In the uncertain economic conditions that have prevailed in the global economic market recently, prudent investors have sought relatively safer investment opportunities shifting their focus to robust, profitable and diverse businesses. In this article, I am going to discuss five stocks that have maintained a high-dividend yield and a wide competitive moat in the midst of sluggish market activity. I have chosen these companies because they have taken significant measures to widen their competitive moat and expand market share by introducing original products, investing in profitable ventures, planning new acquisitions and adopting sweeping reforms.
TAL International (NYSE:TAL) is one of the world's largest container leasing companies with recorded assets exceeding $1 billion. The company has a total market capitalization of nearly $1.25 billion and an average trading volume of nearly 350,000. On average, TAL International generates revenue of more than $500 million and has a net income of more than $100 million. Trading price of shares is currently poised at $37 after plummeting down to almost $22 during a brief period of restrictive market activity.
TAL International has a price-to-earnings ratio of almost 11 and offers investors nearly 55 cents in dividends on earnings per share of nearly $3.5. This has allowed the company to maintain an impressive dividend yield of nearly 6%! In the previous fiscal quarter, TAL International recorded return on equity of nearly 22% with impressive earnings per share in 2011 of $3 and 36 cents.
The recent announcement by the company to pay dividends to shareholders is seen as a promising sign and is bound to increase favorable investor sentiment for the business. Looking at all the prominent financial indicators that TAL International has recorded so far, I believe the company will grow at a steady rate and continue its tradition of paying sizable dividends to investors this year.
Brookfield Infrastructure Partners (NYSE:BIP) has major investments in the utilities, transport, and energy and timber sectors. The company operates a port facility that exports metallurgical and thermal coal mined in the Bowen Basin region of Queensland, Australia. Brookfield Infrastructure has a massive market capitalization of nearly $4 billion and an average trading volume of almost $350,000. After a somewhat slow start to business activity in the previous year, Brookfield showed positive signs of growth amidst favorable investor sentiment and positive market conditions. The second half of 2011 was particularly profitable for the business where it generated revenue of nearly $650 with a net income of more than $500 million.
The company's price-to-earnings ratio is at 29. With a dividend payout ratio of nearly 40 cents on earnings per share of a little more than $1, Brookfield has managed an impressive dividend yield of more than 5%. As a leading utility stock, Brookfield Infrastructure looks intriguing. Favorable investor sentiment over the last three quarters, which is largely due to the company's high dividend yield, has allowed the business to widen its competitive moat considerably. I rank Brookfield Infrastructure as one of the most profitable investment ventures of 2012.
PPL Corporation (NYSE:PPL) is a huge business with a market capitalization of nearly $16.5 billion and average trading volume exceeding $4.5 million. Over the last three quarters, PPL has grown as a business recording a steady growth rate and impressive revenue of nearly $1.3 billion and net income of $1.5 billion. The stock is currently trading at around $28 with a 52-week range of nearly $24 to $30. Price to earnings is good at almost 11.5 and with earnings per share of almost $2.5 the company has a dividend payout ratio of nearly 0.4. This has helped PPL maintain an impressive dividend yield of more than 5%.
PPL is one of the few cheaper investment opportunities available in the market that is offering a high yield of more than 5%. This has earned it favorable investor sentiment over the last few fiscal quarters. After an impressive start to market activity in the current year, PPL seems poised to meet its growth and revenue targets for the first fiscal quarter with the recent announcement to invest nearly $670 million to improve its electric delivery system. I believe the company has the capacity to achieve its projected target for the current financial quarter.
NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) is North America's largest wholesale supplier of wind and solar electricity with its headquarters in Florida. The company has huge investments and revenue with a massive market capitalization of nearly $26 billion with an average trading volume of more than $2 million. In contrast with previous year's financial results, the company had a considerably good run in 2011 with total revenue exceeding $15 billion and return on equity of more than 138%. The stock is currently trading at more than $60 with a 52-week range of $49 to $61. The price-to-earnings ratio is good at nearly 13 and on earnings per share of almost $4.6, NextEra pays nearly $2.2 to shareholders in dividends. This has allowed the business to maintain a steady dividend yield of nearly 3.7% in the last five quarters, which has allowed it favorable investor sentiment leading to healthy market activity.
Recently, the company has made significant announcements such as increasing distributions by 9.10%, completion of subsidiary financing. When considering this news along with the fact that the company has managed to significantly double its net income over the last few quarters, I believe that NextEra will continue to grow at a healthy rate in the coming fiscal quarters. I recommend buying this energy stock today.
Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC) is a Canadian gold mining company with massive investments in gold-mining projects across the globe. It is currently running operations in Canada, Brazil, America, Chile, Russia, Ecuador, Mauritania, and Ghana. Kinross gold is a massive business with a market capitalization of nearly $12 billion and average trading volume exceeding $9 million. The trading price of stock is currently poised at $11 although the stock was seen trading at almost $18 in the previous quarter amidst favorable investor sentiment. The price-to-earnings ratio of Kinross gold is currently more than 11 and the company pays nearly 10 cents to investors in dividends against earnings per share of nearly $1.
Recently, Kinross Gold has maintained a good dividend yield of nearly 1.5% and favorable investor sentiment in the current fiscal quarter has allowed the business to increase the dividend by 33%. Although history speaks against Kinross Gold with a trend of marginal losses in the last few fiscal quarters, the company has started the current year on the right footing with impressive performance in the first month of 2012. This leads me to believe that the business will grow by the end of next month and report positive earnings in the first quarter of 2012.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.