There's something about having one of your products immortalized in a song that illustrates just how well your brand connects with its consumers and how endearing it can be. For example, Coca-Cola's
"I like mine with lettuce and tomato
Heinz 57and french fried potatoes
Big kosher pickle and a cold draft beer
Well, good God almighty, which way do I steer?"
A worldwide leader
Those immortal lyrics illustrate just how ingrained Motley Fool Income Investor selection H.J. Heinz
With multiple leading product lines in numerous countries around the world, Heinz is amazingly well-positioned. In fact, investors searching to diversify their holdings globally could do far worse than this American icon and its strong international presence.
Show me the money
Heinz doesn't just have a dominant market position; it understands its responsibility to investors as well. As shareholders, we become partial owners in the businesses we buy. As they grow and prosper, we should expect to be rewarded for the financial risks we take by purchasing them in the first place. The first question I ask about any company that I'm considering buying is, "How well does this business treat its owners?" In Heinz' case, the answer is "Very well, indeed."
Like clockwork every quarter, this global food giant pays out a dividend that puts much of corporate America to shame. With the distribution currently weighing in at $1.20 a year, Heinz pays out about 3.47% of its recent market capitalization to its owners on a yearly basis.
Better yet, as is appropriate for a steady performer with such consistent brands, that payout has been steadily rising for decades, with only one exception. After having spun off several of its brands to Del Monte
Plus, unlike fellow food giant Kraft
The Foolish bottom line
With its dominant global presence and leading market share in multiple categories worldwide, Heinz is certainly a force in the food business. Add a dash of shareholder-friendly dividend policies and a pinch of squeaky-clean corporate image, and the overall recipe results in a company that's worth a look for investors seeking a business with legitimate potential to be a steady long-term performer.
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At the time of publication, Fool contributor Chuck Saletta had no ownership position in any of the companies mentioned in the article. In the interests of absolutely full disclosure , however, Chuck feels obligated to admit that he did have a bottle of Heinz ketchup in the fridge, along with a couple slices of Kraft cheese and a few cans of Coke, at the time of publication. Coca-Cola is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick.