White House physician says Trump can return to public events Saturday - Yahoo Finance

White House physician says Trump can return to public events Saturday - Yahoo Finance

White House physician says Trump can return to public events Saturday - Yahoo Finance

Posted: 08 Oct 2020 03:59 PM PDT


3 "Strong Buy" Dividend Stocks Yielding Over 9%

If the stock market's ups and downs this year have taught us any enduring lesson, it's a repeat of an old stand-by: the importance of setting up a steady income stream, to keep the portfolio profitable no matter how the individual shares move. Dividends are a key part of any investment income strategy, giving investors a reliable income when it's needed most.All dividends are not created equal, however. Investors should seek out companies with one of two advantage – or preferably both: a commitment to maintaining the dividend, and a high yield. The second is not hard to find, considering the Federal Reserve's policy of keeping interest rates near zero, while the first attribute may take some research.With all of that in mind, we've opened up the Stock Screener tool from TipRanks, a company that tracks and measures the performance of analysts, to find stocks with high dividend yields. Setting the screener filters to show stocks with "strong buy" consensus rating and a high dividend yields exceeding 9% gave us a manageable list of stocks. We've picked three to focus on.New Mountain Finance Corporation (NMFC)The first stock on the list is New Mountain Finance, in the business development niche. New Mountain invests in debt securities, including first and second lien notes and mezzanine securities. The Company's portfolio includes public and private equity and credit funds with a total worth well north of $28 billion.The company reported 30 cents per share in net investment income for the second quarter, down 4 cents sequentially. At the top line, revenues came in at $76 million, a healthy turnaround from the first quarter revenue loss of $174 million. As far as the data can show, New Mountain has turned around from the coronavirus losses incurred early in the year.New Mountain kept its dividend payment stable in the second quarter, at 30 cents per common share. At the current level, the $1.20 annualized payout gives a high yield of 11.5%.Wells Fargo analyst Finian O'Shea is comfortable with NMFC's dividend policy, writing, "Having reduced its $0.34 dividend to $0.30 last quarter, coverage appears solid after the BDC has sustained its impact from nonaccruals, de-leveraging and LIBOR…"O'Shea believes NMFC shares have room to rise, noting: "NMFC trades at 0.82x, about in-line with the WFBDC Index despite its history of top-quartile returns, improved leverage profile and portfolio level performance so far through today's recessionary environment."To this end, O'Shea rates NMFC an Overweight (i.e. Buy), and his $11.25 price target suggests it has a nearly 14% upside potential for the coming year. (To watch O'Shea's track record, click here)Overall, the Wall Street consensus on NMFC is a Strong Buy, based on 4 reviews including 3 Buys and 1 Hold. The shares are selling for $9.88, and the average price target of $10.92 implies a one-year upside of 11% for the stock. (See NMFC stock analysis on TipRanks)Plains GP Holdings (PAGP)Next on our list, Plains GP, is a holding company in the oil and gas midstream sector. Plains' assets move oil and gas products from the well heads to the storage facilities, refineries, and transport hubs. The company's operations move more than 6 million barrels of oil equivalent daily, in a network extending to the Texas oil patch and the Gulf Coast. Plains also has assets in California and the Appalachian natural gas fields.The crisis in the first half of this year put heavy pressure on Plains' revenue and earnings. By Q2, revenue was down by two-thirds, to $3.2 billion, and EPS had fallen to just 9 cents. As part of its response, Plains slashed its dividend by half – from 36 cents per common share to 18 cents. The cut was made to keep the dividend within the distributable cash flow, affordable for the company – and kept up for shareholders. Looking at numbers, PAGP's dividend payment offers investors a yield of 11.7%, almost 6x higher than the average yield among S&P 500-listed companies.Tristan Richardson, covering the stock for Truist, sees Plains in a good spot at present. Noting the difficulties faced earlier in the year, he writes, "Despite cautious notes on recovery and general industry commentary that reflects the tepid growth environment, Plains remains among best positioned, in our view, amongst volumetrically sensitive business as a dominant Permian operator… We believe the units/shares should find some support over the near term on … the inflection to positive free cash flow and gradual de-levering."Richardson gives this stock a Buy rating and $12 price target, indicating an impressive potential upside of 80% for the next 12 months. (To watch Richardson's track record, click here)The Strong Buy analyst consensus rating on PAGP is unanimous, based on 5 recent reviews, all Buys. The stock has an average price target of $11, implying an upside of 65% from the current share price of $6.82. (See PAGP stock analysis on TipRanks)Sixth Street Specialty Lending (TSLX)The last company on our list recently underwent a name change; in June, it dropped its old name TPG in favor of Sixth Street. The ticker and stock history remain the same, however, so the difference for investors is in the letterhead. Sixth Street continues the core business of providing credit and capital for mid-market companies, helping to fund America's small and medium enterprise niche.The economic difficulties of the corona crisis were easily visible in this company's top line. Revenue was negative in Q1, due to a curtailment in loan collections and reduction in interest income, although earnings remained positive. In Q2, EPS rose to 59 cents per share, meeting the forecast, and revenues returned to positive numbers, at $103 million.Sixth Street adjusted its dividend during the crisis, but that move did not raise any eyebrows. The company has a long history of dividend payment adjustments, regularly making changes to the common stock dividend in order to keep it in line with earnings, and giving supplemental dividends when possible. The current regular payment is set at 41 cents, annualizing to $1.64, and giving a strong yield of 9.45%.JMP analyst Christopher York believes that Sixth Street has as solid position in its niche, noting, "…we think the company has historically proven, and subsequently earned investor trust and credibility to underwrite and structure complex and special situation investments to achieve attractive risk-adjusted returns."Regarding the dividend, York is optimistic about the future, writing, "[The] supplemental dividend is likely to return following two quarters of no distributions as a result of the mechanics of the supplemental dividend framework…"In line with his positive outlook for the company, York rates the stock as Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $20 price target indicates confidence in a 15% upside potential. (To watch York's track record, click here)This stock has another unanimous Strong Buy consensus rating, with 5 recent Buy reviews. The stock's current share price is $17.33 and the average price target of $19.30 suggests it has room for 11% share price growth ahead of it. (See TSLX stock analysis on TipRanks)To find good ideas for dividend stocks trading at attractive valuations, visit TipRanks' Best Stocks to Buy, a newly launched tool that unites all of TipRanks' equity insights.Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely those of the featured analysts. The content is intended to be used for informational purposes only. It is very important to do your own analysis before making any investment.

New solar farm planned in Dobson - Mount Airy News

Posted: 09 Oct 2020 09:48 AM PDT

NARENCO out of Charlotte grades the land on the property just west of the Dobson town limits last month.

Jeff Linville | The News

<p>The property has 39 acres, of which more than 34 acres is being planned for the work.</p> <p>Jeff Linville | The News</p>

The property has 39 acres, of which more than 34 acres is being planned for the work.

Jeff Linville | The News

<p>Hayes Solar, which is leading the project, is still working on the financing for the farm with the USDA.</p> <p>Jeff Linville | The News</p>

Hayes Solar, which is leading the project, is still working on the financing for the farm with the USDA.

Jeff Linville | The News

<p>School children from Mount Airy City Schools visit another solar farm in the county.</p> <p>Mount Airy City Schools</p>

School children from Mount Airy City Schools visit another solar farm in the county.

Mount Airy City Schools

DOBSON — A new solar energy farm is in the works just outside the county seat on a 39-acre site.

Hayes Solar, of Charlotte, has been preparing the site for a "3.0-megawatt ground-mounted solar photovoltaic facility" that would disturb 34.4 acres of the property just west of Dobson Elementary School at 718 W. Atkins St.

In July, Hayes Solar ran legal notices in The Mount Airy News letting the public know that it would have to get an environmental assessment performed by the Rural Business-Cooperative Service, a department of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The USDA would have to ensure that disturbing nearly three dozen acres of land wouldn't have a negative impact on farm land in the area.

In the legal notice, Hayes explained that the project would utilize solar modules, mounted on a steel racking system which will be anchored into the ground using driven steel piers, to convert the sun's energy to usable power.

"The estimated duration of construction is three to four months, and it is anticipated that the proposed project will operate for a minimum of 40 years, and when the proposed project has reached its operational end, the site can be returned to its preconstruction state," said the notice.

The power generated from the facility would be sold to Duke Energy Carolina (DEC) through a long-term power purchase agreement. Duke would construct all necessary distribution system upgrades to connect the facility to its electrical system.

The result

Hayes Solar has run another legal notice in The News, advertising that the USDA had finished the agriculture impact study.

The USDA's Rural Business-Cooperative Service (RBS) made a finding of no significant impact with the 34.4-acre project.

"The RBS has reviewed and approved the EA (environmental assessment) for the proposed project."

When the announcement was made of the upcoming assessment in July, the USDA gave two weeks for the public to make comments on the project. The agency said it received only one letter.

Concerns raised in that letter included:

• Having a negative impact on agricultural balance in the vicinity;

• Causing damage to above/below-ground springs;

• Inadequate drainage control for storm water runoff and the impact that might have on neighboring ponds and wetlands;

• The need for setbacks and buffers from wetlands.

The RBS and an outside environmental group, True North Consultants, concluded that the project would have "no significant impact — or no impacts — to water quality, wetlands, floodplains, land use, aesthetics, transportation or human health and safety." Nor will it endanger any protected wildlife.

Furthermore, the report says the project "will have no adverse effect on resources listed or eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Places." And it won't "disproportionately affect minority and/or low-income populations."

Therefore, Hayes Solar has cleared a hurdle "with respect to a request for possible financing assistance" from USDA Rural Assistance.

The notice did not say whether this assistance would be in the form of grant money or zero-interest loans.

The legal notice stated that Bill Tew, business program specialist with USDA Rural Development, was working with the company on this project. However, attempts to reach Tew by phone and email have been unsuccessful.

Nathan Walls, assistant to the county manager, said no request has been made to appear before the county commissioners on this project.

Todd Tucker, president of the Surry County Economic Development Partnership, said he has not been contacted by Hayes Solar about the farm.

Other projects

Solar energy is a growing trend in Surry County over the past decade.

• Off Park Drive at the quarry, the Ararat Solar Farm began in 2011 as a partnership between developer O2 Energies and Ararat Rock Products.

O2 Energies told The Mount Airy News back then that annually the solar farm could generate 6,300 megawatt-hours of clean electricity during times of peak demand. This is the equivalent of powering the electricity needs of 600 homes on an annual basis, the company said.

Livestock are used to graze under the panels during the summer months to keep vegetation from growing up into the way of the sun's rays, demonstrating a dual use for land.

This multi-million dollar investment created work for more than 100 individuals and over 20 local and in-state companies, setting the stage for a new era for renewable energy in North Carolina.

• A few months later in March 2012, numerous business leaders and government officials gathered in Mount Airy for the dedication of a second solar farm with O2 Energies.

Organizers estimate that around 200 people gathered at Mayberry Solar Farm, located off U.S. 52 on property surrounding the municipal wastewater treatment plant at the south end of town.

O2 Energies, a company which develops turn-key, ground-mounted solar photovoltaic systems, worked with the city over two years to obtain a lease and right-of-way to start the project on city property. It worked with Surrey Bank and Trust to provide loan financing for the multi-million dollar project. More than 20 local and state businesses were involved with the construction of the solar farm, which was said to require minimal upkeep now that it is operational. Strata Solar provided engineering, procurement and construction services for the project.

The 1.2 megawatt solar farm consists of rows of solar collectors mounted to the ground and was expected to power around 150 homes. The power generated by the solar panels will go into the Duke Energy grid to power local homes. ElectriCities of North Carolina and Duke Energy will buy the renewable energy credits and electricity generated. The solar panels were placed on around six acres of land.

• In July 2015 the Triad Business Journal reported on an operation O2 Energies was planning in Yadkinville.

The story said the company would build a $12 million, 3.5-megawatt solar farm in Yadkinville that would generate up to 100 jobs during construction.

The Yadkinville farm was one of four solar farms that O2 was building across the state that year, including a 20-megawatt plant in Montgomery County. "Yadkinville Solar" was expected to cover about 18 acres on land that previously served as a grass runway for small airplanes. It is located just more than a mile from Unifi's Repreve recycling plant, where Unifi installed a 1-megawatt solar farm through a partnership with Duke Energy.

• At an April 2019 meeting, the Surry County Board of Commissioners heard about a plan to put a large solar energy farm in the Stony Knoll community, north of Rockford.

Kim Bates, county planning director, told the board that Duke Energy Renewables had made a request to the Surry County Planning Board for a conditional-use permit for about 350 acres.

Bates said such a request wouldn't make it to the level of the commissioners, but he thought they would want to know due to the scope of the project.

Two weeks later, Duke Energy sent out a press release about 14 projects that it would be pursuing under the state's Competitive Procurement of Renewable Energy (CPRE) program.

These projects, if all are completed as planned, would create 602 MW of energy, with 22.6 MW coming from the Surry project.

Duke Energy stated that it will directly develop six photovoltaic projects, five of which will be newly constructed.

Reach Jeff at 415-4692.


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