Stocks to buy

While there’s nothing quite as exciting as betting everything on a hot growth enterprise, prudent investors may want to consider the best dividend stocks for market crash. In late April, CNBC reported that investors face the threat of persistently higher inflation while simultaneously digesting a bleak economic outlook. If the Federal Reserve is truly making headway against inflation, recession fears should ease. Yet we’re often left with ambiguity. In such a situation, recession-proof dividend stocks should be ideal. Finally, enterprises that pay passive income tend to be more reliable than those that don’t.

With that, below are ideas for safe dividend stocks in volatile market.

DUK Duke Energy $98.90
ABBV AbbVie $147.45
BUD Anheuser-Busch $64.68
NEE NextEra Energy $76.06
IBM IBM. $123.40
XOM Exxon Mobil $109.11
ADM Archer-Daniels-Midland $75.40

Duke Energy (DUK)

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An electric power and natural gas holding company, Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) is a utility play that benefits from a natural monopoly. Basically, nothing legally prevents other companies from competing with Duke. However, because the barrier to entry for the utility sector is so steep, no one even bothers. Therefore, DUK inherently stands alone in its core coverage area, which includes some Southern and Midwestern states.

Financially, Duke doesn’t natively offer the greatest-looking paper. However, it does rank well in terms of consistent profitability. In the trailing one-year period, the power company holds an operating margin of 22.33%. This stat beats out 75.75% of sector rivals. For passive income, Duke’s forward yield comes in at 4.05%. That’s a bit higher than the utility sector’s average yield of 3.75%. Also, the company commands 18 years of consecutive dividend increases, putting DUK on the best dividend stocks for market crash list. Finally, analysts peg DUK  a moderate buy with a $108.13 average price target.

AbbVie (ABBV)

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A pharmaceutical company, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) makes a strong case for recession-proof dividend stocks to buy. Basically, even under negative economic cycles, scientific research will push forward, seeking to address various human ailments. Under this context, I’m not particularly worried about ABBV’s loss of nearly 9% of equity value since the Jan. opener. Eventually, AbbVie will rise above the muck.

For now, intrepid investors might consider shares undervalued. At the moment, ABBV trades at 10.77-times free cash flow (FCF). In contrast, the sector median stat stands at 23.41 times. Also, the company enjoys a solid three-year revenue growth rate (13.4%) as well as a trailing-year net margin (13.37%). It also belongs on the safe dividend stocks in volatile market list. AbbVie’s forward yield pings at 4%, well above the healthcare sector’s average yield of 53.28%. Also, it commands 51 years of consecutive dividend increases. Obviously, this attribute qualifies ABBV for the dividend aristocrats for market downturn list. Lastly, analysts peg ABBV a moderate buy with a $162.79 price target. This estimate implies 10% upside potential.

Anheuser-Busch (BUD)

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I’m going to dip my toes into the controversy with Anheuser-Busch (NYSE:BUD). By now, I’m sure you’ve all heard about the uproar. It’s quite possible that you may have strong feelings about the underlying issues. That’s great. However, the angst over Anheuser-Busch – based on historical trends – is unlikely to sustain itself. Therefore, BUD really could be a discounted opportunity for the best dividend stocks for market crash designation.

Though up nearly 9% for the year, BUD slipped more than 2% in the trailing month. However, this doesn’t justify hitting the panic button. Remember, Nike (NYSE:NKE) stood by Colin Kaepernick during the anthem protest controversy. The sports apparel manufacturer is doing just fine now (relatively speaking). Also, the Equifax (NYSE:EFX) data breach hurt millions, probably including you. EFX has also performed well since the scandal.

So, one person’s identity transition won’t mean squat in the end. Turning to passive income, BUD’s forward yield is 2.54%, above the consumer staple sector’s average yield of 1.89%. Notably, the payout ratio sits in the credibly sustainable side at 44.43%. To close out, analysts peg BUD a moderate buy with a $72 price target. The estimate implies 11% upside potential.

NextEra Energy (NEE)

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As a leader in the renewable energy infrastructure space with its wind and solar projects, NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) easily ranks among the best dividend stocks for a market crash list. Basically, even if the unpleasant material hit the proverbial fan, modern societies need energy to survive. As well, the emerging Generation Z cares deeply about sustainability. Therefore, companies ignore this trend at their peril.

Financially, NextEra offers somewhat of a similar profile to other utilities in that it could always use some work. For example, its balance sheet isn’t exactly sterling. If I’m being honest, much of the operational side could use some beefing up. However, its consistently profitable and it prints an impressive net margin of 26.97%.

And that segues into passive income, where NextEra’s forward yield comes in at 2.48%. While lower than the utility sector average, NEE commands 30 years of consecutive dividend increases. Thus, it belongs in the dividend aristocrats for market downturn list. Turning to Wall Street, analysts peg NEE as a consensus strong buy with an $89.64 price target. The estimate implies nearly 19% upside potential.

IBM (IBM)

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While legacy technology giant IBM (NYSE:IBM) constantly wrestles with its reputation as being a boring enterprise, it no longer must tolerate insults about being irrelevant. With management aggressively pivoting toward pertinent sectors such as hybrid-cloud endeavors, IBM can duke it out with the others. However, it’s trading at a relative discount right now, with shares down almost 13% since the January opener.

In addition, IBM belongs on the best dividend stocks for market crash list because of its fundamental value proposition. Right now, the market prices shares at a forward multiple of 13.09. As a discount to projected earnings, IBM ranks better than 81.49% of the competition.

Switching to passive income, “Big Blue” carries a forward yield of 5.37%. Thus, it’s legitimately one of the high-yield dividend stocks for market turmoil. Also, the company features 30 years of consecutive dividend increases. Looking to the Street, analysts peg IBM a moderate buy with a $147.71 price target. The estimate implies over 19% upside potential.

Exxon Mobil (XOM)

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Standing alongside some of the biggest hydrocarbon energy firms in the world, Exxon Mobil (NYSE:XOM) needs no introduction. Though fossil fuels may be going out of style in the ideological front, they remain incredibly relevant today. Because of their high energy density and reliability, they may continue to be relevant for years to come. Therefore, it inks entry into the best dividend stocks for market crash list.

Financially, Exxon Mobil benefits from strong operational stats. Its three-year revenue growth rate pings at 15.9%, above 65.09% of its peers. Also, its net margin lands at 15.63%, ranked better than 68.13% of sector peers. As a “bonus,” Exxon also benefits from robust stability in the balance sheet.

Heading over to the passive income side, XOM’s forward yield is 3.35%, a bit lower than the energy sector’s average yield of 4.24%. However, the underlying company features 40 years of consecutive dividend increases. Of course, that qualifies for the dividend aristocrats for market downturn list. Lastly, analysts peg XOM as a moderate buy with a $130.96 price target. The estimate implies almost 21% upside potential.

Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM)

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A multinational food processing and commodities trading corporation, Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE:ADM) by default earns inclusion into the best dividend stocks for market crash list. Essentially, humans have to eat. Bad things happen when we don’t. Nevertheless, the market doesn’t see it that way, with ADM losing over 15% of equity value since the Jan. opener.

While Archer Daniels beat profit forecasts, management’s forward guidance disappointed. Nevertheless, the red ink might present an opportunity for intrepid investors. Right now, the market prices shares at a forward multiple of 10.93. As a discount to projected earnings, ADM ranks better than 77.31% of the field. Regarding passive income, the company carries a forward yield of 2.37%, above the consumer staple sector’s average yield of 1.89%. Also, it enjoys 51 years of consecutive dividend increases. So, it’s not just one of the dividend aristocrats for market downturn; it’s really a dividend king (50 or more years of increases).

On a final note, analysts peg ADM a strong buy with a $101 price target. The estimate implies 33% upside potential.

On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

A former senior business analyst for Sony Electronics, Josh Enomoto has helped broker major contracts with Fortune Global 500 companies. Over the past several years, he has delivered unique, critical insights for the investment markets, as well as various other industries including legal, construction management, and healthcare.

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