STOCKS As the holidays carry us out of 2011, these three picks are likely to take off regardless of what happens in the greater market, notes Chloe Lutts of Cabot Wealth Advisory.

I’ve been discussing the overall market a lot lately, so today I think we’ll ignore it, and focus on stocks that ignore it too (more or less).

Below are three recommendations from the latest Dick Davis Dividend Digest. Each one of these three stocks is a conservative dividend payer with relatively low correlation to larger market moves. Sounds pretty good right about now, doesn’t it?

Macquarie Infrastructure Company (MIC)
MIC is one of the few stocks that has managed to stay above its 50-day moving average lately, and the strength has not gone unnoticed: it was recommended by two analysts in the latest Dividend Digest. The first was George Southerland, editor of Special Investment Situations, who wrote on October 25:

Macquarie Infrastructure Co. owns and operates a handful of infrastructure assets consisting of relatively basic services where cash flows are predictable.

The flagship asset is a 50% equity interest in NJ-based International-Matex Tank Terminals, or IMTT, that operates a bulk liquid storage terminal business that stores petroleum products and an array of chemicals. Capacity is over 43 million barrels, and the business isn’t particularly sensitive to the economy since storage contracts last from three to five years.

IMTT enjoys a distinct competitive advantage as one of its main facilities (Bayonne) is located near New York Harbor, and can load and unload ships quickly due to the depth of the water in front of its docks.

A kicker here involves the dividend, currently at 20 cents per quarter for a 3.2% yield. Management is working with its partner in the IMTT investment to distribute excess capital that the business is generating. We anticipate an increased distribution probably beginning in the first quarter of 2012, and could see the dividend nearly double within a year.

Note also that a rising payout should prompt capital appreciation from the shares. MIC is a buy up to $26 and becomes particularly interesting on dips below $24.

The second Macquarie recommendation came from Jennifer Dowty, a managing director and portfolio manager at Manulife Asset Management who writes for Investor’s Digest of Canada. On November 18, she wrote:

On November 2, the company reported strong operational third-quarter results, with revenue climbing nearly 18% year-over-year. Five analysts rate Macquarie a "buy." Their average one-year price target is $29.50 a share.

A key catalyst for the company is speculation that management could substantially boost the dividend in early 2012.

The company has been unable to resolve a dispute regarding distributions with the co-owner of International-Matex Tank Terminals. A hearing on the issue is set for January 9 and the company anticipates the process will be completed by the end of March. But if the outcome favors Macquarie and the economy is good, the company is likely to raise the dividend by roughly 70 cents a share.

Tickers Mentioned: Tickers: MIC, RVR, LINE