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One attractive feature of FTSE 100 stocks compared to many of their international counterparts is the concentration of higher dividend yields among their ranks. Currently, the average yield across the UK’s premier index is 3.7%, whereas for the S&P 500 it’s 1.5%.
Some Footsie shares provide particularly juicy payouts. For instance, Lloyds Bank (LSE:LLOY) and multinational packaging business DS Smith (LSE:SMDS) offer 5.8% and 6.0% yields.
Here’s why this pair of dividend stocks merit consideration for investors’ portfolios.
Much ink has been spilled on the subject of rising interest rates over the past year. Traditionally, monetary tightening is viewed as a tailwind for bank shares as their net interest margins improve.
In this context, investors might have expected the Lloyds share price to rise following robust half-year profits of £3.9bn.
This figure was considerably higher than the £3.1bn it generated in H1 2022, demonstrating the beneficial effect of successive Bank of England rate hikes for the group. However, Lloyds shares have in fact slumped 9% in 2023.
Part of the reason behind the fall is the fact the Black Horse Bank posted a £419m bad loans charge in the Q2 — a substantial rise from £243m in Q1.
This suggests a rising number of Lloyds customers are struggling as the cost-of-living crisis persists. In addition, the group is highly exposed to sluggish housing market activity, given its position as Britain’s largest mortgage lender.
That said, the stock’s fortunes could improve if inflation comes down sharply by the end of the year, as expected. Lloyds currently has a price-to-book ratio of 0.74, which suggests it’s still a solid investment.
Although share price growth could take a while to materialise, the bumper dividend yield looks secure. I own Lloyds shares and I’ll continue to hold them as part of my passive income portfolio.
DS Smith shares have also fallen nearly 9% in 2023. However, a strong set of annual results for the company suggests this could be an attractive buying opportunity.
The business delivered £8.2bn in revenue, representing 11% year-on-year growth at constant currency. Adjusted operating profits also accelerated, increasing 35% to £861m. Crucially for passive income seekers, DS Smith hiked its dividend per share 20% to hit 18p.
The group is highly exposed to the e-commerce market. DS Smith supplies cardboard boxes to the likes of Amazon among others. I think the long-term prospects for demand from this sector look good, but the firm’s first volume decline in 15 years reflects the challenging near-term trading environment as consumers tighten their belts.
Separately, a focus on using recycled corrugated sheets for its products is an attractive feature of DS Smith’s long-term strategy. Environmentally-conscious consumers are increasingly shying away from plastic packaging.
Nonetheless, high inflation is a major challenge for the business. Rising costs have impacted the company’s bottom line. In addition, the group has had to grapple with strike action recently as workers demand better pay packets.
Despite the challenges, inflation-busting price rises for its products have bolstered the company’s coffers. Adding the chunky dividends to the picture, investors may wish to consider adding the stock to their watchlists. Regarding my own portfolio, if I had spare cash, I’d buy this stock today.