The Best Defense is a Solid Offense, Like a Dividend Growth Play

Earnings season is coming in strong so far, as companies are comparing to the start of the pandemic last year. A reopening economy is also helping.

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  • But with stocks already back to all-time highs, investors are starting to worry about possible inflation. That suggests a need to focus on companies that can pass on higher costs to consumers. One such play just reported better-than-expected results.

    That company? Pepsico (PEP). Besides beating earnings, the company noted that it may not engage in any more share buybacks this year. Shares are already near all-time highs, and at prices set just before the pandemic.

    The lack of a share buyback at all-time highs shows some restraint… and also suggests that the company may work to grow its dividend.

    Currently, shares yield 2.9 percent. The company just raised the annual payout to $4.09 from $4.02. That’s not a huge move, but it does suggest that the company may use some of the capital that went to buybacks to dividend instead.

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  • Action to take: The food and beverage giant is a defensive name that’s continuing to perform strongly. It can provide some safety in today’s all-time high markets, and hold up better than most names in a selloff. Investors may like shares here for the safety and dividend growth ahead.

    Given the current strong uptrend in shares, traders can profit too with an options play. The August 2021 $145 calls, going for about $4.00, can deliver mid-to-high double digit gains in the coming months if the uptrend in shares continues.

     

    Disclosure: The author of this article has no positions in the stock mentioned here, and does not intend to make a trade in this company after the next 72 hours. The author receives no compensation from any of the companies mentioned in this article.

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