September 1, 2021
There are many reasons investors find dividend-paying stocks appealing. Reinvested dividends accelerate returns, provide a hedge against inflation and provide a form of income that can alleviate the sting when share prices are depressed. For this reason, Dividend Aristocrats – public companies that have increased their dividends regularly for at least 25 years – remain attractive to many investors.
Then there are the more exclusive Dividend Kings – those with 50 consecutive years of increases. There are only 31 companies that fall into this dividend-paying-elite category. Here is a quick look at some of them.
3M Company (Tii:MMM)
3M has paid dividends to its shareholders without interruption for more than a century and increased the annual dividend for 63 consecutive years. The global conglomerate that produces everything from adhesives to personal protective equipment, insulation, cleansers, medical equipment and more recently declared a common stock dividend of $1.48 per share for the third quarter of 2021. As of June 30, 2021, 3M had 578,638,253 common shares outstanding and 67,133 shareholders of record. The company reported a strong second quarter ended July 30, with sales increasing 24.7% to $8.9 billion. 3M’s shares are up more than 15% for the year.
Proctor & Gamble Co. (Tii:PG)
This massive consumer goods corporation, which currently offers a dividend of $0.8698 per share on its common, Series A and Series B ESOP Convertible Class A Preferred Stocks, has paid a dividend for 131 consecutive years. PG has also increased its dividend for 65 straight years, firmly establishing itself as a Dividend King. The company boasts a strong portfolio of leading consumer brands: Head & Shoulders, Old Spice, Crest, Mr. Clean, Pampers, and many others. PG delivered top and bottom-line growth for its fiscal 2021 ended June 30 with net sales increasing 7% to reach $76.1 billion and diluted EPS gaining 11% to $5.50. The company’s shares are up approximately 3% for the year.
Johnson & Johnson (Tii:JNJ)
A leading manufacturer of medical devices, pharmaceuticals, and consumer packaged goods, Johnson & Johnson has clocked 59 consecutive years of increased payments to shareholders, currently offering a quarterly dividend of $1.06 per common share. While the 135-year-old New Brunswick, NJ-based company made headlines for its single-dose COVID vaccine, J&J is perhaps best known to consumers for its brands, including Tylenol, Zyrtec, Band-Aid, Listerine, and others. Strong performances from J&J’s Medical Device, Consumer Health and Pharmaceutical businesses resulted in 27.1% higher sales for its second quarter. The company’s shares are up roughly 12% for the year.
The Coca-Cola Company (Tii:KO)
The world’s largest non-alcoholic beverage company raised its quarterly dividend from $0.41 to $0.42 per common share on March 1, marking 59 years of consecutive annual dividend increases. Coca-Cola’s portfolio of brands includes its namesake beverages, Sprite, Fanta, Dasani, smartwater, vitaminwater, Powerade, Gold Peak, Minute Maid, and others. EPS for the company’s second quarter grew 48% to $0.61 as net revenues increased 42% to $10.1 billion on strong recoveries in certain markets where pandemic concerns are diminishing. The company’s shares gained some 5% for the year.
Colgate-Palmolive Co. (Tii:CL)
The global consumer products giant with a nearly 40% share of the global toothpaste market offers shareholders a $0.45 quarterly dividend. The company, which began more than 200 years ago as a starch, soap and candle business on Dutch Street in New York City, paid uninterrupted dividends on its common stock since 1895 and has increased payments annually for 57 years. With strong performances from brands that include Palmolive, Softsoap, Speed Stick, Irish Spring, Ajax, and Fabuloso, Colgate-Palmolive reported that second-quarter net sales increased 9.5% to $4.26 billion.
These Dividend Kings have several things in common other than returning value to shareholders. They’re old-school stalwarts with products found in many consumer homes. They also represent an opportunity to invest in the brands you love – while receiving regular dividends.