Stocks to buy

With the S&P 500 index yielding less than 2% on average right now, high-dividend stocks are still appealing to income investors. Interest rates are on the rise, but investors can still find stocks that have superior yields.

Even better, investors can buy high-yield stocks that have sustainable dividends. The following thre ultra-high dividend stocks have yields above 8% and sustainable payouts.

Altria Group (MO)

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Altria Group (NYSE:MO) is a consumer staples giant. It sells the Marlboro cigarette brand in the U.S. and a number of other non-smokable brands, including Skoal and Copenhagen. The flagship brand continues to be Marlboro, which commands over 40% retail market share in the United States.

Altria has increased its dividend for over 50 years, placing it on the exclusive Dividend Kings list. It is also a Dividend Champion.

On Feb. 1, Altria reported fourth-quarter results. Its Q4 non-GAAP EPS of $1.18 beat analyst estimates by 2 cents. Meanwhile, its revenue of $5.08 billion (-0.1% YOY) missed analyst estimates by $70 million. Management’s plans for 2023 include a continuation of their strategy to balance earnings growth and shareholder returns with strategic investments.

The company expects to deliver 2023 full-year adjusted diluted EPS in a range of $4.98 to $5.13, representing a growth rate of 3% to 6% from a base of $4.84 in 2022. The company maintains a target dividend payout ratio of 80% of its annual adjusted EPS.

We expect that Altria will generate EPS of approximately $5.01 in 2023. As a result, Altria stock trades for a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 9.4. Our fair value estimate for Altria is a P/E ratio of 11, a reasonable multiple for a highly profitable company with a strong moat and a lengthy track record of success that is facing volume declines in its core business.

As a result, the stock is undervalued at present. In addition, the yield is very attractive at 8%, which is extremely high both on an absolute basis and against Altria’s own historical yields.

Telephone & Data Systems (TDS)

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Telephone & Data Systems (NYSE:TDS) is a telecommunications company that provides customers with cellular and landline services, wireless products, cable, broadband, and voice services across the United States. The company’s Cellular division accounts for more than 75% of total operating revenue.

TDS started in 1969 as a collection of 10 rural telephone companies. Today, the company has a market capitalization of $1.1 billion and more than $5.4 billion in annual revenues.

TDS declared a 2.8% dividend increase to 18.5 cents quarterly on Feb. 16. That marked its 49th annual increase. On May 4, TDS reported financial results for the first quarter of 2023. Investors were clearly unimpressed with the results, as shares of TDS tumbled 17% on the day following the report. The company’s total operating revenues were $1.3 billion, down 1% compared to the same period one year ago, and $30 million short of analyst estimates.

Postpaid average revenue per user (ARPU) of $50.66 was a 1.9% YOY increase. Total broadband connections increased 4% YOY to 515,400 connections and residential revenue per connection grew 4% to $60.24.

During the quarter, TDS repurchased nearly 291,000 of its common shares for $3 million. Management reaffirmed its prior 2023 guidance and expect service revenues at U.S. Cellular of around $3.1 billion. Total expected operating revenues for TDS is around $1.045 billion.

Lincoln National (LNC)

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Lincoln National (NYSE:LNC) offers life insurance, annuities, retirement plan services and group protection. The corporation was founded in 1905 as The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company. Former President Abraham Lincoln’s son granted the company permission to use the name. The corporation has grown into a market capitalization of $6 billion.

Lincoln National reported fourth-quarter and full-year 2022 results on Feb. 8. The company had net income of 1 cent per share in the fourth quarter, which compared unfavorably to $1.20 in the fourth quarter of 2021. Adjusted net income equaled 97 cents per share compared to $1.56 in the same prior-year period. Additionally, annuities average account values shrunk by 16% to $144 billion and group protection insurance premiums grew 9% to $1.2 billion.

For the full year, Lincoln suffered an adjusted loss of $5.22 per share compared to adjusted net income of $8.20 in 2021. However, these results included $12.21 of net unfavorable items due in large part to the company’s annual review of DAC and reserve assumptions. The company repurchased 8.7 million shares of stock for $550 million in the trailing twelve months, reducing the share count by 7%.

For 2023, we expect the company’s adjusted earnings to normalize once again. LNC had grown net income by 7% on average over the nine-year period between 2012 and 2021. The dividend has grown since it was slashed in 2008 and 2009 to 4 cents annually. The corporation’s 2020 dividend of $1.60 was the first year the dividend returned to this level since 2007.

The share count has been reduced meaningfully over the last decade. Continued strong share repurchase would be a tailwind to per-share earnings. We estimate that LNC can grow net income by around 3% per annum off 2023’s forecast for $8.25 per share. The company has a three-pronged product strategy it is currently enacting. The “reprice, shift & add new product” strategy focuses on achieving strong returns while providing consumer value.

On the date of publication, Bob Ciura did not hold (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.

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