Do you like roller coasters? According to Deutsche Bank, we’re looking at some roller coaster volatility for the next few months, with near-term gains likely, followed by a Q2 retreat, and second-half gains. The firm expects share values to fall in the next three months, perhaps by as much as 5% to 10%, for several reasons laid out by the firm’s strategist Binky Chadha. “The more front-loaded the impact of the stimulus, and the direct stimulus checks at around a quarter of the new package clearly are one off, the sharper the peak in growth is likely to be. The closer this peak in macro growth is to warmer weather (giving retail investors something else to do); and to an increased return to work at the office, the larger we expect the pullback to be,” Chadha noted. That’s the mid-term. In the longer view, Chadha expects markets to strengthen by year’s end, and has put a 4,100 target on the S&P 500. This is up from his previous 3,950 target, and suggests potential gains of 4% from current levels. So, for investors, we’re looking at a rocky summer and fall, with some dips and gains likely in the markets. In that environment, a defensive stock play makes sense; it provides some stability to the portfolio, as well as some insurance should the gains not materialize. Reliable dividend stocks, with their regular payouts, provide an income stream that’s independent of the share price appreciation, as well as a share profile that is less volatile to begin with, making them the ideal move for investors worried about keeping up returns while coping with high macro volatility. To that end, we’ve used the TipRanks database to pull up three high-yield dividend stocks that share a profile: a Buy-rating from the Street’s analyst corps; considerable upside potential; and a reliable dividend yielding over 8%. Let’s see what Wall Street’s pros have to say about them. Monroe Capital (MRCC) We’ll start with Monroe Capital, a private equity firm invested in the health care, media, retail, and tech sectors. Monroe is focusing its business on minority and women-owned companies, or on companies with employee stock ownership plans. Monroe offers these sometimes underserved demographics access to capital resources for business development. Monroe has shown two contradictory trends so far this year: declining revenues and earnings, along with rising share value. The company’s top line, at $12.6 million, was down 6% from Q3, and 25% year-over-year, while EPS fell 40% sequentially to 42 cents. Year-over-year, however, EPS more than doubled. Looking at share price, Monroe’s stock has gained 60% in the past 12 months. On the dividend front, Monroe paid out 25 cents per share in December; the next is scheduled, at the same amount, for the end of this month. With an annualized payment of $1, the dividend yields a strong 9.8%. This compares favorably to the 2% average yield found among peer companies. The dividend attracted attention from Oppenheimer analyst Chris Kotowski, rated 5-stars by TipRanks. “We continue to see a runway to eventual dividend coverage with full fees expensed as management grows the portfolio to its target 1.1–1.2x leverage (from 1.0x currently) and redeploys funds currently tied up in non-accruals once resolved… The primary driver of return for a BDC is its dividend payout over time, and we have confidence that MRCC’s new $1.00 distribution (equating to a ~10% yield) is sustainable,” Kotowski noted. In line with his comments, Kotowski rates MRCC an Outperform (i.e. Buy), and his $12 price target suggests it has room to grow 25% in the year ahead. (To watch Kotowski’s track record, click here) The analyst reviews on MRCC break down 2 to 1 in favor of Buy versus Holds, making the consensus rating a Moderate Buy. The shares have a trading price of $9.59, and their $11.13 average target implies an upside of 16% in the year ahead. (See MRCC stock analysis on TipRanks) Eagle Point Credit Company (ECC) Let’s stick with the middle-market financial sector. Eagle Point is another of the capital investment companies that seeks to turn middle-market debt into returns for investors. The company invests in CLO equity, and focuses on current income generation – in other words, ensuring a return for its own investors. While Eagle Point is a small-cap player, the company does boast $3 billion in assets under management – showing that it punches above its weight. Last month, Eagle Point reported 4Q20 earnings, with EPS of 24 cents, below the expectation of 29 cents. However, the current earnings just edged into growth quarter-over-quarter and year-over-year, as 3Q20 and 4Q19 both came in at 23 cents. Turning to the dividend, we find that Eagle Point does something slightly unusual. The company pays out a monthly dividend, rather than quarterly. The current payment, at 8 cents per common share, has been held steady for over a year now, and the company has not missed a distribution. At 96 cents per common share annually, the dividend yields is 8.4%. This is robust by any standard. B. Riley’s 5-star analyst Randy Binner covers Eagle Point, and he notes that the company should have no problem in maintaining its dividend coverage moving forward. “The company’s reported quarterly recurring CLO cash flows averaged $0.75/share over the last 12 months. Similar levels of recurring cash flows would leave a large cushion to service the $0.24 quarterly dividend going forward…. The company announced $29.5M of cash on the balance sheet as of February 9. This balance sheet cash and serviceable quarterly dividend of $0.24 contribute to a favorable liquidity position,” Binner wrote. Binner’s comments back up a Buy rating on the stock, and his $14 price target implies a 12-month upside of 23%. (To watch Binner’s track record, click here) Wall Street takes the same stance on ECC that it did on MRCC: a Moderate Buy consensus rating based on a 2-1 split between Buy and Hold reviews. ECC shares have an average price target of $14, matching Binner’s, and the shares are trading for $11.41. (See ECC stock analysis on TipRanks) Hess Midstream Operations (HESM) Midmarket financials are not the only place to find strong dividends. Wall Street pros also recommend the energy sector, and that is where we now turn. Hess Midstream is one of many companies in the midstream sector of the energy industry, providing and supporting the infrastructure needed to gather, process, store, and transport a fossil fuel products from the well heads into the distribution network. Hess has a range of midstream assets in the North Dakota Bakken formation, moving crude oil and natural gas, along with their derivatives. Hess reported results for 4Q20 earlier this year, showing $266 million at the top line and EPS of 36 cents per share. Revenues were up 5% year-over-year, and relatively flat from Q3. EPS rose 20% quarter-over-quarter, but were down sharply compared to the 87 cents reported in 4Q19. Of interest to investors, the company reported over $126 million in free cash flow, which it used to fund the dividend. Hess pays out its dividend quarterly, and has a reputation for not missing payments. The company has been raising the payment regularly for the past four years, and most recent dividend, at 45 cents per common share, was paid out in February. This dividend is considered ‘safe,’ as the company expects to generate between $610 million and $640 million in free cash flow next year. Those funds will fully cover the dividend, with approximately $100 million left over. Writing from Scotiabank, analyst Alonso Guerra-Garcia sees the free cash flow as Hess’s priority going forward. “We expect the focus this year to be on the harvesting of free cash flow (FCF) with deployment toward buybacks and further de-leveraging. Improved FCF profiles this year also better position the group for a 2H21 demand recovery. Continued energy policy changes and the energy transition may be headwinds this year, but we continue to prefer exposure to the more diversified companies with FCF after dividend (FCFAD) optionality and torque to a recovery,” the analyst opined. To this end, Guerra-Garcia rates HESM an Outperform (i.e. Buy), with a $27 price target indicating a potential upside of 26% by year’s end. (To watch Guerra-Garcia’s track record, click here) All in all, there are only 2 reviews on this small-cap energy company, and they are evenly split – one Buy and one Hold – giving Hess a Moderate Buy rating. The shares are trading for $21.41 and their $27 average price target suggests a one-year upside of 26%. (See HESM 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.
Introducing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0
Today, we are releasing Facebook Graph API v18.0 and Marketing API v18.0. As part of this release, we are highlighting changes below that we believe are relevant to parts of our developer community. These changes include announcements, product updates, and notifications on deprecations that we believe are relevant to your application(s)’ integration with our platform.
For a complete list of all changes and their details, please visit our changelog.
Consolidation of Audience Location Status Options for Location Targeting
As previously announced in May 2023, we have consolidated Audience Location Status to our current default option of “People living in or recently in this location” when choosing the type of audience to reach within their Location Targeting selections. This update reflects a consolidation of other previously available options and removal of our “People traveling in this location” option.
We are making this change as part of our ongoing efforts to deliver more value to businesses, simplify our ads system, and streamline our targeting options in order to increase performance efficiency and remove options that have low usage.
This update will apply to new or duplicated campaigns. Existing campaigns created prior to launch will not be entered in this new experience unless they are in draft mode or duplicated.
Add “add_security_recommendation” and “code_expiration_minutes” to WA Message Templates API
Earlier this year, we released WhatsApp’s authentication solution which enabled creating and sending authentication templates with native buttons and preset authentication messages. With the release of Graph API v18, we’re making improvements to the retrieval of authentication templates, making the end-to-end authentication template process easier for BSPs and businesses.
With Graph API v18, BSPs and businesses can have better visibility into preset authentication message template content after creation. Specifically, payloads will return preset content configuration options, in addition to the text used by WhatsApp. This improvement can enable BSPs and businesses to build “edit” UIs for authentication templates that can be constructed on top of the API.
Note that errors may occur when upgrading to Graph API v18 if BSPs or businesses are taking the entire response from the GET request and providing it back to the POST request to update templates. To resolve, the body/header/footer text fields should be dropped before passing back into the API.
Re-launching dev docs and changelogs for creating Call Ads
- Facebook Reels Placement for Call Ads
Meta is releasing the ability to deliver Call Ads through the Facebook Reels platform. Call ads allow users to call businesses in the moment of consideration when they view an ad, and help businesses drive more complex discussions with interested users. This is an opportunity for businesses to advertise with call ads based on peoples’ real-time behavior on Facebook. Under the Ad set Level within Ads Manager, businesses can choose to add “Facebook Reels” Under the Placements section.
- Re-Launching Call Ads via API
On September 12, 2023, we’re providing updated guidance on how to create Call Ads via the API. We are introducing documentation solely for Call Ads, so that 3P developers can more easily create Call Ads’ campaigns and know how to view insights about their ongoing call ad campaigns, including call-related metrics. In the future, we also plan to support Call Add-ons via our API platform. Developers should have access to the general permissions necessary to create general ads in order to create Call Ads via the API platform.
Please refer to developer documentation for additional information.
Deprecations & Breaking Changes
Graph API changes for user granular permission feature
We are updating two graph API endpoints for WhatsAppBusinessAccount. These endpoints are as follows:
- Retrieve message templates associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
- Retrieve phone numbers associated with WhatsAppBusiness Account
With v18, we are rolling out a new feature “user granular permission”. All existing users who are already added to WhatsAppBusinessAccount will be backfilled and will continue to have access (no impact).
The admin has the flexibility to change these permissions. If the admin changes the permission and removes access to view message templates or phone numbers for one of their users, that specific user will start getting an error message saying you do not have permission to view message templates or phone numbers on all versions v18 and older.
Deprecate legacy metrics naming for IG Media and User Insights
Starting on September 12, Instagram will remove duplicative and legacy, insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API in order to share a single source of metrics to our developers.
This new upgrade reduces any confusion as well as increases the reliability and quality of our reporting.
After 90 days of this launch (i.e. December 11, 2023), we will remove all these duplicative and legacy insights metrics from the Instagram Graph API on all versions in order to be more consistent with the Instagram app.
We appreciate all the feedback that we’ve received from our developer community, and look forward to continuing to work together.
Deprecate all Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 endpoints
Facebook Wi-Fi was designed to improve the experience of connecting to Wi-Fi hotspots at businesses. It allowed a merchant’s customers to get free Wi-Fi simply by checking in on Facebook. It also allowed merchants to control who could use their Wi-Fi and for how long, and integrated with ads to enable targeting to customers who had used the merchant’s Wi-Fi. This product was deprecated on June 12, 2023. As the partner notice period has ended, all endpoints used by Facebook Wi-Fi v1 and Facebook Wi-Fi v2 have been deprecated and removed.
API Version Deprecations:
- September 14, 2023: Graph API v11.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- February 8, 2024: Graph API v12.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- May 28, 2024: Graph API v13.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- September 20, 2023: Marketing API v14.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- September 20, 2023: Marketing API v15.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
- February 06, 2024: Marketing API v16.0 will be deprecated and removed from the platform
To avoid disruption to your business, we recommend migrating all calls to the latest API version that launched today.
Facebook Platform SDK
As part of our 2-year deprecation schedule for Platform SDKs, please note the upcoming deprecations and sunsets:
- October 2023: Facebook Platform SDK v11.0 or below will be sunset
- February 2024: Facebook Platform SDK v12.0 or below will be sunset
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Allowing Users to Promote Stories as Ads (via Marketing API)
Before today (August 28, 2023), advertisers could not promote images and/or videos used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API. This process created unwanted friction for our partners and their customers.
After consistently hearing about this pain point from our developer community, we have removed this unwanted friction for advertisers and now allow users to seamlessly promote their image and/or video media used in Instagram Stories as ads via the Instagram Marketing API as of August 28, 2023.
We appreciate all the feedback received from our developer community, and hope to continue improving your experience.
Please review the developer documentation to learn more.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
Launching second release of Facebook Reels API: An enterprise solution for desktop and web publishers
We’re excited to announce that the second release of FB Reels API is now publicly available for third-party developers. FB Reels API enables users of third-party platforms to share Reels directly to public Facebook Pages and the New Pages Experience.
FB Reels API has grown significantly since the first release in September 2022. The new version of the APIs now support custom thumbnails, automatic music tagging, tagging collaborators, longer format of reels and better error handling.
FB Reels API will also support scheduling and draft capability to allow creators to take advantage of tools provided either by Meta or by our partners. Based on the feedback we received from our partners, we’ll now provide additional audio insights via the Audio Recommendations API and reels performance metrics via the Insights API.
Our goal in the next couple of releases is to continue to make it easier for creators to develop quality content by adding features like early copyright detection and A/B testing. We’re also excited to start working on enhanced creation features like Video clipping- so stay tuned to hear more about those features in the future.
If you are a developer interested in integrating with the Facebook Reels API, please refer to the Developer Documents for more info.
Not sure if this product is for you? Check out our entire suite of sharing offerings.
Tune in to Product @scale event to learn more about FB Video APIs and hear from some of our customers.
First seen at developers.facebook.com
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