Master money manager John Neff has a secret he wants to share with you. Using his method, investors can essentially get dividends for free.
Neff is the venerable former manager of the Windsor Fund, which trounced the market during his 31-year tenure. In his hunt for undervalued bargains, Neff noted that investors often value stocks only by how much their prices have appreciated. Thus, if you find a company that's attractively priced relative to its earnings growth, any dividends it pays you are more or less the cherry atop the proverbial sundae.
I sought to mimic Neff's process by looking for companies with reasonable valuations, compared to their estimated future growth rates and their historical valuations. I also picked companies with dividend yields of at least 2%. The companies are highly regarded by many investors for a variety of reasons:
Molson Coors Brewing
(NYSE: TAP): The company's beer sales haven't been as recession-proof as some would have expected, but the company produced good results in the first quarter, and many expect it to get even better as the economy recovers. The company has been boosting sales with added marketing and new, lower-calorie offerings.
(NYSE: TUP): Tupperware may seem like a sleepy old stock. But it's growing globally, especially in dynamic emerging markets, which generated 54% of its first-quarter revenue.
(NYSE: LLL)sports a wide variety of defense offerings, such as signal processing equipment, aircraft maintenance services, surveillance, and base support services, and its healthy backlog of orders has been growing. The company is recently under investigation for alleged inappropriate email system use, though, so be sure to factor that into your calculations.
(NYSE: GD)also has a full and growing backlog that should keep it busy for quite a while. It recently won a lucrative contract from the Federal Aviation Administration to modernize U.S. air traffic control. Its aerospace business, including business jets, could pick up as the economy improves.
(NYSE: RTN)is busy developing new products such as high-tech military blimps and microwave technology that can do such cool things as protect crops. It has been buying back shares, too.
Note that these last three companies are heavily dependent on a key customer: the U.S. government. Given talk in Washington of sharply cutting the defense budget, there's a chance that these companies' near future may not be as bright as their recent past. Still, people have called for Pentagon cost reductions for years, without much impact thus far.
Perhaps most importantly for dividend investors, each of these companies is in a position to increase its payouts over time. Each sports a payout ratio of less than 35%, suggesting that they won't have trouble finding money from their earnings to make dividend payments.
What's your favorite low-P/E stock? Let us know -- leave a comment below!
Longtime Fool contributor Selena Maranjian does not own shares of any companies mentioned in this article. General Dynamics is a Motley Fool Inside Value pick. The Fool has created a covered strangle position on Tupperware Brands. Try any of our investing newsletter services free for 30 days. The Motley Fool is Fools writing for Fools.