Dividend investors have been dumping their BP stock for weeks now, given concerns that the dividend would be axed. Yesterday, BP (BP) officially suspended their dividend, confirming investor fears. Now ex-BP investors are looking for quality stocks to replace their lost dividend yields.
Of course investors aren’t expecting to find stocks offering a 10.5% dividend yield like BP had until yesterday, but replacing BP’s dividend yield is not an easy task either. Consider BP stock before the Gulf rig explosion on April 20:
1. BP stock was offering an impressive 5.6% dividend yield
2. BP stock was trading near a 52-week high
3. BP stock had AAA credit rating
4. Wall Street was anticipating nearly 30% revenue growth
5. BP was a cash flow machine generating $28 billion in operating cash flow
BP certainly looked like an attractive dividend stock before the Gulf of Mexico started bleeding oil. Now the stock price has plunged nearly 50% and investors are left with no dividend payments for the rest of 2010.
We’ve listed 5 dividend stocks for former BP investors to consider. These are all European stocks (like BP), so this list will not include top Dow dividend stocks.
Unilever (UL) – 4.0% yield
Unilever’s 4% dividend isn’t quite as high as BP investors are probably used to, but the stock is certainly much less volatile. The company profits from household consumer brands like Lipton, Slim Fast and Dove. The stock also has also increased their dividend payout each of the last 10 years.
AstraZeneca (AZN) – 7.6% yield
The biopharmaceutical firm sports an impressive 7.6% dividend yield, but concerns remain over the company’s stagnant growth. However, AZN holds over $9 billion in cash on their balance sheet and generates $11 billion in operating cash flow each year.
GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) – 5.3% yield
GSK is another pharmaceutical stock with a high dividend, but limited growth prospects. However, the stock only pays out 39% of their operating cash flow in dividends and has a history of increasing their dividend payouts.
National Grid (NGG) – 8.6% yield
This British utility stock boasts a phenomenal dividend yield. Shares in NGG have fallen 18% this year which has pushed the yield higher and created an interesting entry point for new investors.
Royal Dutch Shell (RDS.A) - 6.7% yield
If you’re looking for another energy stock, Royal Dutch Shell and their 6.7% dividend yield seems the logical choice. RDS shares look attractive trading at 11x trailing P/E ratio, compared to ExxonMobil (XOM) trading at 14x trailing P/E.
Disclosure: No positions