See all posts by Jabran Khan £5K to invest? This defensive dividend stock is one of my top picks! Jabran Khan | Monday, 25th May, 2020 | More on: TATE In an economic downturn, investors turn to defensive stocks or those that possess a significant moat. I believe certain food production companies possess defensive qualities and therefore are good buys during a market crash.One of the byproducts of the current economic downturn has been the increased demand for food products. Tate & Lyle (LSE:TATE) is a defensive stock I like the look of, even more so with the announcement of its full-year results.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…Defensive stock qualitiesConsumer staples such as food items are essential for everyday use. Food items are the types which households are unwilling or unable to eliminate from their budgets even in times of financial trouble. As a defensive stock, Tate & Lyle has continued to trade well despite the current economic situation. TATE originally started as a sugar refining business in the 1920s. It began to diversify its product range in the 1970s. Its primary focus now lies in producing bulk ingredients for food manufacturers. It is also the exclusive UK producer of Splenda artificial sweetener. Results and performanceTate & Lyle has decided to maintain its final dividend, which is positive news for shareholders and potential investors alike. In addition, it reported favourable results in its full-year report released at the end of last week. TATE confirmed March showed limited impact from the pandemic while April showed significant changes in demand patterns. In the year to 31 March, revenue rose 2% to £2.8bn while profit before tax was up 4% to £331m. TATE’s dividend for the year rose by 0.7% to 29.6p after the maintained final payment. Its free cash flow was up £35m compared to the previous year. Aside from the good results, TATE confirmed that in order to increase liquidity it will be freezing all discretionary salary increases and non-essential spending, as well as halting recruitment. None of its employees have been furloughed and no government aid has been sought so far. In my opinion these are shrewd steps to ensure the business is protected in the current downturn. Sweeter than sweetI think this is a great defensive stock. TATE’s share price is down nearly 20% due to the market crash, which means shares can be picked up cheap. Its price-to-earnings ratio of close to 12 means it will recover sooner rather than later, so now may be an opportune time to pick up shares cheaper than usual. As well as the current cheap share price, TATE has just reported great full-year results. It has taken the necessary steps to protect itself from the market downturn. TATE currently has nearly £1bn in liquidity through cash on hand and an undrawn rotating credit facility. Past performance is also positive for the food manufacturer. Revenue and dividend per share have increased for the past three years. Profit has been over £200m in the previous three years too.If you add to all these compelling facts, a dividend yield of over 4%, what’s not to like? This would sit firmly in my buy and hold category of investments. Image source: Getty Images. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Jabran Khan has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Enter Your Email Address I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge!