Housewares producer Newell Rubbermaid (NYSE:NWL), the company behind brands like Rubbermaid, Sharpie, Rolodex, and Graco, reported strong earnings this morning, with a 10.4% year-over-year sales boost and 10.2% higher net earnings, excluding items. The company is in the thick of a three-year restructuring plan, which is costing Rubbermaid about $100 million per year until completion but should set the stage for over $120 million in annual savings after that.

As part of that effort, the company is changing its brand portfolio a bit. For example, label maker DYMO was acquired last November, and the Little Tikes brand was just sold to privately held MGA Entertainment. In another effort to "increase shareholder value by narrowing our core businesses to those with big, consumer-meaningful brands where investments in innovation and marketing can best be leveraged to drive growth," in the words of CEO Mark Ketchum, most of its European home decor operations have also been sold to Hunter Douglas.

A hint of what Rubbermaid intends to do once it gets the product portfolio balanced just so comes from a planned move into roomier digs for the corporate HQ. The new 350,000-square-foot facility should be ready for move-in by fall 2008, which happens to coincide with the end of Project Acceleration, and will house twice as many workers as the current building. You don't plan that sort of move unless you either believe in your future prospects or have no concept of fiscal responsibility. I'm betting on the former in this case.

Rubbermaid today sports a generous dividend, with a bigger yield than consumer-products stalwarts like Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) or Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), but on the other hand, those two companies have grown their payouts about 10% in the last five years while Rubbermaid's have remained static. With the capital spending requirements of the new HQ and restructuring initiatives, that status quo might remain for another two years. After that, the plan is to have Rubbermaid ready to grow, and dividend increases could happen again.

It's a classic turnaround story, if all goes to plan. Buy now while yields are fat, and profit later from a rising stock price and hopefully larger per-share payouts. But the balance sheet is looking a bit unbalanced, and nothing is for sure in today's tooth-and-nail consumer goods sector. Due diligence is highly recommended.

Further Foolishness:

Newell Rubbermaid is a Motley Fool Income Investor recommendation, and Colgate-Palmolive is an Inside Value pick. Try a 30-day free trial to one of our services to see which investing style suits your needs.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolish disclosure is always nicely balanced.