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SON Breaks Above 4% Yield Territory

By Dividend Channel Staff, Monday, August 8, 3:39 PM ET
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In trading on Monday, shares of Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) were yielding above the 4% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $1.16), with the stock changing hands as low as $28.14 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the iShares Russell 3000 ETF (IWV) back on 5/31/2000 you would have paid $78.27 per share. Fast forward to 5/31/2011 and each share was worth $80.78 on that date, a mere $2.51 or 3.2% increase over eleven years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $9.69 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 20.27%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.7%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 4% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. Sonoco Products Co. (NYSE:SON) is a member of the Russell 3000, giving it special status as one of the largest 3000 companies on the U.S. stock markets.

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In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of Sonoco Products Co., looking at the history chart for SON below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 4% annual yield.

SON Dividend History
Date Div*
05/11/11 0.290
02/16/11 0.280
11/17/10 0.280
08/18/10 0.280
05/12/10 0.280
02/17/10 0.270
11/18/09 0.270
08/19/09 0.270
05/13/09 0.270
02/18/09 0.270
11/19/08 0.270
08/13/08 0.270
05/14/08 0.270
02/20/08 0.260
11/14/07 0.260
08/15/07 0.260
05/16/07 0.260
02/21/07 0.240
11/15/06 0.240
08/16/06 0.240
05/17/06 0.240
02/15/06 0.230
11/16/05 0.230
08/17/05 0.230
05/18/05 0.230
02/16/05 0.220
11/17/04 0.220
08/18/04 0.220
05/19/04 0.220
02/18/04 0.210
11/19/03 0.210
08/13/03 0.210
05/14/03 0.210
02/19/03 0.210
11/13/02 0.210
08/14/02 0.210
05/15/02 0.210
02/20/02 0.200
11/14/01 0.200
08/15/01 0.200
05/16/01 0.200
02/21/01 0.200
11/15/00 0.200
08/16/00 0.200
05/17/00 0.200
02/16/00 0.190
11/17/99 0.190
08/18/99 0.190
05/19/99 0.190
02/17/99 0.180
11/18/98 0.180
08/19/98 0.180
05/13/98 0.198
02/18/98 0.164
11/19/97 0.164
08/13/97 0.164
05/14/97 0.164
02/19/97 0.150
11/13/96 0.150
08/14/96 0.150
05/15/96 0.150
02/21/96 0.136
11/15/95 0.136
08/16/95 0.136
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, SON makes up 4.27% of the iShares S&P Global Timber & Forestry Index Fund ETF (NASDAQ:WOOD) which is trading lower by about 6.8% on the day Monday.

See what other ETFs contain SON
See what other stocks are held by WOOD

SON operates in the Packaging & Containers sector, among companies like Packaging Corp of America (NYSE:PKG) which is off about 7.7% today, and Temple-Inland Inc. (TIN) trading lower by about 8.6%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of SON, versus PKG and TIN.

SON,PKG,TIN Relative Performance Chart


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