The U.S. Federal Reserve may be pushing short-term interest rates higher, but the fact remains that these rates are still incredibly low. Parking money in the bank yields almost nothing. And bond yields are not much better. The benchmark 10-year Treasury note only offers a stingy 2.84%.
Nobody gets rich on 2.84%.
That’s why divided stocks are in such demand.
And the three we’re going to show you today are some of the best dividend stocks you can buy in 2018…
Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Scotts Miracle-Gro Company (SMG)
Scotts Miracle-Gro’s share price fell more than 20% during the first half of 2018. There were two reasons behind this dismal performance. First, California hasn’t had its act together in rolling out the legalization of recreational marijuana, seeing high tax rates and slowness for many counties to finalize their regulatory processes. Second, a long winter resulted in the season for U.S. consumers to buy lawn and garden products starting later than it normally does.
But both of these are temporary issues. The California cannabis market should pick up steam. Arcview Research and BDS Analytics project that the state’s legal marijuana market should top $7.7 billion in sales in 2022. And the U.S. is definitely in the thick of lawn-and-garden season now.
Scotts is also in a better position to benefit from expansion in the U.S. marijuana market thanks to its acquisition of Sunlight Supply in April. This deal makes Scotts’ Hawthorne subsidiary the largest hydroponics supplier in the U.S. With Massachusetts legalizing recreational marijuana and Michigan potentially on the way to doing so, Hawthorne should enjoy solid growth in the future.
Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Weibo Corporation(WB)
Welcome to Weibo Corp (NASDAQ:WB), China’s most popular multimedia micro-blogging website. The fast-growing site already boasts over 374 million monthly active users. “Weibo has established itself as a unique and sustainable social network, and we expect long-term growth in number of users and better monetization,” cheers UBS analyst Jerry Liu. “We see Weibo as Twitter but, importantly, with Instagram-like features.”
Unlike Twitter, Weibo is much more interactive with a heavy emphasis on video, photo, and live-streaming content. It is also the partner of major TV networks and users can shop online using the BABA-backed ‘Weibo Payment’. Other initiatives include virtual gifting and partnering with smartphone companies to pre-install the Weibo app. It is this “differentiated platform for users and improved ad system for advertisers” that gives Weibo huge profitability potential says Liu.
Plus note that Alibaba and another Chinese company called Sina Corp are both big stakeholders in the stock. Indeed, Weibo was spun off from Sina back in 2014. To get some idea of the stock’s growth potential we can see that the most recent rating comes from Jefferies’ Karen Chan. She has Buy rating on Weibo with a $160 price target. This means she sees prices spiking a whopping 80%.
Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Autohome Inc.(ATHM)
Another Chinese internet company, Autohome, rallied about 125% over the past 12 months. Autohome’s websites provide auto-related news, reviews, and prices for cars, while its Autohome Mall platform connects buyers to dealers. The company is expanding that offering with a cloud-based platform for over 35,000 used car dealers.
Autohome’s only meaningful competitor is Bitauto, which generates higher revenue growth but softer earnings growth. Bitauto is notably backed by Tencent and JD, which frequently co-investin tech and retail companies.
Autohome’s revenue rose 4% last year, mostly supported by a 34% jump in revenues from its media and leads generation services. Its non-GAAP net income climbed 53%, while its GAAP net income grew 63%. The company recently shuttered its unprofitable direct sales business and switched over to the ASC 606 accounting standard, both of which will slightly throttle its reported revenue growth this year.
IMAGE SOURCE: GETTY IMAGES.
Nonetheless, analysts still expect Autohome’s revenue and non-GAAP earnings to climb 14% and 21%, respectively, this year. The stock currently trades at 29 times this year’s earnings, which seems slightly pricey relative to its earnings growth potential.
Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Mizuho Financial Group, Inc.(MFG)
The second-largest financial services company in Japan, Mizuho Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: MFG) is a Japanese banking holding company headquartered in Tokyo.
Mizuho controls $1.8 billion in assets, ranking just behind Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc. in size.
Mizuho divides its financial services among retail banking, global asset management, financial strategy, and corporate investment, giving the company a diverse stream of revenue for the company and its investors.
Thanks to this diversity, Mizuho’s business is protected against the volatility that often rocks financial companies in turbulent markets. It also allows Mizuho to tap profit centers throughout the financial industry.
This is certainly evident in the company’s bottom line. Over the last year, Mizuho managed to generate over $57 million in profit while growing earnings by over 2%.
Mizuho currently trades for $3.36. However, analysts see the company’s stock heading to $4.00 by the end of the year, locking in a gain of 23% for investors.
While Mizuho’s profit potential is promising, our second penny stock to watch is even better.
Best Safest Stocks To Buy Right Now: Colony Credit Real Estate, Inc.(CLNC)
Dividend Yield: 8.3%
Colony Credit Real Estate (NYSE:CLNC) acts as a diversified REIT. CLNC owns properties in the industrial, office and hotel sectors. It also invests in commercial real estate debt. The firm also provides investment management services and offers financial products to individuals as well as institutions.
Though it boasts 26 years of experience and $43 billion in assets under management, it stands as one of the newer real estate stocks. The company only began trading as a REIT in February.
However, the little history available on the company appears promising. Revenues have risen by over 20% every year since at least 2015. Earnings have increased at about the same rate. Analysts expect CLNC stock to earn $1.77 per share this year. They also predict a net income of $2.08 per share in 2019.
So far, the company has paid 14.5 cents per share per month in dividends. That comes to $1.74 per share on an annual basis. Moreover, if the $2.08 per share profit for 2019 holds, shareholders can expect at least $1.87 per share next year. Hence, CLNC offers both a dividend exceeding 8% and the benefit of receiving dividends on a monthly basis. Few REITs offer one or the other, let alone both.
Despite the company’s long history, the stock’s short history as a publicly traded REIT might make some investors nervous. However, the financials that are available offer promise. For investors willing to take a chance on a short trading history, they can enjoy monthly returns, a dividend set to increase and, perhaps, a stock price set to increase along with the dividend.