7 Dividend Stock Picks to Beat the September Market Slump

The right dividend stock picks can offer a little safety in difficult times. These definitely are difficult times and investors are understandably worried.

Economic headwinds persist with war in Europe, global supply chain constraints and inflation that continues to run at 40-year highs in the U.S. This reality continues to gyrate equity markets.

After suffering their worst first-half decline since 1970, U.S. markets enjoyed a brief summer rally in July before trending lower again. Year to date, the benchmark S&P 500 index is down 17% while the Nasdaq is down 26% and firmly in bear market territory.

In the current market downturn, investors, particularly those close to retirement, are searching for dividend stock picks that are solid safe harbors. Protecting savings while earning income is of paramount importance. This is where dividend stocks come into play.

Stocks with high-yielding dividend payments can be an important source of income for investors, particularly when retired and living on a fixed income. As such, many investors spend considerable time hunting for high-yield dividend stock picks.

Not all dividend stocks are equal. The average dividend yield among stocks in the S&P 500 index is 1.69%. Yet there are many established companies whose dividends yield 10% or more. Here are seven dividend stock picks to beat the September market slump.

DVN Devon Energy $72.17
SPG Simon Property Group $100.03
LUMN Lumen Technologies $8.95
VZ Verizon $41.28
PXD Pioneer Natural Resources $251.70
KMI Kinder Morgan $18.53
IBM International Business Machines  $127.69

Devon Energy (DVN)

Oklahoma City-based Devon Energy (NYSE:DVN) pays a chunky dividend that currently yields 6.74%. That’s good for a quarterly payout of $1.17 per share. However, Devon Energy pays one of the few fixed-plus-variable dividends. The company’s base dividend is complemented with a variable dividend payment of up to 50% of its quarterly free cash flow.

Elevated oil prices have enabled Devon to pay a combined dividend that has an annualized yield of more than 10%. Even among energy stocks that are known for paying high yielding dividends, Devon Energy stands out from the crowd with a dividend that is among the best in the S&P 500 index.

The high dividend yield alone is a good reason to buy shares of DVN stock, but consider also that the company’s price-to-earnings ratio is currently 8.77, implying that the stock is undervalued at its current share price of $69.15.

The low P/E ratio is in spite of the stock gaining 52% this year. At its current price, DVN stock is 13% below its 52-week high of $79.40 a share and ripe for the picking.

Simon Property Group (SPG)

Another stock that boasts a truly superior dividend yield is Simon Property Group (NYSE:SPG). A real estate investment trust that is the largest owner of shopping malls in the U.S.

Simon Property currently pays a dividend that yields 6.95%, or $1.75 a share each quarter. It will be difficult to find other stocks that are as generous with their quarterly payouts.

SPG stock also looks fairly valued with a price-to-earnings ratio of 15.76, and its share price is currently trading at just over $100, down 37% year to date and 40% lower than its 52-week high of $171.12.

During an earnings call with analysts in August, Simon Property’s chief executive officer David Simon lamented that his company’s stock is “ridiculously cheap” right now when the dividend is factored in. Investors should pay attention.

Lumen Technologies (LUMN)

Telecommunications company Lumen Technologies (NYSE:LUMN) might be more familiar to investors by its old name CenturyLink.

In 2020, the company rebranded itself as Lumen. LUMN stock’s performance over the past five years has been a disappointment, having declined to now trade below $9 per share. However, there’s no quibbling with the company’s 10.68% dividend yield.

Lumen’s stock has suffered from several poorly timed and executed sales of its various business units. These include the 2021 sale of its Latin American operations to Stonepeak for $2.7 billion and the $7.5 billion sale of its telecommunications unit to Apollo Global Management (NYSE:APO).

However, the slumping price of LUMN stock has brought its P/E ratio down to 4.83, making the shares very cheap.

Verizon (VZ)

Verizon (NYSE:VZ) is best known as the biggest wireless carrier in the U.S. with more than 120 million mobile subscribers nationwide. Less well-known is that VZ stock pays a dividend that yields an impressive 6.17%, which is among the biggest payouts of any technology concern.

The dividend payment of Verizon’s stock is currently $0.65 per share each quarter.

VZ stock looks cheap right now with a price-to-earnings ratio of 8.48. However, while the dividend yield and share price are attractive, investors should be aware that Verizon’s stock has underperformed over the past five years, down 20% this year and down 12% in the past five years.

The company is trying to turn its fortunes around, having spent $45.5 billion to acquire the most 5G internet spectrum among U.S. carriers.

Pioneer Natural Resources (PXD)

Pioneer Natural Resources (NYSE:PXD) is an oil and natural gas exploration company that pays a dividend yield of 10.34%, which equates to a hefty payout every three months of $6.36 a share.

PXD stock is up more than 30% but its performance has lagged many of its peers in the energy sector. The stock is currently trading well below its 52-week high.

The biggest acreage holder in Texas’ Permian Basin, Pioneer Natural Resources pays a base-plus-variable dividend similar to the one provided by Devon Energy.

Its most recent dividend disbursement totaled $8.57 per share. Revenues that increased 64% in this year’s second quarter to $7 billion due to elevated oil prices helped make the big dividend payout possible.

Kinder Morgan (KMI)

Kinder Morgan (NYSE:KMI) transports 40% of U.S. natural gas volumes and 50% of all U.S. gas that is exported from the country through 83,000 miles of oil and gas pipelines and terminals.

While the size and scope of its operations is impressive, so too is KMI stock’s dividend yield of 6.04% or $0.28 a share per quarter.

At $18.39 a share, KMI stock is affordable for most retail investors and is up 12% so far this year. It also has a modest P/E ratio of 17.22.

Over the past five years, though, the stock has declined 5% marking it as a chronic underperformer. That said, investors can comfort themselves with the company’s steady and reliable dividend payment. The company is now expanding into renewable natural gas.

IBM (IBM)

Last but far from least is legendary technology company International Business Machines (NYSE:IBM), which has a high dividend yield of 5.15%, good for a quarterly payment to shareholders of $1.65 a share.

Like many names on this list, the high dividend is to compensate for the disappointing performance of IBM stock over the last 20 years. At its current price of $128 a share, IBM stock is trading at the same level it was at back in 1999 before the dot-com bubble burst.

Late last year, IBM spun off its outdated information technology consulting unit into a new publicly traded company called Kyndryl (NYSE:KD). The spin-off has freed IBM to focus on its more profitable businesses that include computer hardware, software, nanotechnology, artificial intelligence and research.

IBM stock is down 5% this year, outperforming most other tech securities over the last three quarters.

On the date of publication, Joel Baglole 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.

Joel Baglole has been a business journalist for 20 years. He spent five years as a staff reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and has also written for The Washington Post and Toronto Star newspapers, as well as financial websites such as The Motley Fool and Investopedia.

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