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Do you prefer stocks that pay part of their return in dividend income? For a closer look at interesting dividend stocks, we ran a screen.

We began by screening for "dividend champions," companies listed by DRiP Investing as those that have consistently raised their dividend over the last 25 years. We screened these stocks for those paying dividend yields above 2% and sustainable payout ratios below 50%.

We then compared growth in revenue to growth in inventory over the last year. We screened for stocks with positive sales trends, with faster growth in revenue than inventory over the last year. Since inventory represents the portion of goods not yet sold, faster growth in revenue than inventory is considered a good sign.

To screen for healthy liquidity, we also only focused on those companies with inventory declining as a percent of current assets.

(click to enlarge)

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

List sorted by increase in revenue over the last year.

1. Weyco Group Inc. (WEYS): Engages in the distribution of men's foot wear primarily in the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, Asia, and South Africa. Market cap at $252.01M, most recent closing price at $23.06. Dividend yield at 2.94%, payout ratio at 44.45%. Revenue grew by 15.59% during the most recent quarter ($75.31M vs. $65.15M y/y). Inventory grew by 0.39% during the same time period ($51.34M vs. $51.14M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 44.6% to 40.17% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

2. Diebold, Incorporated (DBD): Provides integrated self-service delivery and security systems and services primarily to the financial, commercial, government, and retail markets worldwide. Market cap at $2.31B, most recent closing price at $36.26. Dividend yield at 3.10%, payout ratio at 38.70%. Revenue grew by 13.73% during the most recent quarter ($698.49M vs. $614.16M y/y). Inventory grew by 4.16% during the same time period ($493.83M vs. $474.12M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 27.55% to 26.9% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

3. Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM): Engages in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, and manufacture of petroleum products, as well as transportation and sale of crude oil, natural gas, and petroleum products. Market cap at $383.21B, most recent closing price at $80.91. Dividend yield at 2.78%, payout ratio at 22.71%. Revenue grew by 8.81% during the most recent quarter ($124,053M vs. $114,004M y/y). Inventory grew by -9.3% during the same time period ($14,749M vs. $16,262M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 22.58% to 19.37% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

4. Nacco Industries Inc. (NC): Engages in lift trucks, small appliances, specialty retail, and mining businesses primarily in the Americas, Europe, and the Asia-Pacific. Market cap at $892.44M, most recent closing price at $105.89. Dividend yield at 2.06%, payout ratio at 14.38%. Revenue grew by 7.74% during the most recent quarter ($803.2M vs. $745.5M y/y). Inventory grew by -1.5% during the same time period ($477.9M vs. $485.2M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 37.81% to 35.63% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

5. Lancaster Colony Corporation (LANC): Engages in the manufacture and marketing of consumer products focusing primarily on specialty foods for the retail and foodservice markets in the United States. Market cap at $1.73B, most recent closing price at $63.04. Dividend yield at 2.27%, payout ratio at 38.02%. Revenue grew by 7.32% during the most recent quarter ($271.1M vs. $252.62M y/y). Inventory grew by -3.69% during the same time period ($100.28M vs. $104.12M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 32.82% to 26.48% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

6. Genuine Parts Company (GPC): Distributes automotive replacement parts, industrial replacement parts, office products, and electrical/electronic materials in the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, and Mexico. Market cap at $9.66B, most recent closing price at $61.34. Dividend yield at 3.20%, payout ratio at 49.21%. Revenue grew by 6.96% during the most recent quarter ($3,181.29M vs. $2,974.2M y/y). Inventory grew by 1.24% during the same time period ($2,264.4M vs. $2,236.76M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 49.76% to 49.21% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

7. Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW): Manufactures a range of industrial products and equipment worldwide. Market cap at $26.08B, most recent closing price at $54.19. Dividend yield at 2.64%, payout ratio at 36.51%. Revenue grew by 6.44% during the most recent quarter ($4,547M vs. $4,272M y/y). Inventory grew by 0.% during the same time period ($1,824M vs. $1,824.08M y/y). Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, decreased from 27.65% to 24.69% during the most recent quarter (comparing 3 months ending 2012-03-31 to 3 months ending 2011-03-31).

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

Source: 7 Dividend Champions With Strong Sales Trends