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10 Best 'Dividend Aristocrats' for 2012

9. Hormel Foods

Liability Adjusted Cash Flow Yield: 3.84%

Dividend Yield: 2.09%

Return on Invested Capital: 14.12%

Hormel (HRL - Get Report) is a brand that many Americans will recognize -- and the company may have tapped into one of America's favorite snacking celebrations: Super Bowl Sunday.

Historically, search interest for this meat purveyor peaked around December, according to Google Insights for Search (not surprisingly, as "party trays" are a common fixture at holiday celebrations). But beginning last year -- and projected into this year -- search interest peaked during the first weekend of February. Seemingly, cheese dip is of particular interest.

For income investors, Hormel yields slightly more than the S&P 500 (and raised its distribution 21% from 2010 to 2011). But, anathema! The company dedicated more cash to share buybacks than dividend distributions last year.

For buy-and-hold investors, this is a frustrating use of capital.

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