The Highest Dividend-Paying Consumer Stocks

With the stock market close to record highs, the yields on many dividend paying stocks have drifted lower. That's great news if you bought into these companies before the rally. But what if you're looking to add some higher yielding companies to your portfolio now? Thankfully, there are a few dividend paying stocks that still yield over 3% -- despite the big rally in their shares.

I prefer consumer stocks as income investments because they tend to be steady, mature businesses that can generate plenty of cash, even through a recession. With that in mind, here are four of the highest dividend-paying consumer stocks around:

Stock

Market Cap

P/E Ratio

Dividend Yield

Kraft Foods (NASDAQ: KRFT  )

$31 Billion

19

3.8%

Hasbro (NASDAQ: HAS  )

$6 Billion

18

3.6%

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG  )

$5 Billion

20

3.4%

Dr Pepper Snapple (NYSE: DPS  )

$10 Billion

16

3.2%

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Kraft Foods is one of the biggest consumer packaged food and beverage companies in North America. The company is a brand new entity, having been born of its separation from Mondelez International. But its stellar brand portfolio is the product of decades of work. Kraft Foods boasts several of the most popular food brands on the continent, including two -- Kraft and Oscar Mayer -- that pull in more than $1 billion in revenue each. Plus, the company's payout ratio, at 18%, leaves plenty of room for future dividend increases.

Next is Hasbro, which has grown into much more than just a toy company. The owner of Nerf and My Little Pony brands also runs a television network and extensive licensing program that both make profitable use of its deep catalog of intellectual property. Hasbro has a long history of returning excess cash to shareholders, most recently by increasing that quarterly dividend to $0.40 a share.

Leggett & Platt is a diversified producer of a wide range of bedding and furnishings. It also happens to be a dividend powerhouse. The company boosted its dividend for the 41st consecutive year in 2012 and has delivered an astounding 13% compound annual growth rate in the dividend over that stretch of time.

Lastly, we have Dr Pepper Snapple, the soda and beverage company that owns many of the most popular drink brands around. Like Kraft foods, this company's business is focused on the North American continent. Just about 90% of Dr Pepper's sales came from the U.S. last year. Still, valued at just 16 times earnings, the company's shares look cheap when stacked up against Coca-Cola's P/E of 21. And Dr Pepper has Coca-Cola beat on yield too, paying 3.2% as compared with the soda king's current 2.7% yield.

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