4 Dividend Stocks to Hold and 1 to Buy This November

The upgrades continue to outpace the downgrades so far in November for stocks that pay dividends.  We went through all the analyst rating changes for the last few days to identify upgrades and downgrades for stocks with a dividend yield of 2% or more.  We have provided the reason for the new rating from the investment firm and the price target when it was made available.  We have also provided our DSO rating which is based on yield, dividend growth, cash flow, payout ratio, income growth and recent stock performance.

3 Dividend Stocks Analysts Like

ADTRAN (ADTN)
ADTRAN was upgraded by Mizuho from Underperform to Buy on November 8th with a price target of $22 per share.  Mizuho said the upgrade was based on Valuation, reset expectations, and revenue catalysts.  ADTN has a dividend yield of 2% and has not increased its annual dividend of $.36 per share since May of 2005.  It has a payout ratio of 31% so it looks like it’s time to increase the dividend.

Consolidated Edison (ED)
Consolidated Edison was upgraded by RBC Capital Markets on November 8th from Underperform            to Sector Perform with a price target of $60 per share.  RBC cited the recent pullback in shares and the company’s defensive characteristics.  ED has great dividend fundamentals with a yield of 4.3% and 37 consecutive years of dividend increases.  Unfortunately its 5 year dividend growth rate is not even 1%, which has to be disappointing for long time stock holders.  The stock has a payout ratio of 64%.

Exelon Corp (EXC)
Exelon Corp was upgrade by UBS from a Sell to a Neutral on November 8th with a price target of $30 per share.  UBS cited valuation as the reason for the upgrade.  EXC has a dividend yield of 6.8% but has not increased its dividend for the last few years.  It has a payout ratio over 100% so beware of its strength in the future.

2 Dividend Stocks Analysts Have Stopped Buying

Spreadtrum Communications (SPRD)
Spreadtrum Communications was downgraded by Canaccord Genuity on November 9th from a Buy to a Hold with a price target of $20 a share. Canaccord cited flat gross margin and poor sales growth guidance from Spreadtrum as the reason for the downgrade.  SPRD has a dividend yield of 2% and just started paying dividends in 2011.

Time Warner Cable (TWC)
Time Waner was downgraded by Stifel Nicolaus on November 9th from a Buy to a Hold.  Stifel Nicolaus did not provide a new price target but did say the downgrade was based on valuation and lower than expected sales growth in 2013.  TWC has a dividend yield of 2.3% and has increased its dividend each year since it started paying dividends in 2010.

7 Dividend Stocks These Analysts Won’t Buy

More than 20 dividend stocks have received new ratings from analysts already in November.  Only 7 of those stocks have been downgrades.  Each of the stocks on this list has a dividend yield of 2% or more.  We have listed the reason for the downgrade and the new price target if the investment firm made it available.

Johnson Controls (JCI)
Johnson Controls was downgraded by  Needham on November 2nd from a Buy to a Hold.  Needham cited European macro uncertainty as the reason for the downgrade.  JCI has a dividend yield of 2.8% and a payout ratio of 28%.  The company has a negative free cash flow yield and has been crushed over the last 12 months but does have 36 years of consecutive dividend increases.

Western Union (WU)
Western Union Co was downgraded by Barclays from Overweight to Underweight on November 1st with a price target of $12 per share.  The reason behind the downgrade was not available. WU has a dividend yield of 3.1% and a payout ratio of 20%.  The company started paying dividends in 2006 and has increased its dividend for the last two years.

Hercules Technology (HTGC)
Hercules Technology Growth Capital was downgraded by Robert W. Baird on November 2nd from Outperform to Neutral with a price target of $11 per share.  Baird cited Q3 results as the reason for the downgrade.  HTGC has a dividend yield of 8.8% with a payout ratio of 100%. The company has a 3 year dividend growth rate of -13%.

Las Vegas Sands Corp (LVS)
Las Vegas Sands Corp was downgraded by Cantor Fitzgerald from a Buy to a Hold on November 2nd with a price target of $46 per share. Cantor Fitzgerald said that LVS has had a good run since July but near term concerns around Singapore are behind the downgrade. LVS has a dividend yield of 2.3% and a payout ratio of 44%. The company started paying dividends in 2012 and has paid 4 consecutive quarters of dividends at $.25 per share ($1 annually).

Exelon Corp (EXC)
Exelon Corp was downgraded by Argus on November 5th from a Buy to a Hold. Argus cited concerns over an upcoming dividend cut as the reason behind the downgrade.  EXC has been paying dividends since 1901 and has paid a quarterly dividend of $.525 every quarter since December 2008.  The stock has a yield of 6.6% and a payout ratio of 87%.

Home Properties (HME)
Home Properties was downgraded by RBC Capital Markets on November 6th from Sector Perform to Underperform with a price target of $62. The reason for the downgrade was not available.  HME has a dividend yield of 4.2% and because it is a REIT we are not focused on the payout ratio.  The company started paying dividends in 1994 and has increased its dividend for the last 2 years.  It has an ex-dividend date coming up on November 13th.

Udr Inc (UDR)
UDR was downgraded by RBC Capital Markets from Outperform to Sector Perform on November 6th with a price target of $27 per share.  RBC said the downgrade was based on lower 2013 comp growth. UDR has a dividend yield of 3.6% and because it is a REIT we are not focused on the payout ratio.  The company started paying dividends in 1973 has a 3 year dividend growth rate of -14.3%.