Exxon Mobil (XOM)
Company Profile: Exxon Mobil is the largest company in the world by market value. The integrated oil giant is involved in the exploration and production of crude oil and natural gas, as well as the transportation and sale of crude oil.Current Share Price: $77.39 (Nov. 29) Dividend Yield: 2.4% Platte's Take: When it comes to dividend stocks, Exxon is frequently mentioned thanks to its yield (above the 10-year U.S. Treasury), the company's inclusion in the Dow Jones Industrial Average, and Exxon's mega-cap label. "I hesitate to mention it because it's pointing out the elephant," Platte says. "It's a huge energy play and it's very well-run. But few will mention that it's selling at a very low multiple, which it tends to because of the volatility of the end product. They've repurchased shares dramatically over the last decade and they tend to raise the dividend as well. International exposure through the oil." Exxon Mobil shares are up nearly 6% this year and more than 13% since early August. The company has increased its dividend payment per share since 2003. Exxon was the top holding in the Ave Maria Rising Dividend Fund as of Sept. 30, representing 4.4% of the portfolio.
Sysco (SYY) Company Profile: Sysco is a North America distributor of food-service products with approximately 400,000 customers. Current Share Price: $28.06 (Nov. 29) Dividend Yield: 3.8% Platte's Take: Sysco may be off the beaten path for some dividend investors when compared to Exxon, which is one of the reasons Platte likes the stock so much. Shares of Sysco are down 4.5% this year and more than 10% since September 2008, before the financial crisis kept diners at home as they tightened the belt and saved money. Platte says that while he waits for foodservice companies to see their business pick up, he's happy to receive a dividend payment of nearly 4%. "Their business has been a well-run company historically," Platte says of Sysco. "Their business has been affected negatively because of food distribution. If people don't eat out, that's less demand for their products. They've also been hurt by food inflation. But Sysco is getting more share in this market and the dividend keeps increasing. I'm getting paid a pretty nice yield to sit and wait."
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