One the key elements to any dividend portfolio is diversification. What better way to diversify, than to search outside the US for some very high yielding stocks. These five companies offer some of the highest paying dividends outside of the US and starting to take small market share away from thier US counterparts.
Telecom Co. of New Zealand (NZT) - Founded in 1987, NZT is headquartered in Auckland, New Zealand. They are the leading provider of landline communications for New Zealand and parts of Australia, the company facilities over 3.3 million customers with its various communication based solutions.
NZT currently yields 12.6% and trades at a P/E ratio of 4.75, making the stock somewhat attractive to many investors. The key thing we should point out when it comes to NZT is the company focus. They've slimmed down by spinning off Chorus, in an effort to concentrate on the growth of their Fixed-Line services and 3G solutions. The company is very attractive at these levels and investors should begin to see an international presence by both smartphone manufacturers and wireless service providers as NZT's 3G network continues to expand.
Statoil ASA (STO) - Founded in 1972 and based in Stavanger, Norway, Statoil ASA focuses on the production, transportation, refining, and marketing of petroleum and petroleum based products. Even though Statoil has established itself as an international provider of petroleum products, a large majority of their business comes directly from their home country of Norway.
STO is an annual distributor of their dividend, which they have continuously paid every May since 2002. The stock currently yields 3.6% and trades at a P/E ratio of 6.16, which makes Statoil relatively cheap by most investor's standards. That being said STO is a company investors should keep an eye on. They've recently sold their retail business to a Canadian based investor for $2.8 billion (US dollars) and are looking for even bigger dividends from their properties (blocks 38 & 39) in the Kwanza Basin located in the African country of Angola.
Sasol Limited (SSL) - Founded in 1950 and based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Sasol Limited is one of the more diversified companies in the group. SSL operates as a globally diversified energy and chemical company reaching all six inhabited continents. The company's operations range from being a chemical supplier to a majority of the African and South American nations to being one the largest producers of the natural gas that is found is various properties in Mozambique.
Sasol Limited is one the first companies to develop and pioneer coal-to-liquid solutions. These solutions have contributed nicely to SSL's current growth. The stock which trades at a P/E ratio of 8.54 currently yields 3.1%. According to David Constable, CEO of Sasol, the guidance and outlook are both very positive, "The shift to less carbon intensive sources like natural gas and the quest for improved energy efficiency will shape demand. Energy trends will also be influenced by an increasing demand for power and by 2014, it's expected that approximately 30% of global electricity demand will be produced through natural gas".
Investors should consider a few things before investing in SSL. The company's quarterly results are going to be a key factor moving forward. There is plenty of upside to Sasol however the price of Natural Gas is going to affect how fast SSL grows and how strong SSL's bottom will continue to be.
Chunghwa Telecom Co. (CHT) - Founded in 1996 and based in Taipei, Taiwan, CHT is the largest regional provider of integrated telecommunication services. Some of CHT's ancillary services include but are limited to HiNet internet solutions, internet based data storage and data solutions, and various satellite based solutions to both domestic and international customers.
Chunghwa Telecom currently yields 5.1% and trades at a P/E ratio of 14.4. The stock is pretty inexpensive by those standards but should be kept under a watchful eye by most investors. The 5.1% yield is very attractive, but the company has recently shifted its primary focus to concentrate on their mobile data network which currently houses a large majority of their wireless customers. The expansion of this network is going to be a key factor if CHT plans to grow at a consistent pace. I'd begin accumulate small positions of the company right around the time they're due to distribute a dividend, and continue at a steady pace for the 3 or 4 quarters.
Eni SpA (E) - Founded in 1953 and headquartered in Rome, Italy Eni is an integrated energy company focused on the exploration, transformation and production of oil and natural gas. Investors should note that Eni has a very successful joint venture in place with Gazprom. The primary objective of that relationship is to facilitate various projects in the upstream oil and gas markets.
Eni currently yields 4.7% and trades at a P/E ratio of 8.71, making it as attractive as some of the others in the group. A recent upgrade from TheStreet.com should pique the interest of investors. Eni, has demonstrated 2%-3% growth even during times of turmoil. The crisis in Libya directly affected the pace at which the company grew, however Eni continues to grow as 80% of its Libyan operation is back online. During the upcoming quarters, investors should look for analyst estimates to be beaten conservatively and an increase the company's May distribution is very likely.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.