The past year has been brutal for dividend-focused investors. Companies
that not long ago were considered bastions of dividend fortitude -- Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS), SunTrust Banks (NYSE: STI), New York Times (NYSE: NYT), for example -- are slashing payouts left and right. Far more companies cut their dividends in April alone than in all of 2007 (76-44, for the curious).
With Viacom 's (NYSE: VIA) Star Trek opening this weekend -- and a refreshingly refashioned version at that -- I figured I would hop on the starship Enterprise and take a quick peek at some of the things happening down below on Earth.
I said my piece last week about the market's recent bender, dubbing it "ridiculous" and inspiring a legion of readers to heap on potshots (comes with the territory) and praise (thanks, Dad!).
The new trading week begins with Ctrip.com (Nasdaq: CTRP) on tap. Analysts expect China's leading online travel site to post a profit of $0.21 a share for its latest quarter, up marginally from the $0.20 it earned a year ago. That's not much of a change, but these days any year-over-year gain is a good one.
I�could write this article the usual way -- by�showing you how to turn your thousands into millions�through investments in solid, well-known companies. Medtronic , for example, has grown by a compound average of 18% annually over the past 20 years, while Amgen (Nasdaq: AMGN) has averaged close to 23%. Not too shabby.
A few weeks ago, we profiled five unbelievably solid stocks -- companies that have been paying uninterrupted dividends to shareholders for more than 45 years. That consistency is incredible.
Does Uncle Sam get a passing grade on the bank stress tests? Can Amazon ’s (Nasdaq: AMZN) new Kindle save the newspaper industry? Are McDonald’s (NYSE: MCD) new coffee drinks a serious threat to Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX)? And is Marvel ’s (NYSE: MVL) Squirrel Girl the heir apparent to Iron Man and The Incredible Hulk?
Even though some top professionals view this as the best time in 35 years to invest in stocks, keeping your portfolio above water in these markets is no easy task. With companies easily getting whipsawed by the whimsical musings of the Treasury Department or the Federal Reserve, investors who've successfully navigated these rough waters are rare indeed. A steady track record of staying afloat is even more impressive.
Like a perpetual game of monkey-in-the-middle, the midsized miners of gold are pegged with a term that even sounds like a passing phase: intermediate. With a voracious appetite for acquisitions and a knack for streamlining development, Kinross Gold (NYSE: KGC) has reached a scale of production and a wealth of reserves that warrant its graduation into the elite club of major producers.
Sometimes, when you have a good idea at exactly the wrong time, you can never recover from your bad luck. But for an interesting set of exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that focus on dividend-paying stocks, the troubles of the past year and a half probably won't prove fatal.