Opinion: AT&T and 4 more unloved dividend stocks to buy in a ‘risk-off’ era

With stocks off to one of their worst starts to the year since the 2008-2009 financial crisis, it’s no longer crazy to talk about a sustained period of market volatility or a prolonged “risk off” environment on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 index
SPX,
+1.89%
has fallen 5.3%% year-to-date through Monday’s closing bell. And many one-time growth darling as doing even worse; Netflix is down nearly six times that amount, and Peloton
PTON,
+6.59%
is down more than four times that amount.

If ever there was a time to consider sleepy but stable dividend stocks, now is the time. The following five stocks are all names that, frankly, haven’t done so well over the last 12 months. But they share massive scale and comfortable profitability that ensures they can weather whatever short-term volatility we see over the coming months. Furthermore, they offer generous yields that offer an incentive to buy and hold until the dust settles.

They may not be as sexy as the highflying tech stocks or biotechs that made swing traders a bundle a year or two ago. But these five unloved dividend stocks are definitely worth a look right now.

AT&T

AT&T
T,
+1.15%
is a stock that many investors have turned up their nose at recently, as shares have slumped 25% from their 52-week high back in May 2021. A big reason is uncertainty around the planned spinoff of it WarnerMedia operations and subsequent mashup of those asset with Discovery Inc.
DISCA,
+2.80%

But given the share-price drop and the appeal of legacy AT&T assets in what is increasingly appearing to be a “risk off” environment in 2022, it may be worth jumping in to this telecom blue chip even without total clarity on the spinoff.

Consider AT&T once gain revealed strong earnings with the fourth-quarter numbers that dropped on Jan. 26; it led US wireless carriers in 2021 subscriber growth and topped revenue expectations. Its sprawling operations rake in $150 billion in annual revenue and is consistently profitable.

Yes, the lack of…

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