3 tech stocks to buy for the dividends

These companies won't soar like other plays in the sector, but they make for great income sources.

By InvestorPlace Aug 22, 2014 4:08PM

Credit: © Kris Tripplaar/Rex Features

Caption: The headquarters of Cisco Systems, Inc., in Silicon Valley, San Jose, Calif.By Jeff Reeves

Finding the best tech stocks to buy can be hard in any market, considering the fast-moving nature of the technology sector.

But it's especially hard for income-oriented investors, given that many of the best tech stocks out there are high-growth companies plowing money into expansion instead of dividends.

If you're looking for good dividend stocks in the technology sector, then it's important to acknowledge that these names are naturally not the same as the sexiest small-cap tech stocks out there. Most of these players are older and more mature technology companies, with the largest part of their growth behind them. That maturity isn't a bad thing, though -- just like the dividend stocks among consumer staples stocks or utility stocks, a mature and stable company is frequently the best source of dividends.

Just don't expect 100 percent earnings growth each quarter.

If you're willing to accept a more modest rate of growth in your tech stocks in exchange for big dividends, here are three of the best tech stocks to buy for income right now:

Seagate Technology

Dividend yield: 2.9 percent

Hard drive maker Seagate Technology (STX) has soared roughly 50 percent in the last 12 months. This alone should prove that the hardware company isn't as dead as some had thought a few years ago when all that hype about a "post PC" age was front and center.

It's fair to point out that Seagate did stop paying its dividend during the 2008-2009 downturn, and waited until 2011 to reinstate it. It's also fair to say that Seagate isn't much of a player in smartphone and tablet storage, which is a risk.

However, the rise of mobile has also resulted in a rise of memory storage "in the cloud" -- which means brisk business for Seagate servers and cloud storage drives. After all, the stuff that isn’t on your smartphone has to be stored somewhere.

As a result, revenue has remained very firm in the last few years -- even after this big run in share price, STX has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of about 10 right now.

And the refreshed Seagate dividend is now 43 cents per share quarterly -- more than four times the 10 cents per share it was paying in early 2008. The nearly 3 percent yield makes it comparable to other dividend stocks, even outside of the tech sector.

That dividend still looks solid, too -- at just 30 percent of next year's earnings. That could portend even more dividend growth for Seagate.

Dividend yield: 3.4 percent
Yes, that Garmin (GRMN). While GPS sales aren't going like gangbusters thanks to the rise of smartphone navigation programs, this firm does much more than those suction cup-mounted gadgets for your car.

Garmin is involved in both airplane and marine navigation systems, as well as in-dash systems supplied to automakers ranging from lower-end Suzukis to luxury vehicles from Mercedes-Benz. There is also a big push into trucking and logistic GPS technology.

At the same time, GRMN is seeking out new applications for its technology that include pet location technology for lost dogs, fitness apps for runners, back-up cameras for vehicles and dash cams to help record what goes on in front of drivers to protect police or commercial drivers from liability issues.

This diverse product catalog has allowed Garmin to tack on 60 percent gains in the last 12 months on optimism about its future.

Sales have admittedly been a bit flat, but the company continues to book earnings growth thanks to better margin products and a $300 million stock buyback plan last year.

As for dividends, Garmin pays 48 cents quarterly which is good for a 3.4 percent yield. GRMN had about $1.2 billion in cash on the books at the end of June -- enough to pay more than three years' worth of dividends without dipping into a penny of cash flows. For a high-yield dividend stock, that’s a good place to be.

Between upside in share price and a juicy dividend, there's a lot to like about Garmin over other tech stocks right now.

Cisco Systems

Dividend yield: 3.1 percent

Cisco (CSCO) stock admittedly hasn’t been very impressive over the last few years based on share price alone. The stock is up just 21 percent in the last five years vs versus March 2009 lows versus 113 percent for the S&P 500 index.

But for long-term dividend investors, the stock could hold serious potential as a value play -- especially at current pricing. Cisco yields 3.5 percent in dividends, which is on par with consumer staples dividend stocks, including Coca-Cola (KO) or Procter & Gamble (PG).

Cisco doesn't have a long dividend history, but it initiated a dividend in 2011 at 6 cents per share quarterly, and it has already tripled that to 19 cents. Furthermore, even after this steep increase, the dividend payout ratio is about 35 percent of projected FY2015 earnings. That's easily sustainable, and even ripe for future increases in dividends.

Sure, the most recent Cisco earnings did rattle some folks with news of layoffs, and flat revenue -- not a good sign for a company that has struggled with its top line and profits previously. But investors have heard this story many times before, so the narrative isn't new, and don't forget that CSCO actually topped expectations in earnings in the details.

With a forward price-to-earnings ratio of just under 11 and a hefty $45 billion in the bank, Cisco seems to be a fair value at current pricing. Long-term investors who want to play the tech sector with solid dividend stocks could do worse than Cisco.

Also check out two more tech stocks to buy for the dividends.

More from InvestorPlace

As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Aug 22, 2014 4:34PM
Aug 24, 2014 12:39PM
WOW they think these are great dividend stocks?  really? ROTFLMAO!!!!  All these are over $50.00 and pay less than 4%.  IF you believe this I have a bridge to sell you, found it used in the desert....
Aug 25, 2014 12:00AM
I really do believe that MSN writers are worse at picking stocks than I am... and that's quite an accomplishment because I really suck at picking stocks.
Aug 24, 2014 11:51PM
FactsandLogic is a genius. I am pretty sure that Russia and Iran were nuclear powers before Obama became President. I am also sure that if Syria wanted to explode a nuclear weapon they could but the blowback would be pretty severe. Barrel bombs are just as effective. Why do you think ISIS pulled out of Syria? Progressive and Centrist is the way to go. Every time we see a new incident happen you see Sen. John MacQuack and Rep. Lyin' Ryan screaming for boots on the ground. Obama talks us down, solves the problem and the stock market keeps going up. That's real leadership. Blackstone will pay huge in the second half as they begin selling off profitable assets. The S&P500 funds like SCHD will keep going up as long as we have Obama. After he leaves office, I am all cash until I see who the next wild card is. If it is a Republican, I will surely stay all cash for the next four years as WW3 will likely ensue.
Aug 24, 2014 2:01AM

no no no.

You need to be playing it safe near this new top with ticker SCHD (Charles Schwab High Dividend ETF) AND ticker BX (Blackstone). This market is going higher thanks to the Progressive and Centrist leadership of our President but who knows what happens after he is gone? If we get a Republican in the White House all is lost. Those religious fanatics will take us straight down to the pits of hades with another losing war after another so at that point my tactics will be back into defense stocks or buying the largest yacht I can afford to flee this country and fish for food. We've wasted the GDP of three generations now on pointless war over BIG OIL. Why can't Congress see the President is right and begin immediately building out a new infrastructure for electric cars before it is too late?

Aug 24, 2014 8:45AM

10 TRILLION DOLLARS STOLEN from the AMERICAN PEOPLE'S 401k to date and you want them to continue BUYING YOUR STOCK and making your MONEY MONGER ONE-PERCENTERS more wealthy !!!

American People, TAKE ALL YOUR 401k money out now ! Pay the EARLY WITHDRAWAL PENALTY, which there NEVER EVER SHOULD HAVE BEEN, and INVEST ALL your money LOCALLY either in a group or individually where YOU & YOU ALONE can keep an eye on your INVESTMENTS and you will have a FINE RETIREMENT and your may not have to wait until you're 70 years old !!!

10 TRILLION DOLLARS STOLEN to date, from your HARD EARNED MONEY that you put in 401k that will leave you with 1/3 of your 401k MONEY AT RETIREMENT !!


Be sure to "THANK" these corrupt Republican corporate MONARCHY political puppet Congress CORRUPTICANS when you get to your VOTING BOOTHS this coming NOVEMBER ! Let them KNOW just how HAPPY you are about their CRIMINA CAPITALISTIC CORRUPTION !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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