In recent years, Vodafone (LSE: VOD) (NASDAQ: VOD.US) has attempted to diversify its business model so as to provide even more stability with regard to its top and bottom lines. For example, it has acquired Kabel Deutschland and Spain’s Ono; both of which are high quality companies for which Vodafone paid a relatively attractive price. And, with Vodafone all set to begin offering broadband in the UK, as well as the potential for a pay-tv service later in the year, it should offer investors a relatively robust and consistent earnings stream, which is a key consideration for income-seeking investors.
Of course, Vodafone’s income appeal is also aided hugely by its headline yield of 5.1%. And, with the outlook for the Eurozone economy being the most upbeat for many years as a result of the ECB’s quantitative easing programme, Vodafone could prove to be an excellent addition to your ISA in the long run.
With deflation set to take hold in the UK in the coming months, the prospects for an interest rate rise have been severely diminished. In fact, even if deflation does prove to be a fleeting phenomenon, it could remain at the forefront of the Monetary Policy Committee’s mind, thereby delaying interest rate rises and lessening the pace of their increase. As such, companies with high debt and high yields could remain in vogue over the medium to long term.
Of course, one sector that contains a number of such companies is the utilities sector. And, among the most appealing of its constituents is United Utilities (LSE: UU). That’s because it offers a yield of 4% and comes with a lack of political risk that is associated with many of its domestic energy peers. Furthermore, United Utilities has a beta of just 0.8, which should provide you portfolio with less volatility and greater stability moving forward.
Although British Land (LSE: BLND) has a yield of just 3.4%, it continues to be a hugely appealing income stock. That’s because it is set to benefit from an improving outlook for UK consumers, with wage rises due to be ahead of inflation this year and providing shoppers with an increasing disposable income (in real terms) for the first time in a handful of years. As a result, shopping centre operators such as British Land could see their bottom lines and investor sentiment given a boost.
In addition, British Land is also forecast to increase dividends per share at a rapid rate. For example, they are expected to rise at an annualised rate of 4.2% during the next two years which could push the company’s share price higher even though it has risen by an impressive 35% since the start of 2014.
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Peter Stephens owns shares of British Land Co and United Utilities Group. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.