20 S&P 500 Dividend Stocks With Encouraging Inventory Trends

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 |  Includes: CCE, CF, CMS, COP, CVS, CVX, EMN, EQT, FCX, KO, LMT, MCK, MUR, OXY, PEG, PKI, SPGI, STJ, WEC, WYN
by: Kapitall

Inventory is a very interesting tool for gaining insight into how healthy a company’s sales trends are. Companies with revenue growth out-pacing inventory growth are generally seen as having healthier sales. When inventory growth exceeds revenue growth, it may be a sign that the company is having trouble selling its inventory.

Of course, growing inventory can also signal inventory building.

We ran a screen on stocks of the S&P 500 paying dividend yields above 1% and sustainable payout ratios below 50% for those exhibiting these positive trends in inventory.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.


(Click to enlarge)

Do you think these companies have strong sales trends? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by difference between growth in revenue and inventory.

1. Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. (NYSE:CCE): Produces, distributes, and markets non-alcoholic beverages in Europe. Market cap of $8.30B. Dividend yield at 2.0%, payout ratio at 18.42%. MRQ revenue has increased 39.05% ($2,407M vs. $1,731M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 53.74% ($483M vs. $1,044M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 18.24% to 17.28%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-07-01 to 3 months ending 2010-07-02. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.92% over the last week.

2. Murphy Oil Corporation (NYSE:MUR): Engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties worldwide. Market cap of $10.16B. Dividend yield at 2.09%, payout ratio at 22.14%. MRQ revenue has increased 55.97% ($8,721.49M vs. $5,591.93M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 10.60% ($913.34M vs. $1,021.65M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 27.49% to 21.68%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 10.71% above its SMA20 and 5.52% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades 18.22% below its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 11.39% over the last week.

3. EQT Corporation (NYSE:EQT): Operates as an integrated energy company in the United States. Market cap of $9.42B. Dividend yield at 1.40%, payout ratio at 41.10%. MRQ revenue has increased 35.53% ($349M vs. $257.51M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 23.37% ($110.38M vs. $144.04M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 16.25% to 13.81%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 9.77% above its SMA20, 11.18% above its SMA50, and 22.19% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 12.97% over the last week.

4. CF Industries Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:CF): Manufactures and distributes nitrogen and phosphate fertilizer products, serving agricultural and industrial customers worldwide. Market cap of $10.80B. Dividend yield at 1.06%, payout ratio at 2.80%. MRQ revenue has increased 37.76% ($1,801.7M vs. $1,307.9M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 3.59% ($277M vs. $287.3M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 22.67% to 13.31%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.89, and P/FCF ratio at 6.06. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 11.72% over the last week but has performed poorly over the last month, losing 14.19%.

5. ConocoPhillips (NYSE:COP): Operates as an integrated energy company worldwide. Market cap of $94.73B. Dividend yield at 3.83%, payout ratio at 30.57%. MRQ revenue has increased 33.58% ($66,961M vs. $50,127M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 1.87% ($6,986M vs. $7,119M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 26.70% to 20.15%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.58% over the last week.

6. Occidental Petroleum Corporation (NYSE:OXY): Operates as an oil and gas exploration and production company primarily in the United States. Market cap of $69.43B. Dividend yield at 2.15%, payout ratio at 24.69%. MRQ revenue has increased 33.88% ($6,208M vs. $4,637M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 1.48% ($1,202M vs. $1,220M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 13.28% to 12.09%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 10.74% above its SMA20 and 5.58% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades 10.64% below its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 10.58% over the last week.

7. Wisconsin Energy Corp. (NYSE:WEC): Engages in the generation, distribution, and sale of electric energy and steam. Market cap of $7.44B. Dividend yield at 3.27%, payout ratio at 42.43%. MRQ revenue has increased 11.31% ($991.7M vs. $890.9M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 13.10% ($339.1M vs. $390.2M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 30.65% to 28.94%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has gained 12.35% over the last year.

8. Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX): Engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. Market cap of $34.85B. Dividend yield at 2.72%, payout ratio at 32.18%. MRQ revenue has increased 50.47% ($5,814M vs. $3,864M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 29.42% ($3,748M vs. $2,896M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 39.71% to 36.84%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.77, and P/FCF ratio at 9.15. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.88% over the last week. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 12.95%.

9. PerkinElmer Inc. (NYSE:PKI): Provides technology, services, and solutions to the diagnostics, research, environmental and safety, and industrial and laboratory services markets worldwide. Market cap of $2.17B. Dividend yield at 1.46%, payout ratio at 26.17%. MRQ revenue has increased 13.73% ($479.49M vs. $421.61M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 4.40% ($222.24M vs. $232.48M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 25.16% to 20.65%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-07-03 to 3 months ending 2010-07-04. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.14% over the last week.

10. Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE:PEG): Operates in the energy industry primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. Market cap of $16.73B. Dividend yield at 4.14%, payout ratio at 42.80%. MRQ revenue has increased 4.57% ($2,469M vs. $2,361M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 11.49% ($924M vs. $1,044M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 29.96% to 24.41%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has gained 3.8% over the last year.

11. CVS Caremark Corporation (NYSE:CVS): Operates as a pharmacy services company in the United States. Market cap of $47.24B. Dividend yield at 1.42%, payout ratio at 17.04%. MRQ revenue has increased 10.92% ($26,629M vs. $24,007M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 2.68% ($10,111M vs. $10,389M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 60.16% to 53.03%, comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-06-30 to 13 weeks ending 2010-06-30. The stock has gained 13.69% over the last year.

12. Wyndham Worldwide Corporation (NYSE:WYN): Provides various hospitality products and services to individual consumers and business customers in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $5.12B. Dividend yield at 1.92%, payout ratio at 23.28%. MRQ revenue has increased 13.19% ($1,090M vs. $963M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 0.29% ($344M vs. $343M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 19.85% to 18.08%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.02). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.67% over the last week.

13. CMS Energy Corp. (NYSE:CMS): Operates as an energy company primarily in Michigan. Market cap of $5.19B. Dividend yield at 4.10%, payout ratio at 47.99%. MRQ revenue has increased 1.79% ($1,364M vs. $1,340M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 10.03% ($969M vs. $1,077M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 41.09% to 32.78%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has gained 13.78% over the last year.

14. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO): Distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages worldwide. Market cap of $155.79B. Dividend yield at 2.77%, payout ratio at 33.38%. MRQ revenue has increased 46.84% ($12,737M vs. $8,674M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 36.99% ($3,237M vs. $2,363M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 12.72% to 12.20%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-07-01 to 3 months ending 2010-07-02. The stock has gained 16.42% over the last year.

15. McKesson Corporation (NYSE:MCK): Offers medicines, pharmaceutical supplies, and information and care management products and services for the healthcare industry. Market cap of $18.09B. Dividend yield at 1.09%, payout ratio at 16.63%. MRQ revenue has increased 9.22% ($29,980M vs. $27,450M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 1.07% ($9,530M vs. $9,429M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 45.35% to 42.59%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has gained 18.93% over the last year.

16. Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT): Engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, operation, and sustainment of advanced technology systems and products in the areas of defense, space, intelligence, homeland security, and government information technology in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $25.50B. Dividend yield at 5.26%, payout ratio at 38.08%. MRQ revenue has increased 2.40% ($11,551M vs. $11,280M y/y) while MRQ inventory has decreased 5.68% ($2,226M vs. $2,360M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 16.61% to 15.95%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-26 to 3 months ending 2010-06-27. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.33% (equivalent to 7.35 days of average volume). The stock has gained 12.98% over the last year.

17. Eastman Chemical Co. (NYSE:EMN): Engages in the manufacture and sale of chemicals, plastics, and fibers in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $5.36B. Dividend yield at 2.72%, payout ratio at 23.12%. MRQ revenue has increased 25.50% ($1,885M vs. $1,502M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 17.80% ($748M vs. $635M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 33.26% to 29.82%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.64% over the last week.

18. The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. (MHP): Provides various information services for financial, educational, and business information markets worldwide. Market cap of $13.55B. Dividend yield at 2.22%, payout ratio at 34.22%. MRQ revenue has increased 7.24% ($1,580.8M vs. $1,474.06M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 0.19% ($340.3M vs. $339.65M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 11.68% to 10.88%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.51% over the last week.

19. Chevron Corp. (NYSE:CVX): Engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. Market cap of $201.24B. Dividend yield at 3.11%, payout ratio at 25.66%. MRQ revenue has increased 30.08% ($68,948M vs. $53,004M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 23.26% ($7,286M vs. $5,911M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 13.94% to 13.49%, comparing 3 months ending 2011-06-30 to 3 months ending 2010-06-30. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.43% over the last week.

20. St. Jude Medical Inc. (NYSE:STJ): Develops, manufactures, and distributes cardiovascular and implantable neurostimulation medical devices worldwide. Market cap of $12.68B. Dividend yield at 2.18%, payout ratio at 15.50%. MRQ revenue has increased 10.21% ($1,446.75M vs. $1,312.77M y/y) while MRQ inventory has increased 5.56% ($699.16M vs. $662.33M y/y). Inventory/current assets has decreased from 21.87% to 20.82%, comparing 13 weeks ending 2011-07-02 to 13 weeks ending 2010-07-03. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.13%.

*Accounting data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.