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.
Midstream oil and gas company Oneok has placed first as the company’s dividend is solid and the stock seems cheap. Microsoft was second after the company’s results impressed thanks to strong cloud growth. Pharmaceutical company Merck is third as the company’s business was boosted by strong sales of a COVID-19 pill. Last in the list is Arbor Realty Trust.
Don’t forget to read our previous edition of trends here.
Oneok’s Strong Dividend Draws Readers
Oneok (OKE) has taken the first position in the list with an advance in viewership of 102%. Oneok pays an annual dividend of $3.82 per share, equal to a yield of 5.82%. In addition, the stock looks relatively cheap, trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 12.1.
Oneok delivered strong results in the last quarter ended in July and investors are keenly awaiting the third quarter results due to be reported on October 31. In particular, more details will emerge about how the mega-merger with Magellan Midstream Partners is going. By acquiring Magellan for about $19 billion, Oneok is making a big bet on gas pipelines, which CEO Aaron Milford believes have better growth prospects.
Oneok reported better results than expected in the last quarter, but revenues were still down. However, with tensions in the Middle East rising, natural gas prices could jump, which will lead to higher revenues.
Microsoft Stock Up After Solid Results
Microsoft (MSFT) has taken the second position in the list with a 90% jump in traffic, not far from Oneok.
Microsoft shares gained about 5% after the company delivered a positive surprise thanks to strong sales in its cloud unit. The company’s Azure Cloud has seen revenues increase 19.4% compared to the same period last quarter, while the overall revenue of $56.5 billion was nearly $2 billion higher than expected.
The results were even more impressive when compared with Alphabet, whose revenue growth in the cloud was smaller than expected at $8.4 billion.
Microsoft shares are up nearly 50% over the past 12 months thanks to strong financial performance in the cloud and the partnership with artificial intelligence leader OpenAI. On top of that, the stock yields a dividend of about 0.9%. Trading at a price-to-earnings ratio of 32, Microsoft is considered a growth stock, considering that cloud penetration in enterprise sits at about 25%.
Merck Posts Surprise Sales Growth for its COVID-19 Therapy
Merck (MRK) has taken the third position in the list with a surge in viewership of 82%.
For the third quarter, Merck’s sales of $640 million for COVID-19 medicine Lagevrio were much higher than analysts’ expectations of $120 million. The strong beat was largely due to growing sales in Japan, as the U.S. market has been dominated by Pfizer’s Paxlovid, which had better results in testing, while the drug was not approved by regulators in Europe.
In addition, sales of $6.34 billion for its top revenue contributor Keytruda, a cancer drug, outpaced analysts’ expectations of $2.69 billion.
Merck pays a dividend of $2.92 per share, resulting in a yield of 2.84%. The stock has largely traded sideways over the past 12 months.
Arbor Realty Trust Keeps Dividend Unchanged
Arbor Realty Trust (ABR) has placed last with a solid advance in viewership of 72%.
The mortgage real estate investment trust has succeeded in maintaining its high dividend, despite a relatively harsh economic environment, with Treasury yields marching higher and the Federal Reserve insisting rates will stay high for the foreseeable future.
Arbor Realty kept unchanged its 43 cents dividend, which yields annually about 14% as results have continued to surprise analysts. The stock is down 8% year-to-date and it trades at a discount of book value of 13%.
The Bottom Line
Oil and gas pipeline operator Oneok pays a strong dividend and trades cheap even as its prospects look bright. Microsoft has been boosted by strong sales of cloud services, as other cloud sellers like Alphabet have disappointed. Pharmaceutical giant Merck posted surprisingly strong results from high sales of its COVID-19 vaccine in Japan. Finally, Arbor Realty has succeeded in maintaining its dividend despite a harsh economic environment.
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