F)

Ford (NYSE:F) is one of the original “Big Three” Detroit automotive companies. While the automotive market is more diversified, Ford stays relevant and even thrives.

Earnings in the first quarter showed revenue of $41.47 billion, up more than 20% from the previous year. Income was $1.76 billion, or 44 cents in earnings per share.

The company is reporting second-quarter earnings on July 27, but early indications are that it will be another solid report. Ford announced sales gains of 11.2% in the second quarter, while truck sales jumped by 26.2%.

The F-150 Lightning electric vehicle saw sales up 119% from a year ago and 4.1% from the first quarter.

Ford nearly doubled its dividend in April, from 8 cents per share to 15 cents per share, giving it a solid yield of almost 4%. And it’s already announced the yield will stay at 15 cents for the third quarter.

F stock is up 30% this year and gets a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

New York Community Bancorp (NYCB)

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Regional banks are typically good to avoid this year because we’ve already had three that failed. But with every rule, there’s an exception. That brings us to an outstanding regional bank, New York Community Bancorp (NYSE:NYCB).

NYCB is a hot banking stock and a safe high-yield dividend stock because it bought most of the deposits and $13 billion in loans of failed Signature Bank (OTCMKTS:SBNY).

The deal is a huge win for New York Community Bancorp, taking Signature’s discounted assets to shore up its balance sheet. The bank now has $123.8 billion in assets, a gain of 37% from the previous quarter.

In the year, NYCB is up 36%. Raymond James analyst Steve Moss says the bank will continue outperforming its peers.

“We also expect NYCB will report a stronger balance sheet because of capital generation and lower wholesale funding, post the March 2023 acquisition of SBNY from the FDIC. If NYCB can sustain these trends, and keep most of SBNY’s teams, we believe the stock’s valuation should re-rate meaningfully higher over time,” he said.

NYCM offers a dividend yield of 6% and has a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Exxon Mobil (XOM)

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Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) has long been among my top energy stocks. The global oil and gas conglomerate made $55.7 billion in profits last year. It’s on target in 2023 as well, even though oil prices are down from 2022.

Earnings in the first quarter were $84.18 billion in revenue and $11.43 billion in income, or $2.83 per share. It’s also doing a great job of taking care of shareholders; the dividend of 91 cents per share equates to a yield of 3.4% and a payout ratio of less than 40%.

Exxon repurchased $4.3 billion in shares in the first quarter, with plans to buy back $17.5 billion in shares in 2023.

Exxon raised its dividend yearly for the last 40 years, so investors can feel confident that the yields will continue, even though the stock price is down 5% in 2023.

XOM gets a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Nordic American Tankers (NAT)

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When you think about great stocks to buy, I won’t blame you if you don’t immediately think of oil tankers cruising worldwide. But this is a lucrative business.

And you would be hard-pressed to find an oil tanker that’s safer than Nordic American Tankers (NYSE:NAT).

The company has 19 tankers with a cargo lifting capacity of 1 million barrels of oil.

Operating one of those tankers takes about $8,000 per day, but the time charter equivalent rate is $51,900. At that rate, Nordic American is virtually printing money.

If you’re looking for a cheap stock to buy, then Nordic American is also very interesting. Shares are less than $4 each, so you can buy a lot of shares for not a lot of money. The stock price is up 23% in 2023.

First-quarter earnings came in at 22 cents per share on profits of $46.9 million. The dividend yield is nearly 16%.

NAT stock has an “A” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Life Storage (LSI)

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Life Storage (NYSE:LSI) is a New York-based REIT in the self-storage business. There are more than 51,000 self-storage businesses in the U.S., with an annual revenue of $29 billion. Life Storage has more than 1,100 of those units in 37 U.S. states.

First-quarter earnings of $273.6 million beat analysts’ estimates for $264.5 million, although the company fell just short of expectations on EPS, bringing in 96 cents per share when the Street expected $1.04.

One item of note: Life Storage recently announced a dividend of 90 cents per share, less than its normal dividend of $1.20. But I don’t think that’s anything to worry about.

The company says the dividend is impacted by the company’s pending merger with Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR) that is expected to be completed later this month.

Life Storage says that if the deal doesn’t close as quickly as expected, Life Storage plans to pay a one time dividend that would make up for the shortfall.

LSI stock is up 40% this year, getting a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Wendy’s Company (WEN)

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Wendy’s Company (NASDAQ:WEN) is an Ohio-based fast-food burger chain made famous by late founder Dave Thomas’ ubiquitous commercial campaign and named for his daughter. It’s now the No. 3 burger chain in the U.S., with more than 7,000 locations.

First-quarter earnings include revenue of $528.8 million and EPS of 21 cents, better than analysts’ expectations for $522.4 million and 20 cents EPS.

The company’s also not afraid to experiment to keep up with technology and hopefully get a step ahead of its competitors. It’s begun incorporating AI automation into its drive-through ordering platform and is experimenting with an autonomous robot system to deliver food orders placed for pickup.

WEN stock provides a dividend yield of 4.7% and has a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

Enterprise Products Partners (EPD)

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REITs are the only income investment vehicles with a unique tax structure. Enterprise Products Partners (NYSE:EPD) is a master limited partnership based in Houston that provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids, oil and other products.

Master limited partnerships trade ownership shares publicly like a stock. The corporation pays taxes on earnings before it shares the windfall with investors as dividends. By taking advantage of tax benefits like depreciation and depletion, MLPs reduce the taxes on income and often provide sizable dividend yields.

EPD currently pays a 7.5% dividend yield. That includes a recent decision to increase the quarterly cash distribution to 50 cents per unit, a 2% increase from the last quarter and a 5% jump from a year ago.

Enterprise Products has a “B” rating in the Portfolio Grader.

On the date of publication, Louis Navellier had a long position in NAT and XOM. Louis Navellier did not have (either directly or indirectly) any other positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

The InvestorPlace Research Staff member primarily responsible for this article did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.

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