Gabelli’s Marcin: Dividend Stocks Are Best Bet in Tepid Investing World

Friday, 27 Jul 2012 07:50 AM

By Dan Weil

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Dividend stocks have had a strong run over the past three years, and Barbara Marcin, manager of the Gabelli Dividend Growth Fund, still believes in them.

Dividend stocks aren’t too expensive, she says.

“We have seen outperformance of specific high-yielding sectors sect like utilities and telecoms,” Marcin told CNBC. “But we look company by company. And the ones we look at — that have very reasonable multiples and high dividend yields — don’t seem to have been bid up just for the yield.”

As of March 31, Gabelli Dividend Growth’s biggest holdings, in descending order, were International Paper, Du Pont, BlackRock, NextEra and Honeywell.

There were no utility stocks in the fund’s top 25 holdings. Utilities have gained from investors who were looking purely for yield, rather than yield and strong growth, Marcin said.

“If you think interest rates are going to head back up within the next year or two, then you’re going to see a correction in that group,” she said. “If you don’t think so, then it’s not a bad spot there.”

Some dividends stocks have risen only thanks to their high yields, Marcin said, but there are numerous companies that will increase their dividends.

Given that different industries face different outlooks, it may make sense to invest across many different sectors to build a portfolio of dividend stocks.

Diversification is just as important there as in any other asset class.

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