PepsiCo (NASDAQ: PEP) has been a favorite of dividend investors for decades. The consumer staples giant, which dominates several niches in the snack food and soda industries, has paid a dividend in each of the last 56 years. And its recent 3% raise marked the 47th consecutive time that the company has increased its annual payout.
While few companies can match that dominant market position and financial track record, there are good options for investors seeking a bit faster growth and a dividend yield above that current 2.8% rate. Read on to see why Campbell Soup (NYSE: CPB), Kimberly-Clark (NYSE: KMB), and Penske Automotive Group (NYSE: PAG) meet these strict requirements.
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A packaged foods giant on the rebound
Campbell Soup was hit hard by the consumer shift away from highly processed packaged foods. The company compounded that challenge by making a few ill-fated acquisitions of brands like Bolthouse Farms and Garden Fresh Gourmet, which contributed to weak growth and major writedowns in fiscal 2018.
But things have been looking up lately. In fact, Campbell Soup recently closed the books on its fourth straight quarter of solid results. Organic sales are improving again, albeit modestly, in part thanks to the addition of new snack franchise brands from its Snyder's-Lance buyout. And Campbell has more room to boost profitability, even after cost cuts lifted margins higher in fiscal 2019.
Investors who like the company's wide portfolio of growing snack brands, including Goldfish, Kettle Brand, and Milano, might consider buying shares of this rebounding business since it pays a 3.2% yield.
Diversified consumer staples
Picking up shares of Kimberly-Clark today would provide an income investor with a solid yield, in addition to a good shot at a rising stock price over the long term. The owner of hit global franchises like Kleenex tissues and Huggies diapers said in late July that its turnaround program is working, with its 5% revenue boost marking its fastest organic sales increase in well over a year. Earnings are expanding at an even faster pace thanks to the combination of its cost-cutting and improving cost trends on inputs like pulp.
Kimberly-Clark's new 3% growth target still trails the 4% that peer Procter & Gamble is predicting, and so it makes sense that investors would assign a premium to the industry leader. But that slightly less optimistic outlook also translates into higher income, in this case a 3% yield versus P&G's 2.4% and Pepsi's 2.8%.
Car sales will recover
Venturing out of the consumer staples world, income investors might find Penske Automotive Group attractive. Its yield recently jumped above 3% thanks to rising fears about a growth slowdown. Sure enough, sales are on pace to shrink this year after rising 3% in fiscal 2018. The dealership giant posted 3% lower revenue in the latest quarter, with earnings falling in the low double digits.
Yet Penske's struggles are limited to just one part of its diverse business, which suggests shareholders might not have to wait long before seeking a return to growth. Right now, sales are being held back by Brexit-focused sales disruptions in the U.K., but the U.S. market and the commercial truck segments are chugging right along.
Management is excited about the potential to move deeper into the used car niche, which is many multiples the size of the new car industry. That initiative, plus the continued expansion of its trucking unit, should help Penske achieve more-balanced growth in 2020 and beyond, with its sales base likely to keep climbing through future disruptions in markets like the U.K.
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Demitrios Kalogeropoulos has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool is short shares of Kimberly Clark and Procter & Gamble. The Motley Fool recommends Penske Automotive Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.