Whether you're looking to take a more conservative investment approach or just enhance your portfolio return, high-yielding stocks may well be worth considering at this juncture. They can add a level of safety while boosting diversification. Here are some suggestions for a total-return portfolio.
Among several cigarette makers that offer 5% yields, I chose Lorillard (NYSE:LO.DL). The company generated 84% of its June-quarter sales volumes from its full-price brands, Newport, Kent, and True. Meanwhile, 14% of sales were derived from its value brands, namely Old Gold and Maverick. The remaining 2% consists of sales in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.
Indeed, geographically, Lorillard is distinct in that it sells only within the U.S. and its holdings. The narrowed focus has probably helped it grow its market share. This is one of the aspects helping Lorillard to achieve outstanding growth in EPS. The company also benefits from increased pricing and cost controls. Moreover, Lorillard is making strides in the electronic-cigarette market with its blu e-Cigs, though margins are not yet up to par.
Lorillard is on track for a double-digit earnings gain this year. In addition to paying a yield of about 5.1%, the company is repurchasing shares. The stock's forward P/E ratio is 12.2, and I like it for total-return accounts. Read about more investing ideas in the big-tobacco space.
An intriguing upcoming spin-off
United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD) is an online retail outlet that operates through three segments:
- FTD sells floral items, gifts, and related products.
- Content and media primarily sells online nostalgia products and services.
- Communications offers Internet access and services, such as NetZero 4G mobile broadband, DSL, dial-up, email, Internet security, and web-hosting services.
United Online's recent agreements with Verizon and Sprint to expand its coverage and enhance the offerings of its NetZero service -- for three and five years, respectively -- should support improved results. The Verizon deal provides coverage to approximately 95% of the U.S., while the Sprint contract begins in 2014, when it will cover approximately 200 million people.
United plans to complete its planned spin-off of the FTD unit on Oct. 1, when shareholders will receive their portion of United holdings in FTD shares. Spin-offs tend to enhance shareholder value, because separate management teams utilize resources for each business individually.
During September, management will disclose the planned dividend policies for the soon-to-be-split entities, as well as terms of a scheduled reverse stock split of United's stock. More venturesome investors may want to take a look; the forward P/E is 13.2 times earnings.
European mobile giant
Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD), the mobile-telecom behemoth with a market capitalization near $143 billion, divides its operations into three regions:
- Northern and Central Europe contributed 47% of June-quarter revenue, including joint ventures.
- Southern Europe was responsible for another 23%.
- Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific generated 30% of the total.
The company is realizing solid growth in emerging international markets like Turkey and India. Further, it is achieving strong increases in customer counts for its mobile in-bundle "Red" offering, launched in 2012.
Looking to 2015, Vodafone has a strategy consisting of progress on Red, as well as unified communications and the deployment of 4G services.
I look at Vodafone as a telecom with a growth agenda. It offers a compelling yield of 6.3% at recent price levels, as well as capital-gains potential for total-return portfolios.
Pipeline MLP for yield and price upside
DCP Midstream (NYSE:DCP) has a stated business strategy that includes several of the key components I look for in pipeline master limited partnerships. In particular, it demonstrates the acquisition of midstream (transportation and storage) assets from energy companies and plans to capitalize on organic-growth opportunities. For instance, it intends to expand its gas-gathering systems to increase volume flows, as well as building new properties and broadening the reach of its logistics businesses.
DCP's operations are composed as follows: The sale of natural gas, propane, natural-gas liquids, and condensate contributed 83% of total June-quarter revenue. Another 8% was derived from midstream activities, and 9% stemmed from gains in commodity derivatives.
Accordingly, higher energy prices would assist the company's results. Besides, it has much room to build its presence in the transport, storage, and processing market. I like DCP MLP units as a long-term holding, given favorable dynamics in the industry. They yield about 6% pretax, and the forward P/E is 14.9 times earnings.
Another partnership with room to grow
Global Partners (NYSE:GLP) is a company that transports and sells crude oil from the Bakken Shale and Canada. It is one of the largest distributors of gasoline, distillates, residual oil, and renewable fuels in the New England states and New York. Global's revenue composition is as follows: 68% of 2012 revenue was derived from gasoline sales, while 32% of revenue stemmed from distillate sales.
Like DCP's, Global's business strategies revolve around the pursuit of organic growth and expansions that would increase its presence in other fuel such as ethanol, natural gas, and biofuel. It has also started to sell propane. Finally, it is building upon its relationships with convenience stores, partly through the rebuilding and conversion of sites.
Furthermore, Global is aiming to expand its assets, transportation, logistics, and marketing businesses through acquisition. For instance, it acquired Cascade Kelly, a crude-oil facility near Portland, Ore., that helps to extend it pipeline to the West Coast.
Global's earnings outlook is good, and it is well-situated to benefit from higher prices for oil and natural gas. The MLP units yield around 7.1% pretax, and their forward P/E ratio is 14.8 times forward earnings.
The stocks and MLPs discussed here may appeal to those looking to boost their income in light of a more turbulent market. Moreover, investors may benefit from the capital-gains potential offered here. These holdings would all fit well into a total-return portfolio that targets high dividend yield as well as price gains.