Yield signs can often be stop signs for investors. If a payout seems too good to be true, there's a strong possibility that your initial instinct to be cautious is the right call. I realize that this is the last thing you want to hear in clicking on an article about promising stocks yielding 6% or better, but it's important that we all know this going in.
We live in a world of stock screens and open access to information. If a stock has a high yield in this environment of low interest rates, there will be trade-offs when it comes to risk. Altria (MO 0.44%) and B&G Foods (BGS 0.26%) are two names dangling juicy yields of 6.9% and 6.5%, respectively. They're not perfect, but they seem to be some of the best bets among investments packing payouts that high.
Investing in tobacco isn't for everyone, and the long-term outlook for cigarettes isn't very promising as health risks become more pronounced and smoking in public becomes less socially acceptable. Altria also may seem to have blown an opportunity to deploy its massive cash flow into diversifying away from its questionable and addictive flagship product line. Instead we've seen Altria double down on sin stocks by expanding into vaping, drinking, and cannabis.
The end result is that even after rallying alongside the market through the pandemic, Altria is still yielding an eye-popping 6.8% right now. The bearish argument for Altria is that its business will fade over time if it's not upended by legal liabilities first, but the narrative doesn't hold up. Altria has weathered the courtroom fisticuffs. It has cranked out nine consecutive years of revenue growth. They're not always organic gains, but it's proof that Altria has been able to grow its business -- and its quarterly distributions -- over time.
The next name on this list isn't a household name, but head out to the grocery store (or your kitchen pantry, for that matter) and you will probably find some of the handiwork of B&G Foods.
There are more than 50 brands in its arsenal combining for more than $2 billion in annual sales. If you've ever spooned down some Cream of Wheat, crunched into an Ortega taco shell, or cracked open a can of Green Giant veggies, you're a B&G customer. Late last year, it acquired shortening brand Crisco in a $550 million transaction.
The stock's 6.5% yield stands out among the branded food companies. An even more impressive stat is that it has posted negative top-line growth just once over the past 19 years. Like Altria, not all of this growth is organic. It's been gobbling up brands along the way. Sales would've been flat in its latest quarter if it weren't for Crisco pushing year-over-year revenue growth into the double digits.
There are still benefits of having a growing and diversified product line. With Green Giant skipping a beat lately as a result of supply chain constraints, there are dozens of other product lines to keep the gains going. B&G Foods has missed Wall Street's profit targets in back-to-back quarters. It also hasn't increased its dividend in three years. There is no free lunch, but with a 6.5% yield for a brand-backed food stock, it's looking pretty tasty here.
Altria won't pass some investor taste tests and B&G Foods is heavily leveraged. They're not perfect, but if you're looking to invest in dividend stocks and are comfortable taking on some risks in the pursuit of big yields, they are two names worth considering.