Safe growth stocks with dividends are appealing because of their stability and predictability. Buying them will keep investors largely protected from volatility while also providing them with income and a good chance of realizing significant capital gains.
JPMorgan (NYSE:JPM) CEO Jamie Dimon uses a weather forecast as an apt metaphor for the economy’s outlook. I’ll adopt that here.
At this point, it’s early in the morning and the sun is out, but there are a few clouds in the distance. Although rain looks unlikely, if the wind blows a certain way and more clouds appear, we could see a storm today.
In other words, inflation looks to be coming under control, fears of the coronavirus have receded, the Fed appears to be dovish and intent on not wrecking the economy to combat inflation and oil prices seem to be under control.
And yet there are some clouds. Multiple, well-known geopolitical problems could spiral out of control, oil prices may suddenly surge, inflation could jump without much warning and the Fed could quickly turn more hawkish.
So investors who are very worried about getting caught in a storm should stick to relatively safe growth stocks with dividends that can give them some decent returns but will also prevent them from getting rained on.
Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) is a quintessential growth stock that’s also defensive. The firm specializes in creating and selling networking technologies of switching, routing, wireless, and data center products.
CSCO is well-positioned to benefit from multiple, positive catalysts that will not be derailed even by a steep recession. Among these catalysts are initiatives by many governments to expand internet access and the proliferation of 5G and video conferencing.
CSCO also has a significant cybersecurity business. A sharp economic downturn is unlikely to cause spending on cybersecurity to sink a great deal.
Cisco recently reported stronger-than-expected fiscal Q4 results, and it expects its revenue to increase 2%-4% year-over-year during the current quarter. For its current full year, the company projects that its top line will increase by 4%-6%.
CSCO stock has a dividend yield of 3.2% and a forward price-earnings ratio of just 13.
McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) is a good defensive stock because many working-class and middle-class families will start eating there instead of more expensive restaurants if the economy turns south.
On July 31, UBS issued an upbeat note on MCD stock. It praised the company’s same-store sales and lauded its sustainable operations. It believes McDonald’s will continue to gain global market share.
The shares have a dividend yield of 2.1%. Given the company’s strong growth outlook, its forward P/E ratio of 27 is not overly high.
Dominion Energy (D)
Dominion Energy, (NYSE:D) is building its own wind turbines and will benefit directly from the extension of the wind turbine tax credit and other energy credits in the recent spending bill.
None of these provisions will be derailed by a recession, since Washington’s income sources and tax credits are not affected greatly by economic downturns.
What’s more, Dominion, like its peers, should be boosted by the electric-vehicle revolution which should greatly boost the demand for power.
D stock has a 3.25 dividend yield and a reasonable forward P/E ratio of 20.5.
On the date of publication, Larry Ramer did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.