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With the economy heading steadily towards growth, consumer goods companies will be one segment that will benefit directly. The demand for consumer goods will surge, giving ample opportunities for companies to come up with new products.

Below we analyzed three obscure, small-cap consumer goods companies with dividend yields greater than 4% to determine which are fit for investors.

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*As of 5/28/2013

Source: Finviz.com

Vector Group Ltd (NYSE:VGR) is in the business of manufacturing and selling cigarettes in the United States. It operates through a number of subsidiaries and is in two segments: Tobacco and Real Estate.

For the first quarter of 2013, Vector Group's revenues came in at $240.4 million against $257.6 million in the corresponding quarter of 2012. The revenues came down primarily due to a 10.7% decline in unit sales from 2012 to 2013. Vector Group incurred a net loss of $1.7 million, or ($0.02) per diluted common share, in the first quarter of 2013 compared to $7.7 million, or ($0.09) per diluted common share, in 1Q2012.

The company has been performing well in areas such as net income, growing profit margins and earnings per share. However, Vector Group should pay greater attention to operating cash flow. For five continuous years, Vector Group has been paying dividends, which have exceeded free cash flow, causing shareholder value to decline due to constant tendency of dilution. This unhealthy trend may endanger the impressive 9.90% dividend yield. In addition, with the company's P/E ratio at 39.25, the stock appears overvalued, leading us to believe this is one to likely avoid.

Douglas Dynamic Inc. (NYSE:PLOW) designs, manufacture, and sells snow and ice control equipment for light trucks in the United States and Canada, such as snowplows, sand and salt spreaders.

The company is giving good performance in terms of revenue growth, safe levels of debt, increases in net income, better profit margins and positive cash flow from operations. The return on equity is, however, one area where the company lacks.

Douglas Dynamic acquired assets of truck-mounted salt and sand spreader manufacturer TrynEx, which owns the SnowEx brand. The deal, apart from enhancing the company's product portfolio, is expected to add strength as the cash flow of TrynEx's business is positive, as is Douglas' business. In the previous year, the earnings of Douglas were less than $6 million but the free cash flow generated was more than $14 million and is expected to enhance further with this recent acquisition. With such high levels of cash flow, investors can likely be assured of dividends.

For the first quarter of 2013, Douglas' net sales came in at $14.1 million, which is an impressive increase of 65.2% year-over-year. Douglas posted a net loss of $3.4 million, or $0.15 per diluted share, against net loss of $4.3 million, or $0.19 per diluted share, in the first quarter of 2012, an improvement of $0.9 million.

With a P/E ratio of 48.39, a P/B ratio of 2.19, and a PEG ratio of 3.92, the stock appears slightly overvalued. On the other hand, the forward P/E is 17.17, reflecting that the stock may come well within the line and may not be overvalued in the future. Overall, while the 5.76% dividend yield is impressive, investors might be better off waiting to see if the market corrects before entering a position.

Ennis Inc. (NYSE:EBF) is in the business of production and sales of business forms, and other business products in the United States. The two main segments in which the company operates are Print and Apparel.

The company recently acquired Atlas Tag and Label and expects this move to enhance growth. The firm also acquired Print graphics through which it will be able to increase its offerings and tap markets like Ohio, and lowa.

For the fourth quarter of 2012 the net sales figure of the company was recorded at $123.6 million, which is an increase over $121.5 million for the corresponding quarter of the previous year. For the full fiscal the net earnings declined from $31.4 million to $24.7 million, or 4.6% of net sales for the fiscal year ended February 28, 2013. The diluted earnings per share increased to $0.27 per share, which is hike of 108%.

Ennis' average annual earnings are expected to grow by 17% over the next five years. It also has a high forward annual dividend yield of 4.61% and a payout ratio of 74%. Dividend for the past five years has grown by 17.9% and the stock price is also expected to move up. These parameters all point to continued dividends for investors. With a P/E ratio of just 17.7, forward P/E of 10.1 and a P/B of 1.2, Ennis appears fairly valued and is the best pick for investors out of the group.

Summary

Among all the companies discussed above, Ennis Inc. looks the most promising. The company has made some meaningful acquisitions that will fuel the future, including dividends. The company's growth metrics are also attractive. Douglas Dynamic is another good bet, but currently looks a bit overvalued. Vector Group should be avoided as lack of cash flow might harm investors.

Source: 3 Small-Cap Consumer Goods Companies Paying Greater Than 4% Dividend Yield