As the current market begins to look more like 2011, with the same volatility and the Eurocrisis creeping back into the picture, investors may want to look at low beta stocks. These low beta stocks display less volatility than the overall market, especially stocks with high beta ranks. Couple a low beta with a high dividend growth rate and investors should have a slow, steady total return. We are looking at small capitalization stocks, as they tend to have higher growth rates. Here is a list of low beta small cap stocks with high dividend growth rates.
United-Guardian (NASDAQ:UG) is a manufacturer of cosmetic ingredients, personal and health care products, pharmaceuticals, and specialty industrial products. UG is trading at $21.18 with a beta of 0.04. UG's market cap is $96.1 million with the stock price up 37% year to date. It has a current 4.11% dividend yield. UG has a five-year annual dividend growth rate of 31%.
United-Guardian announced that the company's Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.42 per share, which will be paid on June 18, 2012, to all stockholders of record as of the close of business on June 4, 2012. This represents a 17% increase over the $0.36 per share semi-annual dividend paid in the first half of 2011. This is now the 17th consecutive year that the company has paid a cash dividend, which has been steadily increasing since 1996, and the ninth consecutive year that it has paid semi-annual dividends.
Somerset Hills Bancorp (NASDAQ:SOMH) serves as the holding company for Somerset Hills Bank, a commercial bank. The bank operates a licensed mortgage company subsidiary, Sullivan Financial Services, Inc. (Sullivan). The service area of the Bank primarily consists of Somerset, Morris and Union Counties, New Jersey, although it makes loans throughout New Jersey.
Somerset Hills is trading at $8.50 with a beta of 0.25. SOMH has a market cap of $45.3 million with the stock price up 13% year to date. It has a current 3.77% dividend yield. SOMH has a five-year annual dividend growth rate of 17%. SOMH reported net income of $820,000 for the first quarter of 2012, a 36.0% increase over net income of$603,000 for the first quarter of 2011. First quarter diluted earnings per share were $0.15 in 2012 and $0.11 in 2011.
Based upon the recent performance, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.08 per share payable May 31, 2012, to shareholders of record as of May 17, 2012. This quarterly cash dividend represents a $0.01 per share or a 14.29% increase from the fourth quarter of 2011.
Acme United Corporation (NYSEMKT:ACU) is a leading worldwide supplier of innovative cutting, measuring and first aid products to the school, home, office, hardware and industrial markets. Its leading brands include Westcott®, Clauss®, Camillus® PhysiciansCare ® and Pac-Kit ®. ACU is trading at $10.74 with a beta of 0.22. ACU has a market cap of $33.7 million with the stock price up 14% year to date.
Acme has a current 2.78% dividend yield. It has a five-year annual dividend growth rate of 12%. ACU announced that net sales for the quarter ended March 31, 2012 were $16.9 million, compared to $14.4 million in the first quarter of 2011, an increase of 17%. Excluding the acquisition on February 28, 2011, of the Pac Kit Company, comparable sales increased by 9%.
Access National Corporation (NASDAQ:ANCX) is the parent company of Access National Bank, an independent bank serving the business community of the DC Metropolitan area. ANCX is trading at $12.53 with a beta of 0.38. It has a market cap of $126.2 million with the stock price up 40% year to date.
Access National has a current 1.95% dividend yield. ANCX has a five-year annual dividend growth rate of 43%. ANCX reported first quarter net income of $3.4 million, a 50.3% increase over the $2.3 million recorded in the first quarter of 2011. This represents the company's 47th consecutive quarterly profit over its 12-year history. Net income per dilutive common share was $0.33, an increase of 50.0% over the $0.22 reported in the first quarter of 2011.
Based on record earnings, strong capital and favorable outlook, the Board of Directors declared a cash dividend of $0.06 per share, representing the fifth increase over the last six quarters for holders of record as of May 2, 2012, and payable May 25, 2012.
Click to enlarge
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.