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Zacks.com featured highlights W.W. Grainger, Graphic Packaging, PulteGroup, Walmart and Novartis

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – May 24, 2023 – Stocks in this week’s article are W.W. Grainger Inc. GWW, Graphic Packaging Holding Co. GPK, PulteGroup Inc. PHM, Walmart Inc. WMT and Novartis NVS.

Invest in These Dividend Growth Stocks Amid Default Fears

Worries over debt default have been making investors jittery, raising the appeal for dividend investing. This is especially true as dividend stocks are major sources of consistent income for investors to create wealth when returns from the equity market are at risk, even though these do not offer dramatic price appreciation.

In fact, stocks with a strong history of year-over-year dividend growth form a healthy portfolio with a greater scope of capital appreciation as opposed to simple dividend-paying stocks or those that have high yields.

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We have selected five dividend growth stocks — W.W. Grainger Inc., Graphic Packaging Holding Co., PulteGroup Inc., Walmart Inc. and Novartis — that could be solid choices for your portfolio.

Why Dividend Growth Strategy?

Stocks that have a strong history of dividend growth belong to mature companies, which are less susceptible to large swings in the market, and thus act as a hedge against economic or political uncertainty as well as stock market volatility. At the same time, these offer downside protection with their consistent increase in payouts.

Additionally, these stocks have superior fundamentals that make dividend growth a quality and promising investment for the long term. These include a sustainable business model, a long track of profitability, rising cash flows, good liquidity, a strong balance sheet and some value characteristics. Further, a history of strong dividend growth indicates that a dividend increase is likely in the future.

Although these stocks do not necessarily have the highest yields, they have outperformed for a longer period than the broader stock market or any other dividend-paying stock.

Here are five of the 11 stocks that fit the bill:

Illinois-based W.W. Grainger is a broad-line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating products and services. The company has an estimated growth rate of 19.8% and delivered an average earnings surprise of 9.15% for the past four quarters.

GWW has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of A. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Georgia-based Graphic Packaging is a leading provider of paperboard packaging solutions for a wide variety of products to food, beverage and other consumer products companies. The company saw a solid earnings estimate revision of 28 cents over the past 30 days for this year, with estimated growth of 30%.

Graphic Packaging has a Zacks Rank #1 and a Growth Score of B.

Atlanta-based PulteGroup is engaged in homebuilding and financial services businesses, primarily in the United States. The company saw a solid earnings estimate revision of $1.61 over the past 30 days for this year and delivered an average earnings surprise of 15.60% over the past four quarters.

PulteGroup carries a Zacks Rank #1 and has a Growth Score of B.

Arkansas-based Walmart has evolved from being just a traditional brick-and-mortar retailer into an omnichannel player. It is engaged in the operation of retail, wholesale and other units worldwide. The company has an estimated earnings growth rate of 7.7% for the fiscal year (ending January 2024) and delivered an average earnings surprise of 3.83% for the past four quarters.

Presently, WMT has a Zacks Rank #2 and a Growth Score of A.

Switzerland-based Novartis has one of the strongest and broadest portfolios of oncology drugs and generics, which has enabled it to maintain its dominant position as a top pharma company over the years. The company has an estimated growth rate of 9.3% and delivered an average earnings surprise of 5.15% for the past four quarters.

At present, NVS has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) and a Growth Score of B.

You can get the rest of the stocks on this list by signing up now for your 2-week free trial to the Research Wizard and start using this screen in your own trading. Further, you can also create your own strategies and test them first before taking the investment plunge.

The Research Wizard is a great place to begin. It's easy to use. Everything is in plain language. And it's very intuitive. Start your Research Wizard trial today. And the next time you read an economic report, open up the Research Wizard, plug your finds in, and see what gems come out.

Click here to sign up for a free trial to the Research Wizard today.

For the rest of this Screen of the Week article please visit Zacks.com at: https://www.zacks.com/stock/news/2098412/invest-in-these-dividend-growth-stocks-amid-default-fears

Disclosure: Officers, directors and/or employees of Zacks Investment Research may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material. An affiliated investment advisory firm may own or have sold short securities and/or hold long and/or short positions in options that are mentioned in this material.

About Screen of the Week

Zacks.com created the first and best screening system on the web earning the distinction as the "#1 site for screening stocks" by Money Magazine.  But powerful screening tools is just the start. That is why Zacks created the Screen of the Week to highlight profitable stock picking strategies that investors can actively use.

Strong Stocks that Should Be in the News

Many are little publicized and fly under the Wall Street radar. They're virtually unknown to the general public. Yet today's 220 Zacks Rank #1 "Strong Buys" were generated by the stock-picking system that has more than doubled the market from 1988 through 2016. Its average gain has been a stellar +25% per year.

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Contact: Jim Giaquinto

Company: Zacks.com

Phone: 312-265-9268

Email: pr@zacks.com

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Zacks.com provides investment resources and informs you of these resources, which you may choose to use in making your own investment decisions. Zacks is providing information on this resource to you subject to the Zacks "Terms and Conditions of Service" disclaimer. www.zacks.com/disclaimer. Past performance is no guarantee of future results. Inherent in any investment is the potential for loss. This material is being provided for informational purposes only and nothing herein constitutes investment, legal, accounting or tax advice, or a recommendation to buy, sell or hold a security. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. It should not be assumed that any investments in securities, companies, sectors or markets identified and described were or will be profitable. All information is current as of the date of herein and is subject to change without notice. Any views or opinions expressed may not reflect those of the firm as a whole. Zacks Investment Research does not engage in investment banking, market making or asset management activities of any securities. These returns are from hypothetical portfolios consisting of stocks with Zacks Rank = 1 that were rebalanced monthly with zero transaction costs. These are not the returns of actual portfolios of stocks. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index. Visit https://www.zacks.com/performance  for information about the performance numbers displayed in this press release.

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Novartis AG (NVS) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Walmart Inc. (WMT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

PulteGroup, Inc. (PHM) : Free Stock Analysis Report

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Graphic Packaging Holding Company (GPK) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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Zacks Investment Research