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Prudential Financial Inc(PRU-N)
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2 Supercharged Dividend Growth Stocks Worth Buying Right Now

Motley Fool - Wed Jul 19, 2023

If you're looking for dividend growth stocks that can deliver strong returns and reliable income, you might want to consider these two supercharged picks. Both companies have a solid track record of regular dividend raises, above-average yields, and stellar free cash flows (FCFs) that support their rich payouts to shareholders. Let's take a closer look at why Prudential Financial(NYSE: PRU) and Philip MorrisInternational(NYSE: PM) are worth buying right now.

Prudential Financial: A global leader in insurance and asset management

Prudential Financial is one of the largest and most diversified financial services companies in the world, with operations in the U.S., Asia, Europe, and Latin America. The company offers a wide range of products and services, including life insurance, annuities, retirement plans, asset management, and workplace benefits.

Prudential has a long history of rewarding its shareholders with dividend growth. The company has raised its dividend for 15 consecutive years. Over the prior five years, Prudential has grown its dividend at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10%. The current quarterly dividend is $1.25 per share, which translates to a yield of 5.3% at the current stock price. That's well above the average yield of 1.54% for the S&P 500 index.

Prudential also has a strong balance sheet and ample cash flow to support its dividend growth. The financial services giant sports an AA-rated balance sheet. Moreover, it generated $5.15 billion in FCF in 2022, which covered its dividend payments of $1.81 billion more than twofold. Prudential's ever-rising dividend thus appears to be a reliable source of passive income.

Prudential is well positioned to benefit from the long-term trends of aging populations, rising wealth, and increasing demand for financial protection and retirement solutions in its key markets. Its stock is also trading at a fairly low valuation at 7.7 times projected earnings, which is well below its peer group's average of 13.4.

So, even though Prudential is feeling the sting of a higher-interest-rate environment at the moment, its stock remains an attractive buy thanks to its stellar dividend growth, dividend safety, and long-term opportunities.

Philip Morris International: A smoke-free future with high dividends

Philip Morris International is the world's largest tobacco company outside of the U.S., with a presence in more than 180 countries. The company is best known for its flagship brand Marlboro, but it is also investing heavily in its smoke-free products, such as IQOS, which heats tobacco instead of burning it.

Philip Morris has a stellar record of dividend growth, having raised its dividend every year since it was spun off from Altria Group in 2008. The company has increased its dividend by a CAGR of 7.5% over this period and currently pays a quarterly dividend of $1.27 per share, which yields 5.11% at the current stock price.

Philip Morris has robust cash flow generation that supports its dividend growth. The company reported $9.73 billion of FCF in 2022. The company also returned $7.8 billion to its shareholders through dividends last year. Its dividend is thus reasonably well covered by FCF, although it does have an elevated payout ratio of 89.3%.

Philip Morris is pursuing a vision of a smoke-free future, where it aims to replace cigarettes with less harmful alternatives that can reduce the risk of smoking-related diseases. The company's IQOS device has been gaining popularity around the world, especially in markets like Japan, South Korea, and Europe. This transformative process will take time to play out, but the company is making strides toward this key operating goal.

Philip Morris' stock is trading at a reasonable valuation of 15.6 times projected earnings, which is about average for a large-cap dividend-paying stock. The tobacco giant should thus appeal to income investors on the hunt for a mouth-watering yield at a fair price.

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George Budwell has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Philip Morris International. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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