As many of you know, I'm a big proponent of high yield stocks. I like MLPs, REITs, and some high-end closed-end funds, not to mention traditionally high yielding publicly traded companies. This article is mainly for the investor who is just starting out, for whom these 4%, 5% and 7% yields will certainly help power portfolios.
Chesapeake Midstream Partners (CHKM) - CHKM owns, operates, and acquires natural gas, natural gas liquids and midstream energy assets in the US. It provides acquisition and treatment solutions for producers through long-term fixed fee contracts. Operational in seven US states, and owning more than 3,700 miles of natural gas pipeline, Chesapeake currently yields 5.3%.
The sales growth for CHKM is pretty significant and will play a key continued role in the growth of the company moving forward. The last four quarters have seen an average of 32.375% sales growth per quarter. For a fixed-fee, long-term contract company, that's incredible growth. Earnings are another highlight for Chesapeake, with the last three quarters having surpassed analysts' expectations by an average of $0.03/share. Investors will be looking for positive guidance and a fourth earnings surprise in a row when CHKM reports on May 8, 2012.
The biggest unknown for Chesapeake will be natural gas prices and natural gas inventories moving forward. If the price of natural gas continues to fall, a greater number of contracts are necessary to sustain growth at the current levels.
Leggett & Platt, Inc. (LEG) - A darling dividend pick held by most dividend ETFs, LEG currently yields 4.8%. Founded in 1883, Leggett & Platt specialize in home furnishings, such as bed trimmings and cabinetry, as well as many other home furnishing accessories.
A recent upgrade by Hilliard Lyons, and consistent sales growth over the last four quarters makes this stock a great long-term investment. Consistency is the key for LEG. Over the last 40 years, it has increased its dividend every single year and has a payout ratio of 90%. It acquired Western Pneumatic Tube for $188 million in Q1 2012, and considering the acquisition will contribute $60 million in revenue annually, it'll pay itself back in just over three years.
Nordic American Tankers Limited (NAT) - One of the higher yielding companies in the group, Nordic American operates 19 double-hull tankers in the spot market. This Bermuda-based tanker company yielded 7.9% on average sales growth of 25% over the previous four quarters. Investors should understand that the company has missed earnings, and I'd begin to shy away from NAT if this comes to be a growing trend.
There's plenty of upside to NAT. For example, investors should examine the most current quarter that will be reported on May 7. Analysts are calling for NAT to earn -$0.08/share, which would be a vast improvement over the same quarter last year which came in at -0.15/share. There is a very slight chance that NAT may demonstrate a narrower-than-expected loss or even a small profit. I predict EPS could come in between -$0.07/share on the low side and $0.02/share on the high side. Oil prices are going to be a major factor in the near term and fluctuation in spot contracts will have a direct impact on earnings and dividend distributions.