Investors have been gravitating towards high-yield stocks ever since interest rates plunged in 2008 and traditional fixed-income investments like bonds and CDs no longer offered much of a payout. The search for yield has largely been focused on U.S. companies, but the same interest rate/fixed-income dynamics have been playing out across the globe. Indeed some of the most impressive yield plays can be found in Europe, Latin America and Asia, and these dividend payers often trade here in the U.S. as well.
Here are five robust yield plays from outside of our borders that trade in the U.S. that can help your portfolio produce more income.
Since World War II, buyers of German luxury sedans have had an easy choice. There's been Mercedes-Benz--and everyone else. Well, these days, the venerable auto maker faces major competition from brands such as BMW, Audi and Porsche. Still, it's a very lucrative business for all the major firms, as profit margins on luxury automobiles are far higher than the margins generated by economy cars.To be sure, the European economic crisis spooked many investors that have been anticipating an utter implosion in the European auto market. As a result, shares of Germany-based Daimler (DDAIF), parent company of Mercedes-Benz, had fallen from the low $70's in early 2011 to the mid-$40's. Yet the sales weakness has mostly been confined to the economy-focused brands such as Peugeot, Fiat and Opel, and Daimler's shares have recently rebounded back into the $50's. Worried about an eventual dividend cut? That looks unlikely. Daimler did indeed slash its payout from $2.56 in 2007 to just $0.77 in 2008. Yet has been the case with every economic slowdown in the past, this dividend always comes back stronger. Daimler re-upped its dividend to $2.81 in 2011. Frankly, this dividend looks fairly solid right now, even in the face of tremendous economic challenges. Analysts expect Daimler's per share profits to rise roughly 5% in 2013 to around $6 a share, and expect the dividend to remain at current levels. That works out to a dividend yield in excess of 5%, among the highest of any auto maker in the world.