I wouldn't blame you for being suspicious. Usually, dividends yield more than 5% for a very good reason: Investors don't think the company or the payout will last very long. Otherwise, they'd bid up shares, and the dividend yield would fall.
But sometimes, we can find great dividend stocks in the funniest of places. Today, it comes from plastic containers and theme park rides. Read on to see why I consider Cedar Fair (NYSE:FUN) and Tupperware (NYSE:TUP) to be great stocks to consider buying with dividends yielding over 5%.
Theme parks provide more protection than you might think
After years of investing, I've come to appreciate a company's sustainable competitive advantage as the single most important variable worthy of consideration. On the surface, you might not think theme parks would provide an enviable moat.
But let's consider: it isn't easy getting the land and permits necessary to build a theme park. It costs a half-billion dollars to build even one, let alone a chain of parks. And if you build one too close to an established theme park, you might be shooting yourself in the foot: You might take business away from an established player, but you won't get enough yourself to remain profitable.
That's why I think Cedar Fair, with its 13 theme parks spread throughout the country -- though concentrated very close to Ohio -- is a compelling buy. As a limited partnership, management is forced to pay off any excess cash flow to investors in the form of a distribution. For that reason, the company's cash flow is the key metric to watch.
I purposely included both cash from operations and free cash flow for a very good reason. While it's true that Cedar Fair's distributions come primarily from free cash flow, the absolute numbers themselves don't tell the whole story.
Cedar Fair has been able to grow cash from operations by 10% per year over the past five years. The only reason free cash flow hasn't kept that pace is because the company has been reinvesting in its parks after careful consideration of what customers are really looking for. This only serves to reinforce Cedar Fair's moat, which should help it keep churning out an outsized dividend for years to come.
A business with 3 million salespeople
Tupperware is unique on a couple of levels. First and foremost, the company has strong brand awareness. You might not realize it, but last year, 75% of Tupperware's sales came from outside of North America. The second notable characteristic is the fact that the company is a direct sales company -- meaning that folks will often sell Tupperware products as a side-business by holding parties with friends and family.
For a long time, Tupperware's business has suffered mightily from the effects of currency exchange rates. For instance, in 2015, sales were flat in Europe and increased 25% in South America. But because of a strong dollar, revenue fell 17% and 20%, respectively, in those two regions. The dollar's strong performance since November will likely exacerbate those trends.
However, in my opinion, this represents a buying opportunity. Tupperware's 5.2% dividend is still safe since the company has only used 73% of free cash flow over the past 12 months to make its payments. That's down from 84% in 2015.
And the company isn't dying. If we back out unfavorable currency headwinds, sales grew 4% in 2015. And even though the total dollars the company collected through the first nine months of 2016 was down, sales were up in local currencies.
The bottom line, as far as I see it, is this: The company still has an enormous and untapped opportunity in India and China, and it has shown itself adept at growing abroad. That, plus any favorable changes in currency rates, could prove very favorable for Tupperware -- giving it the freedom to increase its payout even further.
While I wouldn't recommend backing up the truck with either of these companies, I believe they both warrant due diligence on your behalf. Indeed, these 5% dividend-yielders are in better shape than bears would have you believe.