Five Dividend Stocks Favored By Ziegler Capital Management

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Ziegler Capital Management, LLC is an asset management firm based in Chicago. Ziegler has a successful history of providing investment solutions for institutional, sub-advisory, municipal, pension plan, and individual investors. The company maintains a reputation for offering investment strategies that target excess returns and risk control. The company has expertise in both fixed income and equity markets.

In the last quarter, Ziegler initiated new positions in 44 stocks and sold out 369 stocks. The company has a diversified portfolio that is hefty on services (15.46%), technology (30.13%), energy (7.91%), healthcare (13.27%), and financial (13.89%) stocks. Here, I assess the top dividend stocks favored by the Ziegler Capital Management. These are Chevron (NYSE: CVX), Exxon Mobile (NYSE: XOM), Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT), Aflac (NYSE: AFL) and Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT).

Stock

Shares Held

Market Value

% of Portfolio

% Change

Dividend Yield %

Chevron

275,888

$ 32,157,505

1.96%

98

3.45

Exxon Mobile

364,404

$ 33,324,745

2.03%

88

2.60

Abbott Laboratories

162,704

$ 11,154,986

0.68%

82

3.24

Aflac Incorporated

85,252

$ 4,081,866

0.25%

79

2.72

Microsoft Corporation

891,880

$ 26,542,349

1.62%

116

3.44

Chevron is an incorporated energy corporation with global production, exploration, and refining operations. With the production of 2.67 million of barrels of oil equivalent a day, Chevron is the 2nd largest oil corporation in the United States. Refineries are situated in the United States, Asia, and South Africa. Verified reserves at the end of 2011 stood at 11.2 billion barrels of oil equivalent.

Chevron has a dividend yield of 3.45%and a payout ratio of just 28%. Chevron's stock has a free cash flow yield of 5.4, providing additional support for the dividends. Chevron has a 5 year dividend growth rate of almost 10%, and over the past year the stock is up over 12%. The year 2012 will be Chevron's 20th successive year of raising its dividend.

As of the end of September, Ziegler owned 275,888 shares in Chevron. This forms 1.96% of the Ziegler total portfolio, and the 13F filing demonstrates an increased holding for 4 consecutive quarters.

Exxon Mobil involves in the production and exploration of crude oil and natural gas. Exxon is also the manufacturer of petroleum products, as well as transportation and sale of crude oil, and natural gas. Exxon has paid dividends since 1911 and elevated dividends for 30 straight years.

Most recently, the management decided to raise the quarterly dividends by 21.30% to $0.57 per quarter from the earlier value of $0.47 per quarter. For 30 consecutive years, Exxon has given shareholders a "raise." There are only few companies in the globe that can claim the same. Over the previous decade, this dividend stock has provided an annualized total return of 11.50% to its investors.

As of the end of September, Ziegler owned 364,404 shares in Exxon. This forms 2.03% of the total Ziegler portfolio. The 13F filing demonstrates an increased holding for 6 consecutive quarters. Exxon has maintained an amazing increase in annual EPS since 2002 with EPS growing by 20.10% per year. Analysts anticipate Exxon to produce $7.83 per share in 2012 and $8.44 per share in 2013.

Abbott Laboratories offers health care products globally. Abbott expects to finish its spin off its pharmaceuticals unit into an independent publicly traded corporation by Jan. 1, 2013. The corporation has a long lasting competitive advantage with its gross margin of 62.7% and net profit margin of 16.6%. Abbott recently traded at $62.92 and has a 3.24%dividend yield. Abbott gained 22.2% during the previous 12 months. The stock has a market cap of $99.46 billion, P/E ratio of 15.31 and Total Debt/Equity ratio of 0.60. Abbott also had an EPS growth rate of 21.98% during the past five years.

Abbott Laboratories takes up 0.68% of the portfolio, accounting for 162,704 shares. Ziegler increased their holdings in Abbott Laboratories in the latest 13F filing. The corporation has been a consistent favorite of Ziegler for at least the last 6 quarters.

Aflac offers supplemental health and life insurance in Japan (80% of earnings) and United States. The corporation has paid a cash dividend to stockholders annually since 1973 and has elevated its dividends for 30 straight years.

Aflac has a low debt, and total debt to equity ratio stands at 0.28. The company's trailing P/E is low at 8.38, and the forward P/E is even lower at 7.30, and the PEG ratio is also very low at 0.78. The annual earnings expansion rate for the following 5 years is 10.80%. The forward annual dividend yield is fairly high at 2.77%. For the Q3, the company beat expectations on revenues and beat targets on earnings per share. The company documented revenue of $6.85 billion, much better than the analyst's forecasts of $6.56 billion. The documented sales were 13% greater than the past-year quarter's of $6.06 billion.

Aflac occupies 0.25% of the portfolio, accounting for 85,252 shares. Ziegler increased their holdings in Aflac in the latest 13F filing. The corporation has been a consistent choice of the Ziegler for at least in the last 6 quarters.

Microsoft develops the Office suite of productivity software, the Windows PC operating system and enterprise server products such as SQL Server and Windows Server. The Windows PC and Office franchises collectively account for nearly 60% of the company revenue. The tools and server business contribute 25%.

Ziegler bought additional shares of Microsoft in the latest quarter. Microsoft has been a consistent favorite of the Ziegler for the last 6 quarters. Presently, the company forms 1.62% of the Ziegler portfolio. For the previous 5 years, the software company's sales have been growing at an annual rate of 7.6%. Microsoft is extremely profitable, with a net profit margin of 21.71%. The EPS is observed to grow at 8.85% per year for the previous 5 years. Microsoft corporation year to date performance increases by 10.84%. Microsoft is preferred by many fund managers such as Tepper, Einhorn, and Ray Dalio.


ecofinstat has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft and ExxonMobil. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Aflac, Chevron, and Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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