4 Analyst Favorite ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Dividend Hikes Likely This Week

After years of a low interest rate environment, which has reversed in a big way over the past 16 months, many investors continue to turn to equities not only for the growth potential but also for the solid and dependable dividends that help to provide an income stream. What this equates to is total return, which is one of the most powerful investment strategies going.

We like to remind our readers about the impact total return has on portfolios because it is one of the best ways to help improve the chances for overall investing success. Again, total return is the combined increase in a stock’s value plus dividends. For instance, if you buy a stock at $20 that pays a 3% dividend, and it goes up to $22 in a year, your total return is 13%: 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

Four top large-cap companies that are Wall Street favorites are expected to raise their dividends this week. We screened our 24/7 Wall St. research universe and found that all are rated Buy at some of the top firms on Wall Street. While it is always possible that not all five do raise their dividends, top analysts expect them to. Generally, the data is based on past increases in the firm’s dividend payouts.

It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

Badger Meter

Shares of this solid company with the funny name are closing in on a 52-week high. Badger Meter Inc. (NYSE: BMI) manufactures and markets flow measurement, quality, control, and communication solutions in North America, Europe, Asia and elsewhere.

It offers mechanical or static water meters and related radio and software technologies and services to municipal water utilities. The company also provides flow instrumentation products, including meters, valves and other sensing instruments to measure and control fluids going through a pipe or pipeline, including water, air, steam, oil and other liquids and gasses, to original equipment manufacturers as the primary flow measurement device within a product or system, as well as through manufacturers’ representatives.

ALSO READ: Cathie Wood’s ARK Funds Continue to Buy These 5 Stellar ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks Trading Under $10

In addition, the company offers Orion (SE) for traditional fixed network applications and Orion Cellular for utility-owned fixed network infrastructure, as well as Beacon, a secure cloud-hosted software suite that establishes alerts for specific conditions and allows consumer engagement tools that permit end water customers to view and manage their water usage activity. Its flow instrumentation products are used in water/wastewater, heating, ventilating and air conditioning, and corporate sustainability markets. The company serves water utilities and other industries. It sells its products directly, as well as through resellers and representatives.

Investors now receive just a 0.90% dividend. The company is expected to lift its $0.225 per share dividend to $0.25. Maxim Group has a $180 target price. The consensus target is just $157, and the shares closed on Friday at $165.24.

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