3 super income stocks: Banco Santander SA, Imperial Brands plc & Royal Mail plc

With interest rates set to stay low over the medium-to-long term, dividends look set to remain in vogue. And with the FTSE 100 trading at little more than 6,000 points at the present time, there are some stunning yields on offer in the UK’s main index.

Chief among them is Imperial Brands (LSE: IMB). Clearly, the company’s share price rise of 11% in the last year has suppressed its yield somewhat, but Imperial Brands still offers an income return of 4.2% at the present time. This is higher than the FTSE 100’s yield of just under 4% and with Imperial Brands offering a less volatile shareholder experience than the wider index, as evidenced by a beta of just 0.6, it seems to hold considerable defensive appeal.

However, there’s much more to Imperial Brands than a high yield and defensive characteristics. It also offers highly reliable and strong growth prospects, with the company’s bottom line due to rise by 12% in the current year and by a further 6% next year. This should allow it raise dividends by as much as 10% next year, which serves as further evidence of its status as a super income stock.

In demand

Also offering upbeat income prospects is Royal Mail (LSE: RMG). Despite challenges within its letter delivery segment, Royal Mail has still been able to record a share price rise of 20% since the turn of the year. It has been aided by impressive performance in Europe in particular and this should allow it to raise dividends by over 5% in the next financial year.

With Royal Mail having a yield of 4.3%, it offers an above average income return and with its shares trading on a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 13.3, there’s scope for an upward rerating over the medium-to-long term. While Royal Mail may not offer the defensive appeal of a utility, it remains a relatively resilient business that could see demand for its shares increase if the outlook for the wider market remains uncertain.

Growth at a good price

Meanwhile, Banco Santander’s (LSE: BNC) yield has jumped in the last year as a result of a 29% fall in its share price. The banking major now yields an impressive 4.2% and with dividends being covered 2.4 times by profit, there seems to be tremendous scope to raise shareholder payouts over the medium-to-long term.

Certainly, the challenging outlook for the Brazilian economy could hurt Santander’s financial performance in the short run. But with it being well-diversified and financially sound following its fundraising, Santander seems to offer an enticing risk/reward ratio. That’s especially the case since it trades on a price-to-earnings growth (PEG) ratio of just 1, which indicates that it offers upbeat growth prospects at a very reasonable price.

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Peter Stephens owns shares of Imperial Brands and Royal Mail. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.