Three High-Yield Dividend Stocks for the New Year

Amid unrelenting inflation and a strong potential for a recession, volatility is widely expected to continue as we head into the new year, making the job of selecting stocks difficult. A logical move in times like these is dividend stocks, which pay you to hold them. Dividend-paying companies regularly reward investors directly with a portion of the cash flow. The most desirable dividend stocks have a history of raising payouts over time as the company’s profits grow.  

In this list, we’ll look at three yield-paying stocks that seem ripe for the picking as we head into the new year.  

Pioneer Natural Resources Company (PXD) has long viewed sustainability as a balance of economic growth, environmental stewardship, and social responsibility. Its emphasis is on developing natural resources that protect surrounding communities and preserve the environment.

In the wake of the pandemic, when energy prices were, cheap PXD struck an almost perfectly timed agreement to buy fellow Permian Basin producer Parsley Energy for $4.5 billion. If you’re wondering how PXD managed to finance that transaction, the answer lies in the fact that it was an all-stock deal that ensured Pioneer didn’t have a new giant debt load hanging over its head. The fact that Parsley operated primarily in the same region of West Texas, where Pioneer had both expertise and existing staff, has paid off over time.   

That deal was a coup for Pioneer shareholders, built on the fact it was large and well-capitalized at a time when stressed and debt-reliant shale plays were looking for a white knight. On top of that acquisition, PXD also boosted its dividend by 25% at the start of the year as further evidence of its strong balance sheet.

Investors can look forward to upcoming tailwinds, including Pioneer’s recently announced partnership with the world’s largest renewable energy producer, NextEraEnergy (NEE), to develop a 140-megawatt wind generation facility on Pioneer-owned land. The project will supply the company’s Permian Basin operations with low-cost, renewable power and is expected to be operational next year.  

In the third quarter, revenue was up 22% YOY to $6.09 billion, smashing the consensus estimate of 4.57 billion. The company reported earnings of $7.48 per share, beating consensus expectations of $7.27 per share. So far, in 2022, the company has rewarded its investors handsomely with $20.73 per share through its generous 10.78% cash dividend. Chief Executive Officer Scott D. Sheffield stated, Pioneer continues to execute on our investment framework that provides best-in-class capital returns to shareholders. This framework is expected to result in $7.5 billion of cash flow being returned to shareholders during 2022, including $26 per share in dividends and continued opportunistic share repurchases.”

Even after gaining 33% over the past year, Pioneer shares likely still have valuation upside in addition to their tremendous dividend income potential.   

Anyone who has kept tabs on the global supply chain and shipping saga that’s been unfolding since the outbreak of covid is probably familiar with Genco Shipping (GNK). The company owns a fleet of 44 ships it leases for dry bulk transportation of goods like grain, coal, and iron ore. The going rate to rent one of Genco’s ships is no less than $27,000 per day, which provides some solid cash flow that the company uses to reward its shareholders.  

Dry bulk shipping rates, along with GNK’s share price, have fallen in recent months. Still, as China recovers from recent lockdowns and seasonal demand is expected to be strong, it’s hard to see the pullback in share price as anything less than an opportunistic bargain. This is a very volatile sector, but it’s essential to the world’s supply chain. 

Although the company missed consensus EPS and revenue estimates in the third quarter, it remained consistent with its previously outlined value strategy. The company’s prudent cargo coverage in Q2 resulted in significant benchmark freight outperformance in Q3, allowing Genco to pass the savings onto its investors via a 56% quarterly dividend increase on a sequential basis. Over the last four quarters, the company has declared dividends of $2.74 per share, delivering on its commitment to return substantial capital to shareholders. GNK currently pays a 20% dividend yield.  

It should be no surprise that the defense giant Lockheed Martin (LMT) has outperformed the market this year. There are apparent geopolitical implications with the war in Ukraine. When Russia decided to invade its neighbor, both U.S. and European forces rushed in to help Ukraine. It may be some time before LMT stock pops again, as it did at the onset of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, its order books are likely to improve due to rising defense budgets in the U.S. and abroad. Along with Lockheed providing support to Ukrainian resistance fighters, the looming uncertainties in Russia could lead to massive economic problems and gaps in power in former Soviet Union-controlled areas.

Given the recession-proof nature of defense contracting, Lockheed Martin should continue reporting positive results and rewarding shareholders through its quarterly 2.7% forward yield. In other words, even if the market dives again, LMT will likely stand firm. The company runs a P/E ratio of 24 times, below the sector median of 28.3 times. As well, LMT features excellent longer-term growth and profitability metrics.