When it comes to traditional blue-chip dividend investing, income driven investors are looking for solid yields will regular (monthly, quarterly, etc.) dividend distributions. In the case of the two companies featured, there were three criteria I chose to use in my screen:
- Each Company Must Be Going Ex-Dividend On Oct. 4th
- Each Company Must Be Have A P/E Ratio Under 15
- Each Company Must Yield At Least 3.00%.
It should be noted that many income-based investors use a strategy involving purchasing shares on or before the company's ex-dividend date. On the ex-dividend date, the person who owns the security will be awarded the payment, regardless of who currently holds the stock. After the ex-date has been declared, the stock will usually drop in price by the amount of the expected dividend. I wanted to not only consider these companies from an ex-dividend perspective, but demonstrate how both companies also outpace their competition in terms of profit margin.
Eaton Corporation (NYSE:ETN), which closed trading on Wednesday at $46.64/share, will be going ex-dividend at the close of trading on Thursday, October 4. "The Cleveland, Ohio-based firm, which currently yields 3.20% ($1.52), operates as a diversified power management company worldwide. The company provides electrical components and systems for power quality, distribution, and control; hydraulics components, systems, and services for industrial and mobile equipment; aerospace fuel, hydraulics, and pneumatic systems for commercial and military use". (Profile: Yahoo! Finance)
In terms of ETN, there is one primary catalyst that potential income investors should find attractive and that is the company's profit margin when compared to some of its direct industry competitors. In the last 12 months, ETN has demonstrated a profit margin of 8.77%, whereas ITT Corp. (NYSE:ITT) has only managed to demonstrate a negative profit margin of -18.41%. Eaton Corp.'s profit margin is nearly 1.47 times that of ITT Corp.'s, which in my opinion is pretty impressive.
Campbell Soup Co. (NYSE:CPB), which closed trading on Wednesday at $35.36/share, will be going ex-dividend at the close of trading on Thursday, October 4. The Camden, New Jersey-based firm, "which currently yields 3.30% ($1.16), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and marketing of branded convenience food products worldwide. The company offers condensed and ready-to-serve soups, broth and stocks, pasta and Mexican sauces, canned poultry, juices and beverages, and tomato juices, as well as canned gravies, pasta, and beans in the United States. It also provides cookies, crackers, and bakery and frozen products in the United States; biscuits in Australia and the Asia Pacific; soups, mayonnaise and cold sauces, broth and stocks, beverages, pasta sauce, Mexican sauce, and farm products in Europe, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, and Canada". (Profile: Yahoo! Finance)
When it comes to CPB, potential investors should consider the company's profit margin when compared to some of its industry competitors and how the company outpaces those competitors. In the last 12 months, CPB has demonstrated a profit margin of 10.04%, whereas H.J. Heinz Co. (NYSE:HNZ) has only managed to demonstrate a profit margin of 8.23%. Campbell Soup Company's profit margin is nearly 1.21 times that of H.J. Heinz, which in my opinion is pretty attractive.
Potential investors looking to establish a position in ETN or CPB should do so with a small to moderate position and add to that position as dividend announcements approach. Although the primary attraction comes in the form of the dividend yield for both companies, one of the more important secondary catalysts to consider is clearly the profit margins of each company over the last 12 months (and how it outpaces the competition).