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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights Roper Technologie, Signet Jewelers, Williams-Sonoma, Applied Materials and Oracle

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 23, 2023 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include: Roper Technologies, Inc. ROP, Signet Jewelers Ltd. SIG, Williams-Sonoma, Inc. WSM, Applied Materials, Inc. AMAT and Oracle Corp. ORCL.

Here are highlights from Wednesday’s Analyst Blog:

5 Stocks to Watch on Dividend Hikes Amid Market Uncertainty

Wall Street has been trying to recover after taking a beating earlier this month as concerns over interest rate hikes continue to dent investors' confidence. Inflationary pressures have been taking a toll on markets despite a solid start to the year.

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Fears that the Fed would maintain its strict monetary policy and interest rate hike strategy for a longer period than initially anticipated have been reignited by strong economic statistics and hotter-than-expected inflation.

Tensions escalated further in March after the U.S. financial sector was hit hard following the collapse of two banks.

Earlier this month, Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), which mostly lends to tech firms, announced that it had to sell $1.75 billion in shares at a loss in order to cover falling customer demand. Since then, things have become worse with the bank's collapse and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) taking over the operations of the bank.

On Mar 9, Silvergate Capital, a major lender to the cryptocurrency sector, stated that it would be ceasing operations and liquidating its bank. As a result, the American government assumed authority over Signature Bank's deposits.

SVB's collapse has since left bank stocks battered. Although a joint statement from the Fed, Treasury Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp assured that all depositors at these two banks would get their money back and that the U.S. financial system is stable, worries have been growing.

Investors are now bracing for another rate hike by the Fed, which will be announced on Mar 22. Market participants are expecting a 25-basis point rate hike, which will further create pressure on stocks as more interest rate hikes are likely to be implemented in the coming months. The Fed's fight to tame rising inflation is far from over.

Given this situation, an astute investor would choose to keep an eye on dividend-paying stocks at this time. Dividend stocks with a good business model and a proven track record can withstand market volatility.

Also, in addition to ensuring a constant flow of profits, dividend stocks reduce the chances of price swings. Also, during times of market turbulence, dividend-paying stocks have consistently outperformed non-dividend-paying companies.

Four such companies are Roper Technologies, Inc., Signet Jewelers Ltd., Williams-Sonoma, Inc., Applied Materials, Inc. and Oracle Corp.. Each of these companies carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

Roper Technologies, Inc. designs, manufactures and distributes engineered products and solutions as well as software. ROP caters to selected segments of a broad range of markets, which include legal, healthcare, government, food, transportation, oil & gas, medical, and other niche industries.

On Mar 16, Roper Technologies announced that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.68 a share on Apr 21, 2023. ROP has a dividend yield of 0.63%. Over the past five years, Roper Technologies has increased its dividend five times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 16% of earnings. Check Roper Technologies' dividend history here.

Signet Jewelers Ltd. is a retailer of diamond jewelry, watches as well as other products. The company operates in the United States, Canada, the U.K., the Republic of Ireland, and the Channel Islands. Signet Jewelersis often considered the leading retailer of diamond jewelry.

On Mar 16, Signet Jewelers declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.23 a share on May 26, 2023. SIG has a dividend yield of 1.09%. Over the past five years, Signet Jewelers has increased its dividend three times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 7% of earnings. Check Signet Jewelers' dividend history here.

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. is a multi-channel specialty retailer of premium quality home products. Incorporated in 1973, Williams-Sonoma has five brands Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma, Pottery Barn Kids and Teen and Other, and each of the brands is an operating segment.

On Mar 16, WSM declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.90 a share on May 26, 2023. WSM has a dividend yield of 2.62%. Over the past five years, Williams-Sonoma has increased its dividend seven times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 19% of earnings. Check Williams-Sonoma's dividend history here.

Applied Materials, Inc. is one of the world's largest suppliers of equipment for the fabrication of semiconductor, flat panel liquid crystal displays, and solar photovoltaic cells and modules. AMAT also offers deployment and support services related to the equipment supplied.

On Mar 13, Applied Materials announced that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.32 a share on Jun 15, 2023. AMAT has a dividend yield of 0.84%. Over the past five years, Applied Materials has increased its dividend six times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 13% of earnings. Check Applied Materials' dividend history here.

Oracle Corp. is one of the largest enterprise-grade database, middleware and application software providers. ORCL has expanded its cloud computing operations over the last couple of years. Oracle Corporation offers cloud solutions and services that can be used to build and manage various cloud deployment models.

On Mar 9, Oracle Corporation declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.40 a share on Apr 24, 2023. ORCL has a dividend yield of 1.47%. Over the past five years, Oracle Corporation has increased its dividend three times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 32% of earnings. Check Oracle Corporation's dividend history here.

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Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Roper Technologies, Inc. (ROP) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Oracle Corporation (ORCL) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Signet Jewelers Limited (SIG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Williams-Sonoma, Inc. (WSM) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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