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Lorillard Inc. (LO), United Online, Inc. (UNTD), Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (VOD): Stocks for 5% Dividend Yields

Whether you’re looking to take a more conservative investment approach or just enhance your portfolio return, high-yielding stocks may well be worth considering at this juncture. They can add a level of safety while boosting diversification. Here are some suggestions for a total-return portfolio.

Tobacco road
Among several cigarette makers that offer 5% yields, I chose Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO). The company generated 84% of its June-quarter sales volumes from its full-price brands, Newport, Kent, and True. Meanwhile, 14% of sales were derived from its value brands, namely Old Gold and Maverick. The remaining 2% consists of sales in Puerto Rico and U.S. territories.

Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO)Indeed, geographically, Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO) is distinct in that it sells only within the U.S. and its holdings. The narrowed focus has probably helped it grow its market share. This is one of the aspects helping Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO) to achieve outstanding growth in EPS. The company also benefits from increased pricing and cost controls. Moreover, Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO) is making strides in the electronic-cigarette market with its blu e-Cigs, though margins are not yet up to par.

Lorillard Inc. (NYSE:LO) is on track for a double-digit earnings gain this year. In addition to paying a yield of about 5.1%, the company is repurchasing shares. The stock’s forward P/E ratio is 12.2, and I like it for total-return accounts. Read about more investing ideas in the big-tobacco space.

An intriguing upcoming spin-off
United Online, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTD)
is an online retail outlet that operates through three segments:

  1. FTD sells floral items, gifts, and related products.
  2. Content and media primarily sells online nostalgia products and services.
  3. Communications offers Internet access and services, such as NetZero 4G mobile broadband, DSL, dial-up, email, Internet security, and web-hosting services.

United Online, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTD)’s recent agreements with Verizon and Sprint to expand its coverage and enhance the offerings of its NetZero service — for three and five years, respectively — should support improved results. The Verizon deal provides coverage to approximately 95% of the U.S., while the Sprint contract begins in 2014, when it will cover approximately 200 million people.

United Online, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTD) plans to complete its planned spin-off of the FTD unit on Oct. 1, when shareholders will receive their portion of United holdings in FTD shares. Spin-offs tend to enhance shareholder value, because separate management teams utilize resources for each business individually.

During September, management will disclose the planned dividend policies for the soon-to-be-split entities, as well as terms of a scheduled reverse stock split of United Online, Inc. (NASDAQ:UNTD)’s stock. More venturesome investors may want to take a look; the forward P/E is 13.2 times earnings.

European mobile giant
Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD)
, the mobile-telecom behemoth with a market capitalization near $143 billion, divides its operations into three regions:

  1. Northern and Central Europe contributed 47% of June-quarter revenue, including joint ventures.
  2. Southern Europe was responsible for another 23%.
  3. Africa, the Middle East, and Asia-Pacific generated 30% of the total.

The company is realizing solid growth in emerging international markets like Turkey and India. Further, it is achieving strong increases in customer counts for its mobile in-bundle “Red” offering, launched in 2012.

Looking to 2015, Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) has a strategy consisting of progress on Red, as well as unified communications and the deployment of 4G services.

I look at Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) as a telecom with a growth agenda. It offers a compelling yield of 6.3% at recent price levels, as well as capital-gains potential for total-return portfolios.

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