8. Kimberly-Clark (KMB)
Company profile: Kimberly-Clark, with a market value of $31 billion, is a leader in the health and hygiene category products category, selling bathroom tissues, diapers, feminine products, and paper towels, worldwide. Its well-known brands include Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Pull-Ups, and Kotex.
Dividend Yield: 3.78%
Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 7.4% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 17%. Its five-year average annual return is 4.8%. Analysts give its shares one "buy" ratings, one "buy/hold," 12 "holds," and two "weak holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.Despite tough competition and a weakening economy, its earnings are expected to hold up as analysts expect it to earn $5.15 per share this year and that that will grow by 7% to $5.53 next year. 7. Colgate-Palmolive (CL) Company profile: Colgate-Palmolive, with a market value of $46 billion, is one of the world's largest consumer product companies as a maker of toothpaste and detergents, shampoos, shower gels, deodorants, and shaving products. S&P notes that "demand for household and personal care products is relatively static, and, in mature markets, not likely to be affected much by economic conditions," hence its appeal right now. Dividend Yield: 2.57% Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 5.7% this year, a three-year, average annual return of 14% and a 10-year annual return of 7.4%. Analysts give its shares four "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," 17 "holds," and one "weak hold," according to a survey of analysts by S&P. For fiscal 2012, analysts estimate it will earn $5.40 per share, and $5.92 in 2013, which is 10% growth. 6. Wal-Mart Stores (WMT) Company profile: Wal-Mart, with a market value of $224 billion, operates retail stores in various formats worldwide, including retail stores, restaurants, discount stores, supermarkets, supercenters, hypermarkets, warehouse clubs, apparel stores, Sam's Clubs, as well as walmart.com and samsclub.com. Dividend Yield: 2.43% Investor takeaway: Its shares are up 11% this year and have a three-year, average annual return of 11%. Over five years, it has an average annual return of 7.6%. S&P, which has its shares rated "buy," with a $69 price target (it was $65.55 on June 1), found eight "buy" ratings from other analysts as well as four "buy/holds," 18 "holds," and one "sell," according to its survey. 5. ExxonMobil (XOM - Get Report) Company profile: ExxonMobil, with a market value of $362 billion, is an integrated oil and gas company that explores for, produces, and refines oil around the world. It is the world's largest refiner and one of the world's largest manufacturers of commodity and specialty chemicals. Dividend Yield: 2.93% Investor takeaway: Its shares are down 6.8% this year, but are up 5% over a three-year period and has a 10-year average annual return of 8.7%. S&P has it rated "strong buy," with a $103 price target, which is a 33% premium to its current price. Analysts give its shares nine "buy" ratings, three "buy/holds," and eight "holds," according to a survey of analysts by S&P.