4 ‘Strong Buy’ Stocks With Big Upside Potential Have Expected Dividend Hikes This Week

After years of low interest rates, which have been trending much higher over the past year, many investors have turned to equities not only for the growth potential but also for solid and dependable dividends, which help to provide an income stream. This is total return, which is one of the most powerful investment strategies. While interest rates are rising, these companies still make sense for investors looking for solid growth and income potential.

Remember the impact total return has on portfolios because it is one of the best ways to help improve the chances for overall investing success. Again, total return is the combined increase in a stock’s value plus dividends. For instance, if you buy a stock at $20 that pays a 3% dividend and it increases to $22 in a year, your total return is 13%: 10% for the increase in stock price and 3% for the dividends paid.

The following four Wall Street favorites are expected to raise their dividends this week. We screened our 24/7 Wall St. research universe and found that they are rated Buy at some of the top firms on Wall Street. While it is always possible that not all four do raise their dividends, top analysts expect them to, based on past increases in each firm’s dividend payouts.

It is important to remember that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

American Financial Group

This old-school heartland insurance leader is offering investors an outstanding entry point as the sector has struggled. American Financial Group Inc. (NYSE: AFG) is an insurance holding company that provides specialty property and casualty insurance products in the United States.

It offers property and transportation insurance products, such as physical damage and liability coverage for buses and trucks, inland and ocean marine, agricultural-related products, and other commercial property and specialty transportation coverages; specialty casualty insurance, including primarily excess and surplus, executive and professional liability, general liability, umbrella and excess liability and specialty coverage in targeted markets, as well as customized programs for small to midsized businesses and workers’ compensation insurance; and specialty financial insurance products comprising risk management insurance programs for lending and leasing institutions, fidelity and surety products, and trade credit insurance.

The company sells its property and casualty insurance products through independent insurance agents and brokers.

American Financial Group stock investors currently receive a dividend of 2.26%. It is expected to raise the payout from $0.63 per share to $0.69.

Piper Sandler has a $150 target price objective, while the consensus target is $133.25. The shares closed trading on Friday at $111.67.

Bank OZK

Formerly known as Bank of the Ozarks, this regional banking leader is a top total return idea. Bank OZK (NASDAQ: OZK) provides various retail and commercial banking services. The company accepts various deposit products, including non-interest-bearing checking, interest bearing transaction, business sweep, savings, money market, individual retirement and other accounts, as well as time deposits.

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