High dividend investing is one proven strategy many investors use to mitigate risk and produce income in either volatile or bear markets. The world is a mess with the turmoil in Europe and the Middle East, the fiscal cliff in the U.S., and geopolitical issues that can change daily. With the continued market uncertainty, dividend stocks are the place to be for more consistent income.
The market is trading sideways to down at this time. We will definitely have a market pullback, if not a 5-10% correction. Now is a good time for investors to look at controlling risk in their stock portfolios. One of the best options in times of market uncertainty is to look for low beta dividend stocks. Stocks with low betas will move less than the market as volatility increases in the short term. In addition, investors should combine the low beta with stocks paying stable dividends.
These stocks have low beta and stable dividend growth in the next few years. Here is a list of low beta dividend stocks with high yields to place on your watch list.
Food producer General Mills (NYSE:GIS) has an extremely low beta of 0.22 and a dividend yield of 3.29%. General Mills recently declared a quarterly dividend at the prevailing rate of $0.33 per share, payable Nov. 1, 2012, to shareholders of record on Oct. 10, 2012. The company has now paid dividends without reduction or interruption for 114 years.
General Mills' fiscal first-quarter earnings rose 35%, bolstered by acquisitions, and the company expects new products, especially yogurt, to help its slipping domestic sales return to growth this year. For the quarter ended Aug. 26, General Mills reported a profit of $548.9 million, or $0.82 a share, up from $405.6 million, or $0.61 a share, a year earlier.
General Mills has an equity summary score of 8.8 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook. First Call has a current BUY recommendation with a 2.4 rating.
Tobacco giant Altria Group (NYSE:MO) has a beta of 0.34 and a dividend yield of 5.18%. Recently, Altria Group announced that its Board of Directors voted to increase the company's regular quarterly dividend by 7.3% to $0.44 per common share versus the previous rate of $0.41 per common share. Altria has increased its dividend 46 times in the last 43 years.
Altria reported a second-quarter profit of $1.23 billion, or $0.60 share, up from $444 million, or $0.21 a share, a year earlier. Second-quarter earnings more than doubled on higher smokeless volume and as domestic cigarette shipments outperformed the broader industry, while the prior-year period included a steep tax-related charge.
Altria Group has an equity summary score of 7.7 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook. First Call has a current BUY recommendation with a 2.4 rating.
Personal care product maker Kimberly-Clark Company (NYSE:KMB) has a beta of 0.31 and a dividend yield of 3.46%. Kimberly-Clark declared a regular quarterly dividend of 74 cents per share in August. The dividend marks the 40th consecutive year that Kimberly-Clark has increased its dividend and the 78th straight year it has paid a dividend to shareholders.
Kimberly-Clark reported a profit of $498 million, or $1.26 a share, up from $ 408 million, or $1.03 a share, a year earlier. Second-quarter earnings rose 22% as the consumer products company saw a slight increase in sales at its personal-care segment and improved margins. The company raised its adjusted per-share earnings target for the year to between $5.05 and $5.20, compared with $5 and $5.15. It also foresees higher organic sales growth.
Kimberly-Clark has an equity summary score that is Neutral. First Call has a current Hold recommendation with a 2.7 rating.
The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX) has a beta of 0.31 and a dividend yield of 3.59%. Clorox announced that its board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of $0.64 per share on the company's common stock, payable Nov.16, 2012, to stockholders of record as of Oct. 24, 2012. Clorox has raised dividends for 24 consecutive years.
For the quarter ended June 30, Clorox reported a profit of $174 million, or $1.32 a share, up from $169 million, or $1.26 a share, a year earlier. Clorox reported a 3% increase in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings as sales rose due to price increases that still helped Clorox pick up market share, and the company also forecast better margins for its current fiscal year, as costs will rise less than expected.
Clorox has an equity summary score that is Neutral. First Call has a current Hold recommendation with a 2.9 rating.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.