7 Analyst Favorite 'Strong Buy' Blue Chip Stocks With 4% and Higher Dividends

This has been a dreadful year for investors. Both the Nasdaq and the S&P 500 are still in bear market territory. With more rate hikes coming, and some of the biggest companies posting dreadful third-quarter results (and offering lackluster forward guidance), we could be in for a rough fourth quarter. Top strategists like Morgan Stanley’s Mike Wilson feel that the market could trade down to 3,000 to 3,200 before bottoming, and that would be a 20% decline from current levels.
One positive when the stock market goes through a bear market year is that top companies that pay big and reliable dividends are tossed out like the proverbial baby with the bath water. We screened our 24/7 Wall St. equity research database looking for Buy-rated stocks of companies that paid at least a 4% dividend. The following seven stocks hit our screens, and all make sense for worried and frustrated investors looking for a safe harbor. It is important to remember though that no single analyst report should be used as a sole basis for any buying or selling decision.

AT&T

The legacy telecommunications company has been going through a long restructuring, has lowered its dividend and has sold off or merged underperforming assets. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) provides telecommunications, media and technology services worldwide.

Its Communications segment offers wireless voice and data communications services and sells handsets, wireless data cards, wireless computing devices with carrying cases and hands-free devices through its own company-owned stores, agents and third-party retail stores.

AT&T also provides data, voice, security, cloud solutions, outsourcing and managed and professional services, as well as customer premises equipment for multinational corporations, small and midsized businesses, and governmental and wholesale customers. In addition, it offers broadband fiber and legacy telephony voice communication services to residential customers.

The company markets its communications services and products under the AT&T, Cricket, AT&T Prepaid and AT&T Fiber brand names. The company’s Latin America segment provides wireless services in Mexico and video services in Latin America. This segment markets its services and products under the AT&T and Unefon brand names.

AT&T stock investors receive a 6.34% dividend. Goldman Sachs has a $23 price objective, and the consensus target is $21.93. The stock closed on Wednesday at $18.14.

Citigroup

This top bank stock has bounced nicely off the lows, and Warren Buffett bought a massive $2.5 billion worth of shares back in the summer. Citigroup Inc. (NYSE: C) is a leading global diversified financial service company that provides consumers, corporations, governments a broad range of financial products and services.

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