3M Co (NYSE:MMM) is a global technology company, and the third stock on this list. At present, 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) offers a quarterly dividend of $0.635 cents per share. Over the past five years, the company has been able to increase its dividend by 27%. In 2012, 3M paid a dividend of $2.36 cents per share, yielding at 2.5%.
Over the years, 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) has shown a solid financial performance. In the past three years, it has been able to enlarge revenues by 9% while the industry average stood at a negative 0.4%. In addition, 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) has a high margin on its sales; therefore, in the past three years, on average, its Earnings Per Share [EPS] growth stands at 11.8%.
Its cash flows are also in solid condition. It has been able to expand operating cash flows on a year over year basis. At the end of 2012, its operating cash flows stood at $5.30 billion. Its free cash flows adequately cover its dividend payments. At the end of 2012, free cash flows stood at $3.816 billion, while dividend payments only accounted for $1.635 billion. Its financial health also looks stable. It has high current and quick ratios, while the debt to equity ratio is very low at 0.3.
AFLAC Incorporated (NYSE:AFL)’s top-line growth has been consistently strong, reflecting a smart investment strategy. At present, it looks like a safe pick with hefty dividends. Additionally, the stock is trading at a discount. Analysts have a target price of $65 for shares. 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) expects free cash flow conversion to be in the range of 90 to 100 percent. With a solid financial position and positive outlook, 3M Co (NYSE:MMM) is well positioned to produce consistently increasing returns. Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD) has a strong business model that allows it to generate consistently increasing returns. The partnerships shift towards fee based business provides more stability to its margins and cash flows.
The article Three Stocks For A Safe Retirement Portfolio originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by siraj sarwar.
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