Monday, October 17, 2016

4 Communications Services Stocks With Increasing Dividends

Morningstar defines the Communications Services sector as "Companies that provide communication services using fixed-line networks or those that provide wireless access and services. This sector also includes companies that provide internet services such as access, navigation and internet related software and services."

When looking at the companies in the Communications Services sector it is a dichotomy of haves and have nots. Half the companies have high yields, while the other half have low yields. Some are more heavily tied to the declining "land-line" industry, while others are aggressively growing their wireless business.

Probably more than any other sector, the astute investor looking for Communications Services dividend stocks has to spend significant time understanding each company. Where it is positioned? What is its strategic plan? How does it plan to get there?

This week, I screened my Dividend Growth Stocks database for Communications Services companies with a yield above 2.0%. The results are presented below:

Telephone and Data Systems Inc. (TDS) is a services company that provides wireline service in rural markets and is the majority owner of regional wireless carrier U.S. Cellular. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1923 and has increased its dividend payments for 13 consecutive years. Yield: 2.2%

Shaw Communications Inc. (SJR) is a Canadian communications company provides broadband cable television, Internet, digital phone, direct-to-home satellite services and media primarily in Canada. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1932 and has increased its dividend payments for 49 consecutive years. Yield: 1.9%

Verizon Communications Inc. (VZ) is the largest U.S. wireless carrier, Verizon also offers wireline and broadband services primarily in the northeastern U.S. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1984 and has increased its dividend payments for 12 consecutive years. Yield: 4.6%

AT&T Inc. (T), formerly SBC Communications, provides telephone and broadband service and holds full ownership of AT&T Mobility. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1984 and has increased its dividend payments for 33 consecutive years. Yield: 4.9%

As with past screens, the data presented above is in its raw form. Some of the the companies would be disqualified for poor dividend fundamentals. However some of the others may be worth additional due diligence.

My database, D4L-Data, is an Open Office spreadsheet containing more than 20 columns of information on the 250+ companies that I track. The data is sortable and has built-in buttons and macros to make it easy to use. Companies included in the list are those that have had a history of dividend growth. The D4L-Data spreadsheet is a part of D4L-Premium Services and is updated each Saturday for subscribers.

Full Disclosure: No position in the aforementioned securities. See a list of all my Dividend Growth Portfolio holdings here.

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