Dividend stocks are everywhere, but many just downright stink. In some cases, the business model is in serious jeopardy, or the dividend itself isn't sustainable. In others, the dividend is so low it's not even worth the paper your dividend check is printed on. Therefore, finding a solid dividend takes the right balance of growth, value, and sustainability.
Today, and each week for the rest of the year, we're going to take a look at one dividend-paying company that you can put in your portfolio for the long term without much concern. This isn't to say that these stocks don't share the same macro risks that other companies have, but they are a step above your common grade of dividend stock.
First up: Bemis
Not to be confused with the toilet manufacturer, Bemis provides flexible packaging products as well as pressure-sensitive materials. You know those annoying plastic packages you struggle to open? Chances are, Bemis made those impenetrable mini-plastic fortresses.
The remarkable thing about Bemis' business model is that even during times when its volumes are down, like recent periods of soft consumer spending, the company still brings in more than enough cash flow to continue to grow through acquisitions while also appeasing shareholders who have become accustomed to yearly dividend increases. In fact, Bemis has raised its dividend for 28 consecutive years, which places it among a very select class of dividend aristocrats.
Take a gander at this dividend growth and tell me you wouldn't want this in your portfolio:
The thing to remember with the packaging industry is that you can only innovate so much to grow your business, so reliance on your top clients and growing by acquisition are the keys to success. Bemis luckily has both aspects well under control.
With Johnson & Johnson, Procter & Gamble, H. J. Heinz, and Kraft Foods among Bemis' largest clients, shareholders can sleep easy at night knowing its customers will be there when they wake up. In addition, Bemis' contracts are structured in such a way that it can pass along the rising costs of raw materials to its customers so as not to constrict its own margins.
Bemis has also made some key acquisitions over the past few years, including purchasing Alcan Packaging from Rio Tinto
Packaging may not be the most exciting of sectors, but it can provide shareholders with the ability to sleep well at night. Bemis also allows you to collect a very stable 3.2% yield to go along with that good night's sleep. As it's a clear leader in its sector, I'm maintaining my CAPScall of outperform on Bemis and allowing it the spot in my CAPS portfolio that it rightfully has earned. The question now is, would you make the same call?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below and consider adding Bemis to your free and personalized watchlist to keep track of the news stories that are moving this dividend aristocrat.
Also, if you're craving even more dividend ideas, I invite you to download a copy of our latest special report, "11 Rock-Solid Dividend Stocks," which is loaded with income-producing companies hand-selected by our top analysts. Best of all, this report is free, so don't miss out!
Fool contributor Sean Williams has no material interest in any other companies mentioned in this article. He would, however, love to know the secret to opening those evil plastic clam packages. You can follow him on CAPS under the screen name TMFUltraLong, track every pick he makes under the screen name TrackUltraLong, and check him out on Twitter, where he goes by the handle @TMFUltraLong.
The Motley Fool owns shares of Johnson & Johnson. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Procter & Gamble, H.J. Heinz, and Johnson & Johnson, as well as creating a diagonal call position in Johnson & Johnson. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy that always loves a free payout.
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