Procter & Gamble
We'll start off this week with Procter & Gamble (PG - Get Report), the prototypical blue-chip stock. P&G is a nearly $200 billion consumer product manufacturer, with household name brands such as Tide, Charmin and Cover Girl under its belt. In all, the firm lays claim to 25 individual brands that bring home more than $1 billion in annual revenues, providing impressive diversification on its income statement. That's a big part of Procter's defensive positioning for investors seeking security right now.
Procter & Gamble is thinking hard about cost in 2012. The firm is working to pull $10 billion in costs out of its income statement, boosting margins and ultimately hiking the amount of free cash that's available to give to shareholders.>>5 High-Yielding Stocks in a Strong Bull Trend Elsewhere, growth is largely coming from abroad. P&G's U.S. business is largely saturated, so while growth is out there, it's hard to come by. The firm's emerging market sales are a bit more open, especially as staple consumer products in the West start making their way to becoming staples in developing countries. One of the most defensive factors about P&G is its dividend payout. Currently, the firm pays a hefty 3.24% dividend yield, a particularly impressive payout given the prolonged zero-rate policy that we're getting from the Fed right now. Investors who want a mix of safety and income should be looking at P&G this fall. I also featured P&G recently in " 5 Consumer Stocks Hedge Funds Love."