Kimberly-Clark: A worry-free stock
This boring toilet-paper-and-tissues company has raised dividends like clockwork for 39 years.
Finding stocks that don't get caught in the fallout of a market sell-off can be difficult; but Kimberly Clark (KMB) is one that we don't have to worry about.
In fact, during the sell-off started in late July the stock had been a star; while the S&P 500 was down 17.5%, Kimberly-Clark was actually up 7.4%.
KMB makes paper-based consumer products like facial tissues and toilet paper. You probably recognize some of their brands like Kleenex and Cottonelle.
Paper products aren't exciting, but they do see consistent demand no matter what the broader economy is doing.
We own shares of Kimberly-Clark in our real-money Stock of the Month portfolio. I originally added the shares back in June of 2010. Since then, it's been one stock I haven't had to worry about.
Part of the reason is that its "boring" business of selling toilet paper and tissues also helps power one of the steadiest dividends on the market.
The company has raised its dividend like clockwork for the past 39 years. In fact, in the last 10 years alone KMB has raised its quarterly dividend by 154%.
Every share bought just five years ago has paid out $12.45 since, providing a 23% gain on dividends alone.
Buying shares of KMB now would lock in a yield of 3.9%. That may not sound like a lot, but considering that 10-year Treasuries yield less than 2% and a savings account earns next to nothing, it's not a bad play for income investors looking for a safe bet with a decent yield.
And consider that right now we're seeing high unemployment, concerns about a recession, and the continuous angst about government deficits. That's a lot of worry. You might sleep better owning KMB.
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