Dividend.com analyzes the search patterns of our visitors each week. By sharing these trends with our readers, we hope to provide insights into what the financial world is concerned about and how to position your portfolio.
Geopolitics, corporate earnings and managerial shake ups have headlined the financial markets in recent weeks. U.S. President Donald Trump launched his first international tour as head of state by signing a multi-billion-dollar arms deal with Saudi Arabia, a move that stoked fresh demand for defense stocks. The sector has outpaced the S&P 500 Index over the past three months on geopolitical uncertainty centered on Syria and North Korea.
This week, dividend investors also set their sights on a major U.K. utilities provider that recently announced a massive investment in its home market.
Meanwhile, Jim Hackett officially replaced Mark Fields as CEO of Ford Motors Co (F ), as one of the “Big Three” automakers aims to transform its business model to keep pace with the mobile economy.
Compare this week’s Trends report with our May 12 edition that looked at the outcome of the French presidential election.
National Grid Announces Big Investments in U.K.
Utilities giant National Grid Plc. (NGG ) saw its viewership spike 232% this week to take the No. 1 spot on our list. The stock cracked fresh seven-month highs last week after reporting better-than-expected quarterly earnings. However, the company quickly gave back those gains amid concerns about future growth.
National Grid has emerged as one of the world’s biggest utilities providers, and it has the investments to prove it. The company doled out a record £4.5 billion overhauling the U.K.’s energy system last year in efforts to develop a modernized grid.
National Grid’s role in keeping the lights on across the U.K. and northeastern United States gives it a natural monopoly in the tightly regulated electricity and gas industry. The company, which boasts a dividend yield of 5.3%, plans to boost its payout each year by at least the rate of RPI inflation.
Though not in a position to deliver rapid growth, National Grid provides the stability and defensive qualities investors look for in utilities.
Interested in building a diversified dividend portfolio? Check our Dividend Education Section to familiarize yourself with various concepts and trends.
U.S.-Saudi Arms Deal Drives Defense Stocks
Defense and aerospace stocks are riding a wave of optimism after the United States and Saudi Arabia completed an arms deal totaling more than $100 billion. Foot traffic to the defense and aerospace sector rose 93% as a result.
The controversial weapons deal was completed during President Trump’s first visit to the Middle Eastern country. Washington continues to be the main supplier of Riyadh’s military needs. The Saudis are entering year three of broad military intervention in Yemen, which is embroiled in civil war.
Shares of aerospace and defense companies have outpaced the broader S&P 500 Index over the past year. The sector has gained nearly 14% since the start of 2017, nearly double the return of the S&P 500.
High-Yielding Teva Hits 52-Week Low
Teva Pharmaceuticals Industries Ltd. (TEVA ) has plunged around 45% this past year, entering oversold territory after reaching fresh 52-week lows. The company takes the No. 3 spot on our weekly list with a 46% rise in traffic.
Teva, which specializes in branded and generic drug treatment, fell out of favor with investors amid a crisis of leadership that has been exacerbated by political uncertainty over drug pricing. After a failed experiment with foreign leadership, the Israeli company may be looking domestically to fill its leadership void. This would better align with the company’s bylaws, which state that a majority of its board members must reside in Israel.
Despite recent turmoil, the company boasts a dividend yield of 4.03%, which is almost five times bigger than the healthcare average.
To explore other companies in healthcare, check out our Dividend Stock Screener, where you can sort companies based on market capitalization and dividend payout frequency.
Hackett Takes the Reigns at Ford
Ford reshuffled senior management this week by bringing back James Hackett. In anticipation of the managerial shakeup, investors bookmarked a 2015 article entitled, The Complete History of Ford: Income, Price & Dividends. This piece takes the No. 4 spot on our weekly list with a 40% rise in traffic.
Hackett takes the reigns from former CEO Mark Fields at a critical crossroads in the company’s evolution. Ford is attempting to remake itself as a “mobility” company while keeping its traditional automotive business intact. To facilitate this transition, Hackett is planning to streamline the company’s hiring and accelerate the decision-making process.
Amid its transition, Ford remains a key player in the automotive industry, which is a member of the Consumer Goods sector. However, the company’s stock has suffered as of late, having recently fallen below $11.
The Bottom Line
With the bulk of earnings season behind us, investors are shifting their attention back to economics, geopolitics and monetary policy.
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