Investing 101: Low-Debt Dividend Stocks With Insider Buying

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In these volatile times many investors are taking solace in dividend stocks. But if the overall market turns, you'd probably prefer not have a deeply indebted company in your portfolio. That's why it's a good idea to dig a little deeper when you're confronted with dividend ideas.

Of course, debt financing isn't always a bad thing. Most companies use some form of debt to finance their day-to-day operations. By doing so, a company can invest in new business opportunities without asking its shareholders for money.

Although there are many exceptions to the rule, it's usually the case that lower-debt companies are less risky than high-debt companies. And when the market starts drifting lower, it's always good to have a couple of low-debt names among your holdings.

The list
We decided to screen for dividend stocks with low debt (measured by debt to equity ratios below 0.3). To refine the list, we only focused on companies that have seen significant insider buying over the last six months.

Insider executives know a lot more about their company's prospects than most other investors, so if they're using their own money to buy the shares of their employers, it's probably a good idea to pay close attention to their bullishness.

Here are our top stock results, sorted by insider buying as a percentage of float. Do you think company insiders are justified in their optimism? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

List compiled by Alexander Crawford:

1. Center Bancorp (NAS: CNBC) : Operates as the holding company for Union Center National Bank that provides various banking services to individual and corporate customers in Union and Morris counties, New Jersey. Market cap of $154.76M. Debt/equity at 0.04. Dividend yield at 1.26%, payout ratio at 16.33%. Net insider purchases over the last six months at 474,584, which represents 3.93% of the company's 12.09M share float.

2. Titanium Metals (NYS: TIE) : Mills, manufactures, and distributes titanium and titanium alloys. Market cap of $2.63B. Debt/equity at 0. Dividend yield at 2.00%, payout ratio at 24.63%. Net insider purchases over the last six months at 3,305,300, which represents 3.77% of the company's 87.58M share float.

3. Deer Consumer Products (NAS: DEER) : Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of small home and kitchen electronic appliances. Market cap of $167.61M. Debt/equity at 0.03. Dividend yield at 4.01%, payout ratio at 13.47%. Net insider purchases over the last six months at 350,000, which represents 1.78% of the company's 19.67M share float.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman and Alexander Crawford do not own any of the shares mentioned above. Insider data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

At the time this article was published Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Titanium Metals. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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