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By Siraj Sarwar

For more than four decades, Manning & Napier has been leading institutional and individual clients toward their financial objectives. The fund management has an opportunistic investment style. It aims to help investors to meet a wide range of investment needs even in the toughest environments. In the Q3, Manning & Napier initiated positions in 20 stocks and sold out 22 stocks. Its portfolio is heavy on technology (24.71%), services (17.73%), energy (17.61%), transportation (7.82%), and financial (5.04%).

Here, I assess the top dividend stocks favored by the Manning & Napier. These stocks are Unilever PLC (UL), Abbott Laboratories (ABT), McDonald's Corporation (MCD), Coca-Cola Co. (KO), and Chevron (CVX).

Stock

Shares Held

Market Value

% of Portfolio

% Change

Dividend Yield %

Unilever PLC

13,269,961

$ 484,618,982

2.51%

-29%

3.33

Abbott Laboratories

222,249

$ 15,237,391

0.08%

7

3.15

McDonald's Corporation

306,184

$ 28,092,382

0.15%

113

3.31

Coca-Cola Co

2,446,579

$ 92,798,742

0.48%

31

2.78

Chevron

247,119

$ 28,804,190

0.15%

6

3.42

Source: Whalewisdom.com

Unilever PLC

UL Dividend Chart
(Click to enlarge)

UL Dividend data by YCharts

Unilever PLC operates a consumer goods corporation in Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. In the last decade, Unilever has increased dividends by 9.90 percent on average. This international dividend achiever has paid uninterrupted dividends on its common stock since 1937.

Manning & Napier decreased its holdings in Unilever by 27% in the third quarter. As of the end of September, Manning & Napier owns 13,269,961 shares in Unilever. This forms 2.51% of the Manning & Napier total portfolio. As can be observed from the above chart, the dividends are a bit inconsistent. However, as long as the corporation generates sufficient cash flow, the current dividends are completely covered by earnings. Recently, the management decided to raise the quarterly dividends to 0.31 cents per quarter from the earlier value of 0.29 cents per quarter.

Abbott Laboratories

Abbott Laboratories involves in the development, discovery, manufacture, and sale of health care products and solutions worldwide. The corporation has managed to increase distributions for consecutive 40 years. In the last decade, Abbott Laboratories has increased dividends by 8.70 percent on average.

Abbott Laboratories occupies 0.15% of the portfolio, accounting for 222,249 shares. Manning & Napier unchanged their holdings in Abbott Laboratories in the recent 13f filing. The company has been a consistent favorite of the Manning & Napier for at least in the last 9 quarters.

Abbott Laboratories offers health care products globally. The company expects to finish the spin-off of its pharmaceuticals unit into a separate publicly traded corporation by January 1, 2013. The corporation has a long term competitive edge with its gross margin of 62.7 percent and net profit margin of 16.6 percent. Abbott Laboratories has a 3.15 percent dividend yield. The stock has a market capitalization of $101.9 billion, forward P/E ratio of 11.8 and Total Debt/Equity ratio of 0.45. Abbott Laboratories also had an EPS growth rate of 22 percent during the previous five years.

McDonald's Corporation

McDonald's Corporation operates franchises and restaurants in the global restaurant industry. This dividend aristocrat has paid dividends since 1976 and increased distributions on its common stock for 35 years in a row. The stock has a market cap of $85.5 billion, P/E ratio of 16 and total Debt/Equity ratio of 0. MCD also had an EPS growth rate of 18.1% during the last five years.

Manning & Napier bought additional shares of the McDonald's in the latest quarter. McDonald's has been a consistent favorite of the Manning & Napier for the last 9 quarters. Currently, the company forms 0.15% of Manning & Napier portfolio. In the last decade, McDonald's has expanded free cash flow at a compound annual growth rate of 17.43 percent. In the last decade, the company has grown their dividend by a CAGR of 26.56 percent. My FED+ Fair value estimate suggests that the stock is fairly valued at the moment.

Coca-Cola Co

The Coca-Cola Company is the globe's biggest soft drink company. Coca-Cola also has a large fruit juice business. The corporation has paid a cash dividend annually since 1893. The company has increased its dividend payments for 50 straight years.

KO Dividend Chart
(Click to enlarge)

KO Dividend data by YCharts

Coca-Cola offers a dividend yield at 2.78 percent, which is safely backed by the corporation's strong dedication for dividend growth. In the last decade, the dividend per share has been brought up steadily by a 10-year CAGR of 9.8 percent. The corporation raised dividends from $0.40 in 2002 to $1.02 in 2012. Coca-Cola is a high dividend yielding corporation with a steady growth rate and secure business. It is a great defensive pick for the existing uncertain environment.

Manning & Napier increased its shares in the company in the third quarter. However, Manning & Napier decreased its holdings in coca cola in previous four quarters. The company currently forms 0.48% of the asset manager's total holdings. Coca-Cola has been in Manning & Napier 13F Filing in at least the 9 quarters.

Chevron

Chevron is the second biggest integrated oil corporation in the U.S., behind Exxon Mobil. Chevron has reserves of 11.2 billion barrels of oil and a day-to-day generation of 2.7 million barrels. Moreover, the corporation owns interests in chemicals, mining and power production businesses. The corporation operates 8,170 gas stations in the U.S.

Chevron pays highly attractive dividends of $3.60 on a yearly basis. The corporation has an extensive history of dividends and has been raising dividends on a regular basis. Chevron has been growing dividends for the past 24 consecutive years. Its history to pay significant dividends allures a lot of income seeking investors.

CVX Dividend Chart
(Click to enlarge)

CVX Dividend data by YCharts

Manning & Napier increased its shares in the company for the second straight quarter. The company currently forms 0.15% of the asset manager's total holdings. Chevron has been in Manning & Napier 13F Filing in at least the last 9 quarters.

Source: Top Dividend Stocks Favored By Manning & Napier