Here's why HSBC Holdings plc, SSE plc and Segro plc are on my dividend buy list

HSBC signs at a Formula 1 race

Asia-focused banking giant HSBC Holdings(LSE: HSBA) was one of the last year's worst big cap performers, falling by more than 30%. I've taken advantage of this weakness to add more of these shares to my personal portfolio. I believe the bank's long-term future is sound and reckon the current valuation is quite attractive.

Although profits have slipped in recent years, with earnings per share falling from $0.81 in 2013 to $0.66 last year, HSBC remains strong financially. The bank is gradually managing to cut costs and sell non-core businesses.

The Chinese market poses a risk, although it's not clear how much impact this will have. I believe that China, along with the forthcoming EU referendum, are two of the reasons HSBC shares have performed so poorly in recent months. Markets hate uncertainty.

In my view, the current situation is likely to be a good buying opportunity for long-term investors. HSBC shares currently trade at a 35% discount to their book value and with a P/E ratio of only 10. A forecast yield of 7.8% is the icing on the cake.

Rising profits should protect dividend

Utility stocks have had a tough time over the last couple of years, but unlike some peers, SSE (LSE: SSE) hasn't cut its dividend or raised fresh cash.

The shares currently trade with a forecast yield of 5.9%. The firm's commitment to increasing the dividend in line with inflation has been maintained and looks reasonably safe this year. The forecast payout of 89p per share should be covered around 1.3 times by earnings.

SSE has warned that dividend cover could come under pressure again over the next few years, as energy market conditions remain uncertain. The firm is shutting down its coal-fired power stations and has recently bought additional gas production assets.

This seems a sensible way forward. SSE is also a major wind power generator, which I believe is an attractive long-term strategy. Market confidence in SSE appears to be fairly strong, and the shares are currently trading within 10% of their all-time high.

In my view, SSE's forecast P/E of 14 and yield of 5.9% suggest investors are confident that the firm's performance can be maintained.

This property could be safer than houses

One of my most successful income investments in recent years has been Segro (LSE: SGRO). This commercial property firm owns logistics sites in prime locations in the UK and in Europe.

Segro has reshaped its portfolio since the financial crisis to specialise in this area, a strategy I think makes a lot of sense. In my view it's almost impossible to imagine a world where 'big box' warehouses and distribution centres are not an essential part of the economy.

The company is structured as a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), which means the majority of profits are paid to shareholders as dividends. Segro isn't the bargain it was a few years ago, but the shares still trade slightly below their book value and offer a 3.8% forecast yield.

In my view, Segro could be a good stock to add to any long-term income portfolio, or to buy on any short-term weakness.

I believe HSBC, Segro and SSE could all be good income buys. But their large size means long-term growth may be limited.

The Motley Fool's analysts have pinpointed a smaller company they believe offers an attractive dividend and significant growth potential.

The Fool's experts believe this stock could enjoy a strong rerating if profits rise as expected.

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Roland Head owns shares of HSBC Holdings, SSE and Segro. The Motley Fool UK has recommended HSBC Holdings. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

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