Even though the past few years have been a rocky road for
(FDX - Get Report)
, the global shipping giant has been staging a quiet climb in performance recently. FedEx pioneered the express shipping business in the 1970s, and while the firm now shares a shipping duopoly with top rival
, FedEx still wears the crown in the express shipping segment. Unlike UPS, FedEx doesn't mingle its express and ground shipping units, a fact that makes the two firms a bit less simple to compare.
Elevated shipping volumes have helped both shipping firms for the past couple of years, with FedEx finally returning to earning net margins in the mid-single-digits. But while the market has warmed for shippers, it doesn't look much more competitive than it was just a few years ago. Huge barriers to entry and cautionary tales like DHL and the USPS make shipping look a whole lot less lucrative for newcomers than FedEx and UPS' income statements would suggest.
FedEx is far from a dividend stock. In fact, the firm's 0.57% dividend yield is by far the lowest payout on our list today. Even so, the firm is generating enough cash to offer up a dividend hike to its shareholders in the next quarter. That, in turn, could help buoy shares this spring.
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-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.
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