Income investing doesn’t have to involve boring consumer staples and utility stocks. There’s a small list of high-flying dividend investments that offer juicy dividends and have climbed more than 30% year-to-date in 2012.
Granted, these tend to be riskier stocks that are smaller in market cap or have big emerging-market influences. But considering the flat stock market and investors’ hunger for high-yield dividend stocks, it may be worth giving these picks a look.
Here are five dividend stocks with big yields and big returns so far this year:
Foot Locker (NYSE:FL) probably doesn’t strike you as a company that would sport a big dividend. But in fact, many retail stocks are yielding over 2% these days, and Foot Locker’s 18 cents a quarter equals a yield of 2.2%.
Best of all, this shoe retailer has risen 30% so far in 2012 thanks to strong sales growth. The company has seen year-over-year revenue increases for seven straight quarters — and EPS growth for 10 quarters in a row.
The company also gets points for recently bumping up its dividend about 9% at the beginning of the year, proving that it’s willing to keep sharing the wealth with shareholders.
InterContinental Hotels Group (NYSE:IHG) is, unsurprisingly, a global hotel company. What may surprise you, however, is that its brands, including Crown Plaza and Holiday Inn, have been seeing very good numbers despite considerable economic troubles of late. Shares are up an impressive 26% in 2012. The company has also seen seven straight quarters of revenue growth, and EPS remain very strong.
The semiannual dividends yield about 2.4% based on the previous two payouts. Note, though, that if you buy in now, your next distribution won’t be until October. Still, considering that this year’s first payday of 39 cents a share was 15% higher than 2011’s first distribution of 33.7 cents, it may be worth paying attention to IHG.
Whirlpool Corporation (NYSE:WHR) might seem like a silly play since consumer spending remains sluggish — until you see its 23% returns so far in 2012 and its 3.4% dividend! And this appliance manufacturer has paid dividends since 1929, so its payday is pretty bulletproof.
Yes, the stock is off about 20% in the last three months as the shares have given up a lot of ground, but WHR has a forward P-E of around 7.3 right now, so the share slide is hardly a sign that the stock has outpaced its earnings and is doomed to crash. Forecasts are for 10% EPS growth in fiscal 2012, even after a small revenue slip in Q1 numbers prompted a sell-off.
Copa Holdings (NYSE:CPA) is aggressive on two fronts: It’s a Panama-based company with big connections to Latin America, and it’s a regional airline that is very much exposed to the risks of that sector — namely, tourist and business travel trends and fuel prices. It just so happens that so far in 2012, those trends have been giving Copa a tailwind that has been pushing the stock to new highs.
This South American airline company is up an amazing 38% since January 1. The bad news: Copa just went ex-dividend on May 29, so you’ll have to wait until next year for its annual payday. But right now, for what it’s worth, the yield is almost 2.6%.
Diebold Incorporated (NYSE:DBD) is a “security” company, but that’s an oversimplification. It provides Internet firewalls and virus protection, key-card systems for government buildings and even theft-proof ATMs. Keeping things safe is a business that’s always in favor, and as a result, DBD has jumped 20% in 2012.
Earnings and sales have been admittedly a little sleepy lately, but they’ve recovered dramatically since Diebold posted a loss in fiscal 2010. Equally important to income-oriented investors is Diebold’s stable dividend, which was increased just this last March, to 28.5 cents quarterly, for a yield of 3%. Want more stability? The company has paid a dividend since 1954.
Jeff Reeves is the editor of InvestorPlace.com and the author of “The Frugal Investor’s Guide to Finding Great Stocks.” Write him at editor@investorplace??.com or follow him on Twitter via @JeffReevesIP. As of this writing, Jeff Reeves did not own a position in any of the stocks named here.