Barron's 2024 Ranking Reveals Top Sustainable Dividend Stocks

Barron's releases its 2024 ranking of the 100 most sustainable companies, with 76 paying dividends. Regions Financial, NextEra Energy Partners, and Franklin Resources stand out as notable dividend-paying stocks on the list.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Barron's 2024 Ranking Reveals Top Sustainable Dividend Stocks

Barron's 2024 Ranking Reveals Top Sustainable Dividend Stocks

Barron's has released its seventh annual ranking of the 100 most sustainable companies for 2024, based on a comprehensive review of over 230 Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) performance indicators. The ranking, conducted by Calvert Research and Management, assesses the performance of the 1,000 largest publicly traded companies across five key constituencies: shareholders, employees, customers, community, and the planet.

Why this matters: The growing importance of ESG factors in assessing a company's long-term sustainability and financial performance has significant implications for investors and the broader economy. As investors increasingly prioritize responsible and sustainable practices, this trend is likely to shape the direction of the global economy and influence corporate decision-making.

Among the top 100 sustainable companies, 76 pay dividends, with 9 of these companies boasting projected annual dividends that exceed their single share prices as of May 9, 2024. NextEra Energy Partners, Franklin Resources, and Regions Financial stand out as notable dividend-paying stocks on the list.

Regions Financial, in particular, has garnered attention from institutional investors, who own 79.39% of the company's stock. Recent insider transactions include EVP William D. Ritter selling 23,000 shares at an average price of $19.95, totaling $458,850, and Director William C. Rhodes III acquiring 50,000 shares at an average price of $19.37, amounting to $968,500. Company insiders hold a 0.33% stake in Regions Financial.

Analysts have weighed in on Regions Financial, with Morgan Stanley dropping their target price from $27.00 to $25.00 while maintaining an overweight rating. Truist Financial cut their price target to $20.00 with a hold rating, while Evercore ISI upped their target to $22.00 with an in-line rating. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their price objective to $21.00 with an outperform rating, and Piper Sandler raised their target to $21.00 with a neutral rating. The stock currently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $20.34.

The Barron's ranking highlights the growing importance of ESG factors in assessing the long-term sustainability and financial performance of companies. As investors increasingly prioritize responsible and sustainable practices, the top dividend-paying stocks on this list, such as NextEra Energy Partners, Franklin Resources, and Regions Financial, may attract further interest from both institutional and individual investors seeking to align their portfolios with their values while generating steady income.

Key Takeaways

  • Barron's releases 2024 ranking of 100 most sustainable companies based on 230 ESG performance indicators.
  • 76 of the top 100 sustainable companies pay dividends, with 9 offering high yields.
  • Regions Financial stands out as a notable dividend-paying stock with high institutional ownership.
  • Analysts have mixed ratings and price targets for Regions Financial, with an average rating of Hold.
  • ESG factors increasingly influence corporate decision-making and investor portfolios.