Investor appetite for National Grid (LSE: NG) has reversed back towards December’s 12-month troughs in recent days following a spritely start to 2017, prompting fears that the power play could be on course for an extended downdraft.
But I think this fresh weakness represents a fresh buying opportunity. Not only is National Grid one of the biggest yielders out there, but I believe the increasingly-fraught economic outlook for British from this year onwards could prompt fresh waves of safe-haven purchasing.
Besides, the international bias enjoyed by vast swathes of the FTSE 100 (INDEXFTSE: UKX) may offer scant consolation should the political turbulence washing across the globe continue in the near-to-medium term.
For the year to March 2017 National Grid is expected to pay a 44.4p per share dividend, up from 43.34p last year, thereby yielding 4.8%.
And the payout is predicted to move to 45.6p in 2018, shoving the yield up to an even-rosier 5%.
Like all the Footsie giants described in this article, expectations of steady earnings growth at Standard Life (LSE: SL) this year and next are expected to feed into increasingly-tasty dividends.
The insurer has long offered market-mashingyields as demand for its products have taken off worldwide. Indeed, Standard Life saw assets under administration shoot 7%, to £328m, between January-June, the company announced in its latest financial update.
And Standard Life’s strategy of creating strength through diversification, as well as entering hot growth markets like India, promises to keep earnings on an upward slant.
The City has consequently chalked in dividends of 21.2p and 22.8p per share for 2017 and 2018 respectively, yielding 6.1% and 6.6% and up from a predicted 19.7p in 2016.
While market demand for Imperial Brands (LSE: IMB) has picked up more recently — the stock was last dealing at levels not seen since early November — the cigarette giant still carries ultra-low valuations for both growth and income seekers.
Looking at just dividends, the business is predicted to pay a reward of 173.2p per share in the year to September 2017, yielding 4.7% and up from 155.2p in 2016. And the dividend is expected to step to 188.1p in 2018, resulting in an eye-popping 5.1% yield.
While cigarette volumes across the globe continue to fall, Imperial Brands is able to navigate the subsequent sales strain through huge investment in market-leading cartons like West and Davidoff. The company saw volumes of these so-called ‘Growth Brands’ rattle 4.3% higher last year.
Added to this, the London company is also broadening its presence in huge growth markets like the US and China to keep the top line growing. And with Imperial Brands also embracing fast-growing, next-generation products like e-cigarettes and caffeine strips, I reckon the firm should keep offering exceptional investor returns long into the future.
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Royston Wild has no position in any shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has recommended Imperial Brands. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.