Saturday, August 27, 2011

Speculative High Income Stocks

If you were to find a stock that has been around since 1898, pays a yield of 5.8%, has paid dividends quarterly since 1995, has increased its dividend in six out of the last sixteen years, trades at 10.5 times earnings, and just reported a 4.8% increase in revenues, you might think that this is one of the blue chip large cap stocks that is a member of the S&P 500. You would be wrong.

The company is not a large cap, nor even a mid cap stock. This stock is selling within a couple dollars per share of its 52 week low at less than ten dollars a share, closing at 9.44 on Friday. So what is this company? It is the Minnesota based company Hickory Tech Corp. (HTCO). The company is in the business of providing integrated data services, such as fiber, data and Internet, voice and voice over Internet protocol, along with distribution of telecommunications and data processing equipment. It also offers local telephone, long distance, and directory assistance services. The company has regional fiber network spanning more than 2,750 route miles serving Minnesota, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin. Net debt position improved $5 million for the quarter and $15 million year-to-date. Equipment and broadband revenue increased 12 percent.

Amazingly, there are lots of low priced stocks with upside potential that pay dividends, and many have fairly decent yields ranging from 3% to 6%. I gave a presentation at the MoneyShow a few weeks ago about high dividend stocks, and included a discussion of speculative income stocks. Here are a few more.

Psychemedics (PMD) is an interesting company that pays a yield of 6.1% based on its current price of 7.94. It is a provider of testing services for the detection of abused substances using analysis of samples of hair. The company's services are offered to employers, law enforcement agencies, schools, and nosy parents.

This Massachusetts company was founded in 1985 and has paid quarterly dividends since 1997. The stock trades at 13 times earnings and reported quarterly income growth of 25.2% on a 14.9% rise in revenues. The company is debt free and has $4.6 million in cash.

Lincoln Educational Services (LINC) is in the private education business and owns the Lincoln Technical Institute, Lincoln College of Technology, Lincoln College of New England, Nashville Auto-Diesel College, Southwestern College, Clemens College, and Euphoria Institute of Beauty Arts and Sciences. The stock yields 10.5% based on its current closing price of 9.55. The company just started paying quarterly dividends in 2010. This company has suffered along with all the other private college businesses due to government crackdown on promises made to potential students and related issues. The company reported a 62.6% drop in quarterly earnings. The company was founded in 1946 and is based in New Jersey.

Tal International (TAL), founded in 1963, is in the business of leasing intermodal containers, and yields 7.7% based on the current stock price of 28.37. Dividends have increased every quarter for the last six quarters. The stock trades at a price to earnings ratio of 8.7. Earnings for the latest quarter increased 398% (albeit from a very low amount last year) on an earnings increase of 37.6%.

Have you seen those guys that advertise on TV telling you that you can have $2500 in your checking account tomorrow? QC Holdings (QCCO) is one of the companies involved in payday loans. The stock, which closed at 3.88 on Friday, yields 5%, and has been paying quarterly dividends for five years. The stock trades at 6.6 times earnings. Latest quarterly earnings were down substantially, over 98%.

For free lists of other high yield stocks, check out

Disclosure: Author did not own any of the above at the time the article was written.


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