Empirical studies show that high-yield, large-cap stocks can beat the market over the long haul. According to research by Jeremy Siegel, a finance professor at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, in the period between December 31, 1957, and December 31, 2011, large-cap dividend stocks with the highest yields (in the top quintile by dividend yield) generated returns three times as large as those of the broader market. Top-yielding large-cap stocks outperformed their counterparts with the lowest dividend yields by almost 600%.
Here is a closer look at five high-yield, large-cap dividend stocks that can outperform the market in 2013 and beyond. The selection is based on these stocks' highly competitive yield, sustainable dividend growth, and financial soundness, including consistent profitability. All selected dividend stocks represent different industries and have dividend yields of at least 3.4%.
Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) is an aerospace company and the largest U.S. defense contractor. Its dividend, which grew, on average, by 23% annually over the past five years, currently yields 4.9% on a payout ratio of 53%. Despite the expected defense budget cuts that may adversely affect Lockheed's financial performance, the company's 5-year EPS CAGR is forecasted at 6.4%, almost the same as over the past five years. Lockheed has just reached the agreement with the Pentagon on the fifth initial-production lot of F-35 fighter jets that is worth $127.7 million. The total value of the contract is estimated at $3.8 billion and covers the airframe only. Lockheed is cash rich with a free cash flow yield of 5.7% and an exceptional ROE of 107%. The stock is trading at 11.7x its forward earnings, below the industry's ratio of 14.9x. The stock is popular with value investor Jean-Marie Eveillard's First Eagle Investment (see its top picks).
Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) is a consumer goods giant with a dividend yield of 3.5% and a payout ratio of 62%. Over the past five years, Kimberly-Clark raised its dividends, on average, by 6.9% annually. The last increase this year marked the 40th consecutive annual dividend hike. The company's 5-year EPS CAGR is forecasted at 9.4%, double the average rate over the past five years. The maker of diapers and Kleenex tissue is seeing a robust sales growth in emerging markets, which are expected to drive overall growth in the next few years. The company is well positioned in those markets and is likely to expand market share in the future. Kimberly-Clark has a free cash flow yield of 1.4% and a high ROE of 35%. It is trading at a discount to its industry, with a forward P/E of 15.5x versus the industry's 18.2x. The stock gained 18% this year alone, reaching an all-time high close of $88.25 per share. Fund manager Ric Dilon (Diamond Hill Capital-check out its major holdings) is particularly bullish about this stock.
Merck & Co. (MRK) is a pharmaceutical company with a dividend yield of 4.1% and a payout ratio of 78%. Over the past half decade, its dividends grew, on average, by 2.1% annually. Analysts forecast the company's 5-year EPS CAGR at 4.0%, beating most of its peers. While its peers' performance has been hit by a patents cliff, Merck & Co. is coping with it pretty well. It lost patent protection on its asthma drug Singulair, but is offsetting the lost revenue with sales of other blockbuster drugs, including diabetes medications. Despite the recent failure of its cholesterol drug candidate in a clinical trial, Merck & Co.'s trial drugs pipeline, with more than 15 candidates in phase III, is promising. The company is undertaking restructuring that aims to produce savings of $4 billion annually over the long term. Its market presence in emerging markets is increasing. Merck & Co. has a free cash flow yield of 3.7% and ROE of 12%. The stock has a price-to-book below industry and its own five-year averages. It is cheaper than its industry, with a forward P/E of 11.7x versus the industry's 14.7x. Point State Capital holds a $292 million in this stock.
ConocoPhillips (COP) is a major integrated energy company paying a dividend yield of 4.5% on a payout ratio of 32%. Its dividends grew, on average, by 10% annually over the past five years. Analysts forecast ConocoPhillips' 5-year EPS CAGR at 5.3%, a reversal of the negative growth, on average, over the past five years. The company is shedding some foreign assets and using the lion's share of the proceeds to fund its North American shale oil and gas plays. While there may be some soft performance in the near term, the stock is a long-term play. Its oil output in the U.S. is expected to rise by 50% through 2015, at higher margins per barrel. Hence, its targeted capital spending will aim to achieve better cash flow generation, which will bode well for the company's future capital deployment strategy, including dividends. The stock has a ROE of 12.5%. Its forward P/E is 10.3x versus 9.4x for its industry. Warren Buffett holds nearly $1.3 billion in this stock (see Buffett's top stock picks).
NextEra Energy Inc. (NEE) is an electric utility that pays a dividend yielding 3.4% on a payout ratio of 47%. Over the past five years, the company's dividends grew, on average, by about 8.0% annually. This year's dividend hike marked the 17th consecutive annual dividend increase. Analysts forecast the utility's 5-year EPS CAGR at 6.0%. The utility is investing in infrastructure and building new plants that will allow it to increase its utilization of cheaper-than-oil and abundant natural gas, which will bode well for its future growth. The new power plants are projected to produce substantial customer cost savings. The stock has a ROE of 14%. Its forward P/E is 14.5x versus 15.3x for its industry. Polaris Capital, a value-oriented hedge fund, is a buyer of this stock.