Some of the best dividend stocks provide investors with the right to share ownership in some of the best managed companies in the world. Those companies are characterized by strong leadership as well as solid competitive advantages and products or services which have lasting pricing power. Such companies generate enough cash flows to not only invest back in the growth of the business but also to share the prosperity with shareholders by raising distributions as well as by making share buybacks. Two such companies which have raised distributions for decades like clockwork include Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) and Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG). Both companies raised distributions last week.
The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) engages in the manufacture and sale of consumer goods worldwide. The company operates in three global business units (GBUs): Beauty, Health and Well-Being, and Household Care. The company raised its quarterly distribution by 9.50% to 48.18 cents/share. This is the fifty-fourth consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend aristocrat. The stock yields 3%. (analysis)
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) engages in the research and development, manufacture, and sale of various products in the health care field worldwide. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 10.20% to 54 cents/share. This is the forty-eight consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend aristocrat. The stock yields 3.30%. (analysis)
The ten year annual dividend growth rates for Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) are 11.60% and 12.90% respectively. This consistency of rewarding shareholders has made them must own stocks for dividend investors. They are both attractively valued at the moment.
Other companies which raised distributions include:
Dividend Growth Stocks
The J. M. Smucker Company (NYSE:SJM) engages in the manufacture and marketing of branded food products. The Board of Directors approved an increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.35 to $0.40 per common share. This dividend achiever yields 2.50%.
Sonoco Products Company (SON) provides industrial and consumer packaging products, and packaging services. The company rewarded shareholders with an increase in its quarterly distribution to 28 cents/share. This is the 27th consecutive dividend increase for this dividend champion. The stock yields 3.30%.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partners, L.P. (NYSE:KMP) owns and manages energy transportation and storage assets in North America. The partnership boosted its quarterly distribution to $1.07/unit from $1.05/unit. This is the thirteenth consecutive annual distribution increase for this dividend achiever. The stock yields 6.30%. (analysis)
Artesian Resources Corporation (NASDAQ:ARTNA) is a water utility that provides water, wastewater, and engineering services on the Delmarva Peninsula.. The company raised its dividend by 0.50% to 18.82 cents/share. Despite the fact that Artesian has increased its dividends each year for the last 13 years, it is not on the dividend achievers list most probably due to its low trading volume. The stock yields 4.20%.
Potential Dividend Achievers
Renaissance Learning, Inc. (RLRN) provides computer-based assessment and periodic progress monitoring technology for pre-kindergarten through senior high schools and districts in the United States and internationally. The company increased the quarterly cash dividend by 14%, from $0.07 to $0.08 per share. This is the first dividend increase for this company since 2007. The stock yields 2.00%.
Coach, Inc. (COH) engages in the design and marketing of fine accessories and gifts for men and women in the United States and internationally. The company said that it board has approved to raise its cash dividend by 100% to 60 cents per share on an annual basis. This is the first dividend increase for the company since it initiated a dividend policy in 2009. The stock yields 1.40%.
Southern Company (NYSE:SO), through its subsidiaries, operates as a utility company that provides electric service in the southeastern United States. The company raised its quarterly distributions by 4% to 45.50 cents/share. This is the ninth consecutive annual dividend increase for the company. The stock yields 5.30%.
Arch Coal (ACI) engages in the production and sale of steam and metallurgical coal from surface and underground mines to power plants, steel mills, and industrial facilities in the United States. The company increased its dividend by 11% to 10 cents/share. This is the seventh consecutive annual dividend increase for the company. The stock yields 1.50%.
Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (NYSE:MMP), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the transportation, storage, and distribution of refined petroleum products in the United States. The partnership raised its distributions by 1.40% to 72 cents/share. This was the ninth consecutive annual distribution increase for this master limited partnership. The units currently yield 6%.
Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. (NYSE:FCX) engages in the exploration, mining, and production of mineral resources. The company raised its annual dividend by 100% to $1.20/share. The company has a fluctuating dividend payment, and does not have a history of consistent dividend increases. The stock yields 1.50%.
Sensient Technologies Corporation (NYSE:SXT), together with its subsidiaries, manufactures and markets colors, flavors, and fragrances worldwide. The company’s board of directors announced a 5% dividend increase to 20 cents/share. This is the fifth consecutive annual dividend increase for the company. The stock yields 2.50%.
Full Disclosure: Long JNJ PG KMP
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