Updated: December 26, 2016
Looking for cheap stocks throwing off double-digit dividend hikes in 2017?
Bad news: it’s getting tougher to dig up these hallowed companies—and easier to fall victim to a dividend cut.
Consider the S&P 500, the be-all-and-end-all for most people when it comes to stock picking.
According to FactSet, 44 of the index’s constituents had payout ratios (or the percentage of earnings headed out the door as dividends) that were above 100% in Q3. That’s nearly 9% of the index, the second-highest total in a decade.
Meantime, the S&P 500’s average payout ratio hit 40.2% during the quarter, the highest level in seven years.…