list of dividend aristocrats

Dividend Aristocrat Mega List & Summary 2021 (60+ Stocks)

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Sometimes in life, there's no viable alternative or shortcut to mastering something new besides jumping straight into the deep end of the pool.

Ready for a deep dive?

Today we're giving you our commentary on over 60 “Dividend Aristocrats,” which are dividend-paying stocks who have consistently paid out and increased their dividend offerings over at least 25 consecutive years!

Hope you brought a snorkel!

“Wait, what's a dividend?”

A dividend is a quarterly or annual distribution of a company's profits paid out to its shareholders.

Dividends are a renowned way to build both passive income, and grow your stock portfolio over time.

If you're new to dividend investing, check out our previous article about what to look for when buying dividend stocks – it explains a lot of what we talk about in this mega list.

The purpose of this mega list is to aid your journey in learning about how to research and pick wise dividend investment options.

That being said, none of what is written here is financial advice, and the onus is on you to make the right moves to build your future wisely.

Without further ado, let's DIVE:

1. AbbVie (ABBV)

Market capitalization: $208.15 billion
Stock Value: $117.85
Dividend yield: 4.46%
Dividend payout ratio: 49.24%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 49

AbbVie is a newer pharmaceutical spin-off of medical giant Abbott Labs that launched in 2013.

Due to the management needs of each part of their business diverging, Abbott Labs split into a medical equipment company (Abbott Laboratories), and a pharmaceutical producer (AbbVie).

Due to the nature of the split, AbbVie was grafted into Abbott Laboratory’s dividend record, which is now 49 years old.

Origin story aside, AbbVie is a solid pharmaceutical stock, and has performed very well this past year. Their dividend yield at time of writing is a safe-yet-aggressive 4.46%, with a healthy dividend payout ratio of 49.24%.

Since 2018, ABBV’s dividend yield has fluctuated between 4-6%, after being in the 2-4% range for the last decade.

A strict conservative investor may see this dividend yield fluctuation as a strike against AbbVie, but they're still a pharmaceutical giant with a long running track record (though under a different name).

One key to discerning if a higher dividend yield is healthy or not is to be dead sure about the stock’s dividend payout ratio – and as we can see, ABBV’s payout ratio is sitting at a healthy 49%. Very sustainable by the books.

That being said, another reminder to dig deeper and do your own research can never be overstated. Check under the hood, and tell us what you find!

2. Abbott Laboratories (ABT)

Market capitalization: $225.98 billion
Stock Value: $127.49
Dividend yield: 1.32%
Dividend payout ratio: 49.32%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 49

The yin to AbbVie’s yang, Abbott Laboratories is a manufacturer of diagnostic medical equipment, healthcare devices, and common OTC pharmaceuticals.

Abbott Labs has been publicly traded since 1929, and split into ABT and ABBV in 2013 for management purposes.

ABT’s dividend offering is pretty stellar overall, with their only potential cause for pause being their lower dividend yield.

However, being diversified inside the medical sector is often a great place to be: as medical science and technology become stronger, more health problems will be solved, leading to an older overall human population.

As these populations age longer, they will require a higher aggregate volume of medical care, becoming reliant on the services that companies like ABT offer. A peculiar feedback loop that reinforces their long-term wealth.

Some market speculators have drawn attention to ABT’s debt in the past year. While debt should always be considered during a stock's evaluation, debt is common among businesses – as the saying goes, it takes money to make money.

With stock evaluation, debt becomes a red flag when debt accumulation begins to eat a company's revenue, hindering their ability to keep what they earn.  Currently, ABT's assets outweigh their debt liabilities at a ratio of 1.7 to 1.

In ABT’s case, while their debt seems more than manageable, company debt is a natural predator of dividends, and shouldn’t be ignored when considering adding a new stock to your dividend portfolio.

3. Aflac (AFL)

Market capitalization: $38.31 billion
Stock Value: $57.11
Dividend yield: 2.31%
Dividend payout ratio: 26.61%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 38

Aflac is a company that deals with insurance products in both the US and in Japan.

An interesting trivia about Aflac: in Japan they only offer life insurance services, and in the US they only offer supplemental insurance to insurers who already have life insurance.

Taking a look at the stats, Aflac has a great spread. A dividend yield at a 2.31% annual return, and a very low dividend payout ratio of 26% – unless the world burns over, this dividend probably isn’t skipping town any time soon. On top of that, with the stock’s pricing just below $60, AFL seems like a pretty attractive pick!

But just as the bill of a duck scrubbing the bottom of a pond, so too must we the diligent dividend investors, take the plunge into the muck, and see if there’s anything more to AFL’s dividend than meets the eye.

Though the pandemic caused them to lose around 55% of sales for their second quarter in 2020, AFL has indirectly benefited from all the changes COVID caused, which is good news for the stock!

Being an insurance company, AFL’s most common insurance claim in the US deals with car accidents. With social distancing, people have driven around a lot less than normal, insulating AFL from their regular levels of insurance payouts.

Additionally, Aflac has been one of the more tech-forward insurance companies, and their digital infrastructure helped them adjust from a business model that relies on face-to-face insurance agent sales to one that also allows for an online shopping experience.

Now, with the world returning to some semblance of normality, Aflac’s rebound is just looking even stronger.

4. Archer Daniels Midland (ADM)

Market capitalization: $32.65 billion
Stock Value: $58.44
Dividend yield: 2.55%
Dividend payout ratio: 41.23%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 47

Before we even talk about what this company does, double-check these stats we've listed.

Reading ADM's numbers should make you excited, because they're right on the money, down the line.

With the low stock price just below $60, and a 47 year-old dividend with a 2.5% yield, Archer Daniels Midland is running hot on all cylinders! Their dividend payout ratio is also right on the green in the low 40's – ADM isn't shooting themselves in the foot with this payout.

This article isn't financial advice, but a journey to help you navigate dividend investing. If there's any textbook example of a solid, healthy dividend on this list, here it is.

Okay, sorry – had to get that off my chest.

“So, what does Archer Daniels Midland actually do?”

In short, ADM is a major food processing and transport company that takes raw food material and turns it into many of the staples used in processed foods and various fundamental food products.

Soybean processing, animal feed, corn syrup, seed oils, flour – Archer Daniel Midland is supplying these crucial food products to both consumers and food-producing companies across the globe.

ADM as an individual company is well-positioned against competitors, as their size and global reach is hard to thwart, and their facilities are by and large cutting edge.

However, being in the global food industry also has some hazards that come with the territory: raw food prices can fluctuate unpredictably, international tariffs can become heavy, and energy costs for the volume of their regular production could be getting more expensive.

5. Automatic Data Processing (ADP)

Market capitalization: $87.77 billion
Stock Value: $206.27
Dividend yield: 1.81%
Dividend payout ratio: 62.84%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 39

If you've ever worked an entry level position in a larger corporation, you've probably used ADP when checking your pay stubs online.

ADP serves businesses who need management infrastructure. They offer many programs and digital services that manage payroll, employee attendance, HR, tax services, employee benefits and insurance – the whole gamut for any growing corporation.

Auto Data's dividends are pretty stock, nothing wild stands out about them. Their dividend payout ratio is somewhat high, hovering at 62% based on their last year's earnings. This is interesting when considering their dividend yield is so low.

However, when compared with their current cash flow, ADP's dividend payout ratio accounts for only 39% of their earnings.

While several analysts consider ADP a stock to “hold” in 2021, their dividends' biggest strength is the fact they've been able to consistently grow it over the past 39 years.

Is Auto Data a big boring company that provides stable dividends? Yes – but that's usually the bar to entry as a dividend aristocrat.

Let's keep digging around these aristocrats and see what else we can find!

6. Albemarle (ALB)

Market capitalization: $27.71 billion
Stock Value: $236.98
Dividend yield: 0.66%
Dividend payout ratio: 37.86%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 27

Albemarle is a chemicals company that provides lithium, bromine, and catalyst products. The most notable facet of their business is their lithium offering, which power batteries for cars, smart phones, and electronics globally.

ALB’s stock has grown in value over double its growth from 202o to 2021. Sitting at a dividend yield of 0.66%, ALB has raised its quarterly dividend payout by $0.07 over the course of the last 5 years, which is a pretty great margin of growth.

Even though this stock’s dividend yield is only 0.66%, it still offers a good defensive dividend that’s attached to a pretty solid chassis.

The takeaway with Albemarle is when you’re dividend investing, don’t forget to evaluate a stock outside of just their dividend by itself.

At times, a really good looking dividend can be attached to a really bad stock, and a “less-than-perfect” can also be attached to a fairly good stock.

Albemarle’s recent growth is certainly formidable, and while their dividend yield may seem too small to matter, their current percentage is directly impacted by how well of a year they've had.

7. Amcor (AMCR)

Market capitalization: $19.07 billion
Stock Value: $12.21
Dividend yield: 3.85%
Dividend payout ratio: 73.44%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 38

Amcor is a globally renowned packaging company from Switzerland. They manufacture quality containers for food and beverage products, personal care products, storage containers, as well as technical packaging for specific shipments.

AMCR is immediately interesting for dividend investors who want safe and quality aggressive yields. At almost 4% dividend yield, and an extremely affordable ~$12 per share, AMCR might only pay out around $0.47 per share, but with a stock price that costs less than lunch, AMCR looks like a great penny stock to trickle into for some long term dividend returns!

However, though the grass might look greener in Switzerland, we shouldn’t forget to do our due diligence.

In fact, it’s exactly when an investment proposition looks really great that we need to exercise discipline, and research our way to the bottom line.

Looking at their dividend payout ratio is a first cause for pause. 73.44% is pretty high, especially for a stock whose value is so low (with less stock value, there’s just less margin to move around, even though their market cap is at $19 billion).

Looking at their dividend payout ratio based on cash flow, their dividend payout ratio is closer to 44% at the moment of writing this article.

While we’re talking about dividend payout ratios: All the stocks on this list are on the S&P 500, and have consistently increased their dividend payout year after year for at least 38 years (even through the recession of 2008, and the COVID 19 pandemic in 2020).

Even though an aristocrat’s dividend payout ratio may seem off the charts, it’s quite rare for an aristocrat to fully cut their dividend payout.

Certain stocks may stop growing their dividend offering for a few years (which culls them from their dividend aristocrat status), but especially concerning these stocks, there’s a level of trustworthiness they have gained from the market over a long period of time.

There are never truly any “safe bets” in investing, but dividend aristocrats have gained the trust of the market within the last 25-50+ years of solid performance.

This doesn’t mean any one dividend aristocrat will or won’t cut their dividend, but historically, it is rare.

8. A. O. Smith (AOS)

Market capitalization: $11.39 billion
Stock Value: $71.55
Dividend yield: 1.45%
Dividend payout ratio: 48.15%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 28

A. O. Smith has been a leading provider of water heating and treatment solutions since 1874, providing ways to produce clean water to many people across the globe.

While their dividend offering may look humble at a glance, it’s often the less-flashy dividend stocks that provide a safe, reliable payout in the long run.

By your estimation with the stats we see here, do you see any red flags?

AOS doesn’t have any marks against it by the numbers – the only thing that could be slightly concerning is that their dividend payout ratio is nearing the 50% mark while their dividend yield is so low, at 1.45%.

However, even if their dividend payout ratio increased to say, 55%, and their dividend yield increased to 2%, this stock is right in the safe zone – it would be extremely odd if it were ever to get cut.

Dividend stocks like A. O. Smith are especially great for dividend investors who already have a lot to invest, and want to invest their dividends defensively, prioritizing dividend health over a marginally more aggressive payout.

However, even if you’re a “young buck” trying to grow out your portfolio with some riskier picks, more defensive dividend stocks like AOS are really important to ground and round out your portfolio – as with anything in investing, you should have a good mix.

9. Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD)

Market capitalization: $60.90 billion
Stock Value: $275.13
Dividend yield: 2.18%
Dividend payout ratio: 71.60%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 39

Probably the most “boring” company you’ll find on this list (we’re not making fun of APD here, this is actually a compliment!), Air Products & Chemicals manufactures, processes and distributes different atmospheric gases for industrial, business, and storage purposes.

While that description may sound nebulousAPD’s supply of refined gas products help a wide range of industries, including automobiles, food service, medical technology, construction, aerospace technology, and manufacturing as a whole.

Because of this, most individual consumers would never recognize APD, as their main customers are gigantic businesses.

Air Products & Chemicals’ dividend outlook looks pretty stable on the whole. Though their 12 month dividend payout ratio is above 70%, their dividend payout ratio based on current cash flow is nearer to the 45% mark, and being such a big company that a diverse range of big companies rely on for crucial materials makes APD extremely stable.

With their stock pricing hovering around $275, APD pays out around $6 in annual dividends per stock, which isn’t that bad!

With big B2B companies like APD, you’ll want to keep these variables in mind to assess short-term performance:

  • Changes happening in their current sector
  • Track their biggest customers, and see how current market conditions affect their sectors
  • See if their competition is making any big innovations in technology, environmental, social, or governance factors
  • Check to see if there are any potential market disruptors on the rise outside of their sector (often, technology)

10. Atmos Energy (ATO)

Market capitalization: $12.79 billion
Stock Value: $97.82
Dividend yield: 2.56%
Dividend payout ratio: 52.97%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 34

Atmos Energy is an American distributor of natural gasoline, serving many states in the southern US, and most significantly provides much of Texas with their gasoline supply.

ATO has a great spread of stats that speak for themselves. A modest dividend yield of 2.56% is right where we want to be for safe, long-term gains, and their dividend payout ratio sitting at 52.97% is just a hair high, but only if you’re actually splitting said hair.

With their 34 years of continued dividend increase, and a reasonable stock pricing of ~$97, ATO checks off all the boxes for a great example of a solid dividend aristocrat.

Though they are a gas distributor, much of their customer base is in utilities for homeowners and renters. This need for energy is a foundation of modern society, and though they champion natural gas, ATO has stated they are committed to cutting their methane emissions down by 50% by the year 2035. 

11. Becton, Dickinson, & CO. (BDX)

Market capitalization: $72.69 billion
Stock Value: $249.94
Dividend yield: 1.33%
Dividend payout ratio: 32.55%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 49

Becton, Dickinson, and Co. are a global provider of medical supplies and diagnostic equipment to hospitals and healthcare providers everywhere.

Though you may not have heard of them, if you’ve ever been to a hospital, you’ve definitely seen their products at work. Big boring company? CHECK. Let’s see their dividends!

BDX pays out a little over $3 annually per share at the moment with their dividend offering. Their dividends are perhaps not as aggressive as other stocks on this list, but where they lack in flash, they excel in stability.

Being a crucial cog in the global healthcare machine, BDX, like many other international companies, faced a large challenge with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whereas many other companies took a loss or fumbled in the past year and a half, Becton, Dickinson, and Co. remained steady and reliable in their operations.

Since 2019, their stock value has grown over $30, and in this past year they have remained at a steady plateau.

Additionally, as medical science and practices continue to improve over time, the human population will see an increase in average lifespan, which will in turn increase the demand for all of the equipment that BDX provides.

A conservative pick at this moment in time, but perhaps a great option for a long-term hold.

12. Franklin Resources (BEN)

Market capitalization: $16.52 billion
Stock Value: $32.85
Dividend yield: 3.35%
Dividend payout ratio: 42.91%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 40

Franklin Resources is a holding company of several investment management services, one of which you’ll probably recognize much quickly: Franklin Templeton, and their associated brands.

BEN manages a plethora of investment products that have a full range of options, that they’re able to customize their offerings for nearly anyone – newbie individual investors and large corporate entities alike.

Their dividend likewise looks pretty cool for those that want to grow their assets without explicitly working with them (insert playful winky face here)!

With a dividend yield of 3.35%, and a dividend payout ratio of only 42%, BEN might just be a solid path towards making some Benjamins via dividends. The ‘cherry on top’ with this stock is that it’s price is only $32.85!

Per share, you’d be hard pressed to find an aristocrat with healthy returns as aggressive as this. But, is BEN truly as sweet as it sounds?

There’s always more info to dig up, so let’s get the spade in the ground.

Surveying Franklin’s 5 year chart, we see that they had a rough year in 2020, but like a lot of others, have been on a sound rebound. Interestingly for them, this current rebound has brought them back to where their stock pricing was placed about 5 years ago – prior to the pandemic, they were on a bearish run of about 2 years.

This stock is very interesting, because its stats are quite well-rounded and they seem to be performing pretty well. Franklin Templeton is a giant name in the investment game, and their stock is only a sweet 30 bucks a share.

While they don’t seem to have any large red flags, their potential ceiling of growth probably isn’t all that high, considering how big the company already is.

Though for value investors this might sound like a bad thing, for dividend purposes, this shows that BEN is in full ‘profit mode’, and is ready to share the wealth with their shareholders. All great attributes for a dividend aristocrat! 

Franklin Resources is also looking ahead to the future – their CEO Jenny Johnson has publicly acknowledged in a Yahoo Finance interview that cryptocurrency has a great potential to disrupt the current landscape of the economy, and they’re “not a big fan”.

Though they haven’t begun to incorporate cryptocurrency in their present investment vehicles, it has their attention, and if Bitcoin and friends are as disruptive as BEN suspects, we can only expect them to make some shrewd moves to stay ahead of the game.

13. Brown-Forman (BF.B)

Market capitalization: $33.5 billion
Stock Value: $69.98
Dividend yield: 1.04%
Dividend payout ratio: 44.72%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 37

Break out the good stuff – there’s a good chance it’s from Brown-Forman.

BF is a major alcohol producer which owns a multitude of brands of hard spirits and whiskeys, such as Jack Daniels, Woodford Reserve, Canadian Mist, and Finlandia. Naturally, they are owned and operated out of Kentucky.

Brown-Foreman’s dividends are pretty stock for an aristocrat, while nothing to write home about in this snapshot.

The dividend yield of 1.04% is a bit low, but with their dividend payout ratio also sharing that lower figure of 44%, this dividend is a great addition to any sort of diversified dividend ETF, or M1 Finance pie.

One thing to remember while ‘shopping around’ for dividend investment picks is that each individual company can always choose to stop providing a dividend.

Because of this, you don’t ever want to put all of your eggs into the same basket.

Your dividend portfolio should have enough diversification that if some of your dividend stocks stop paying, there are ample contenders in the rest of your portfolio whose over performance can make up for that loss. 

This is why you’ll want some dividend stocks with a yield of 4-5%, as well as several in the 1-2% range. All of them should be solid, safe companies, but even between aristocrats there’s always an opportunity cost.

Diversification is one of the more fundamental strategies of dividend investing, and there’s always more than one path to success.

Before spending money employing any strategy, make sure you understand your own risk tolerance, as well as the mechanics of whatever strategy you implement for your success.

A somewhat depressing reality behind their recent performance is that as Americans were confined during the pandemic, alcohol sales were boosted as people sought it out to soothe their hardships.

We likewise see now as reopening continues, that their stock performance has lowered by a couple dollars.

14. Cardinal Health (CAH)

Market capitalization: $15.16 billion
Stock Value: $52.18
Dividend yield: 3.81%
Dividend payout ratio: 35.19%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 34

Cardinal Health is a manufacturer and distributor of medical products and services to healthcare facilities.

While also aiding the supply chain of many crucial medical equipment and systems to hospitals and healthcare facilities, they also provide many over-the-counter drugs to retail stores.

Check out their dividend though! Can you see any red flags here? If you're only reading the stats we've provided above, you could hypothetically make a confident decision to sink some good capital into CAH!

With a stock price of just $50, and a dividend yield of 3.81%, CAH looks like a fantastic vehicle to grow some dividends! A healthy & aggressive yield, right in the Goldilocks zone, CAH pays out a little under $2 per share annually.

Furthermore, their dividend payout ratio is on the low-end of the sweet zone: 35% is as peachy as it can get!

Among the younger aristocrats, it'd be hard to find a dividend with a slicker payout.

But wait… something doesn't feel right. Everything about this stock looks perfect, yet…

It's almost… too good to be true!? 

Though we've been a bit dramatic talking about this stock, we're highlighting it because it's a perfect example of a stock that if you'd pick up a few shares on a whim, you could get bit by!

Please understand – Cardinal Health is a solid company who's provided an extremely important service in the medical industry for years, and they've performed well enough over a long period of time to become a dividend aristocrat.

Though, they do have a red flag – at the beginning of August 2021, their stock price took a big dive, from $59 t0 $52.

Before this, their stock value has had years spent in the $70-80 range, with several similar price corrections, spikes, and plateaus.

Especially for companies who haven't sustained dividend growth for longer than 25 years, these two factors would be major signs that a company would soon be at risk of cutting their dividend. 

Now, CAH has already declared their dividend date for their final quarter of this year, and they probably won't be cutting their dividend any time soon, unless one or more curveballs disrupt their business further – but!

The dividend fool's “tale as old as time” goes as follows:

  • A dividend-paying stock's price falls by a good margin due to real issues
  • Because the stock's price falls, their dividend yield spikes proportionally
  • A dividend fool sees the stock's price and dividend yield & buys the stock “on the dip”
  • Seasoned dividend stock owners see the signs and react correctly, selling their shares of the bad stock
  • The stock in question has their value drop further
  • The stock declares they are stopping their dividend payouts
  • The dividend fool is left with a loss in stock value, without a dividend

It's a tale as old as time – much like beginners losing money on day trading.

Don't let it happen to you!

While this cautionary tale is important, CAH's dividend doesn't necessarily reflect this scenario.

In fact, the first stat to determine a dividend's health – CAH's dividend payout ratio – shows some pretty good news.

CAH's payout ratio based on last year's earnings is very low – right at 35%, as we've said. However, their dividend payout ratio based on current cash flow is even lower at 23.29%!

Plenty of margin to continue paying out their dividend, even in spite of their recent dip.

On the whole, Cardinal Health looks like a reliable dividend payer, some are saying this correction makes this stock a good time to buy!

15. Caterpillar (CAT)

Market capitalization: $114.98 billion
Stock Value: $209.90
Dividend yield: 2.12%
Dividend payout ratio: 67.68%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 27

Caterpillar is a giant in manufacturing and construction, and has been dominant in their sector for many years. Their primary offering is superior construction vehicles, engines, and machines that are used at every point of development.

CAT has been increasing their dividend payout for 28 consecutive years, and their yield sits at 2.2%. With the current stock price around $209, this nets an annual dividend of about $4.40 per share – not bad.

Though they might seem like the new dividend aristocrats on the block, CAT has been paying quarterly dividends without fail since 1933.

The one red flag with CAT is that their current dividend payout ratio is pretty high.

67% of annual profit is being paid out in dividends, and the company is thus only keeping 23% for itself – this figure by the books doesn’t look too sustainable.

Because of Caterpillar’s long track record, if they did end up in a bind, they might not just cut-out their dividend entirely, but opt to either lower it, or pause its growth.

Overall, CAT is a solid company. They feature prominent offerings in different segments, making their revenue quite diversified, and their management continues to make their company more efficient every year.

Their stock value has also increased by over 200% in the past 5 years.

On the other hand, CAT is also sensitive to the swings of the economy, as their main demographic is construction companies.

As the prices of various building resources fluctuate, building costs can rise, which puts a good amount of stress on construction companies’ expenditures. Updating to new machines only becomes an ‘urgent’ priority for construction companies if they’re scaling up, or if their current machines are prone to breaking.

16. Chubb Limited (CB)

Market capitalization: $81.18 billion
Stock Value: $185.03
Dividend yield: 1.72%
Dividend payout ratio: 43.78%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 28

Chubb Limited is a global insurance provider operated out of Switzerland, and is the largest publicly traded property and casualty insurance provider in the world.

CB’s dividend offering has some pretty solid stats. With a stock price currently at $185, their dividend yield of 1.72% pays out an annual $3.50 per share. This is a stable yield percentage, not 3% or anything but still a sizable dividend.

What makes Chubb extra clean is that their dividend payout ratio is a mere 43.78% – the margins look great. Nothing is under pressure, and business is continuing as usual.

Additionally, Chubb’s stock value has reached an all time high in August 2021, and has had a great year of growth after the pandemic struck the stock market in March of 2020.

They might not be paying the flashiest dividend, but it’s conservative, stable, with some great momentum.

17. Cincinnati Financial (CINF)

Market capitalization: $19.8 billion
Stock Value: $122.84
Dividend yield: 2.08%
Dividend payout ratio: 76.83%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 61

Cincinnati Financial is a company who deals in various insurance products, their main offering being property and casualty insurance.

They insure both businesses, business owners, and individuals for most forms of insurance you can think of – and plenty you probably couldn’t.

CINF has had a pretty great performance record the last 5 years – in 2019 the stock surged to a new high that seemed to turn into a steady plateau, valued around $115, until COVID hit.

However, since then CINF’s stock value has rebounded from a drastic low of $58, all the way above $120 in just over a year – it looks like CINF’s growth is here to stay!

Now, when looking at their dividend, we see Cincinnati Financial is paying out a pretty run-of-the-mill dividend. At 2.08%, you’d expect the payout to be safe.

Yet, with a dividend payout ratio of 76.83% based on their past 12 months, and a cash-flow calculated dividend payout ratio of 65.32%, this doesn’t sit well.

Looking at all of these details as a whole, CINF looks confusing at a glance – if they’re doing so well, why’s their payout ratio so high on a 2.08% yield dividend?

“This looks wonky. Is there any other relevant info to make this stock make sense?” 

Great question, my astute reader (one I might’ve even asked myself)!

In the first half of 2021, CINF not only saw a major rebound for their stock value, but they also outperformed most other insurance companies by a margin of around 5%.

Though they took a really hard hit this past year, each of the variables that turned against them have now actually served to bolster CINF’s position:

  • The COVID pandemic was catastrophic. When major world events happen, larger insurance claims are made more often, which hinders insurance company’s profits. Because of this, insurance companies often raise their premium prices, which boosts their overall income.
  • Insurance companies also gain a large amount of revenue by reinvesting their cash assets. Because the economy has begun to spring back on the whole from 2020, more business overall has taken place, which has in turn bolstered their investment income.
  • The current inflation economy actually helps them as well. Because of inflation, interest rates naturally rise, which makes their investments and loans more profitable than they were before.

The sum of all these variables make it look like CINF’s recent slam dunk season has a lot of momentum behind it, and that they may just keep steamrolling ahead.

Because of this, not only do they appear as a solid dividend investment by the numbers, but they may also continue to see some meaningful short term stock growth.

The takeaway from CINF is that stats won’t always make sense, and there can be many reasons why the truth behind a stat can be far away from what the number reflects in that moment.

18. Colgate-Palmolive (CL)

Market capitalization: $69.6 billion
Stock Value: $82.27
Dividend yield: 2.2%
Dividend payout ratio: 29%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 59

Colgate-Palmolive is a consumer product giant that produces mostly hygiene products, ranging from shampoo to toothpaste and deodorant.

They have been in business in the US since the late 1800’s, and in the 21st century, over 70% of their sales are international. Good job CL, very cool.

CL as a dividend stock has a lot of great features. It sports a very healthy dividend yield right at 2.2%, and an easy-entry stock pricing at just over $80 at the time of writing.

With 57 years of consistent dividend increase, CL is looking pretty clean!

However, the more scrupulous reader may have found something that our dividend-centric stock stats don’t reflect: CL currently has a noticeable amount of business debt on its ledger.

With an outstanding debt of over $7 billion, and an annual revenue of just over $1.6 billion, this red flag may seem very bright and alarming.

That being so, Colgate-Palmolive is constantly building new oral care brands globally, and seems to be leveraging their debt in a very slick fashion.

Furthermore, the full worth of their shares dwarfs their current debt several times over.

Many analysts view CL as a great asset for any dividend investor, as they consistently dominate and expand their unique market.

19. Clorox (CLX)

Market capitalization: $20.62 billion
Stock Value: $165.78
Dividend yield: 2.56%
Dividend payout ratio: 63.04%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 45

Clorox is the biggest name in bleach and household cleaning products on the market. Their brand is so successful they have joined the ranks of Google, Xerox, and Popsicles, whose brands have become “genericized” as common words for the general product they refer to.

In addition to Clorox proper, CLX offers a broad spectrum of cleaning products like Pine-sol, Formula 409, S.O.S., and several others. Ironically, Clorox also owns the popular food brand Hidden Valley, as well as Brita water filters, and Burt's Bees!

Clorox's dividend offering is also pretty clean! Per share, CLX pays out a little under $5 annually, with their stock value currently sitting at $165.

Their dividend payout ratio is 8% higher than the ‘safe zone' between 35-55%, but their track record and positioning in their sector make them pretty low risk.

Clorox enjoys a special placement as a business, because, kind of like buying in bulk at Costco, their products' cost-per-unit manufacturing price goes down as they produce more of them – this is called a “economy of scale”.

Because they're the biggest fish in their pond, they're able to sit on top pretty comfortably, while continuing to produce the most.

However, this ‘big fish' factor can also become a liability. Though CLX had a surge in sales during the first pandemic outbreak, in the post COVID-19 world, they are seeing a sizable drop in sales, as well as inflation causing much of their production costs to rise.

Their CFO recently stated they were expecting around $300 million of commodity and transportation related costs in the coming year.

By the books, Clorox looks pretty tight. The short-term forecast may say otherwise.

Thus, keep doing your homework!

20. Cintas (CTAS)

Market capitalization: $40.38 billion
Stock Value: $392.18
Dividend yield: 0.97%
Dividend payout ratio: 37.11%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 37

Cintas provides essential services and products to businesses, which are all aimed to keep a business safe, clean, and ‘to code’ in several pragmatic aspects. They also carry some investment products.

Some of their more notable products include fire safety equipment, uniforms, first aid products, and cleaning products, all customized and tailored for each business’s branding and needs.

Cintas’ dividend seems very respectable at a glance. Their dividend yield isn’t anything to write home about, but their annual payout ends up at around ~$3.80 per share, and their dividend payout ratio is right in the sweet zone.

Plenty of room to grow that yield over time with healthy margins for the company itself.

CTAS also fits the bill for a big boring company whose revenue streams aren’t reliant on individual consumer sales, but instead business-to-business clientele, which is in most circumstances a great source of stability.

21. Chevron (CVX)

Market capitalization: $189.27 billion
Stock Value: $97.87
Dividend yield: 5.68%
Dividend payout ratio: 80.72% (Based on this year's estimates)
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 34

Chevron is an energy company that deals in oil, gasoline, and petroleum, and they've been in the oil game since 1876.

While their means of producing green may not be as green as some would like, CVX recently announced a partnership with Brightmark where they are seeking to produce renewable energy sources through a dairy-based biomethane gasoline.

If it works out, that would be really cool, as it would turn dairy-based waste into a fuel source for cars! (I'm going to make a really dumb cheese pun now, prepare yourself)

Though CVX is looking to fuel cars using “cheese”, will buying their dividend stock supply us with enough cheddar?

Taking a quick glance at CVX, they have a few red flags that could identify them as a dividend trap. Their dividend yield is a bit high at almost 6%, with a dividend payout ratio over 80% – the specific combination of stats which signals the aforementioned trap.

Taking their attractive stock value of $97, CVX checks off on all the fundamental boxes of things to avoid in a dividend pick.

However, this doesn’t mean that CVX themselves should be avoided – in addition to being a dividend aristocrat of 34 years, they have consistently paid out dividends since 1912. Not many companies can say that.

The oil industry as a whole is at a turning point in its history. Though many public and private initiatives are doing their best to make alternative green fuel sources sustainable and marketable, until they are, modern society will still be incredibly reliant on the resources companies like CVX provide.

Oil barons have always seemed to win out in the zeitgeist stories of America – it serves as logic that those who are actually choosing to lead the charge into the new era of renewable energy will probably be even more profitable than the laurels they’ve rested on.

From a purely educational standpoint, by looking at a host of the variables at play, there is a real chance that this dividend could stop growing for a while, under the right circumstances.

80% payout isn’t a lot of margin for a company of any size to grow from, and the oil industry’s turning point is becoming a larger issue every month.

However, it’s much more likely, based on historical market data, that a company like this would instead just continue to pay out it’s current dividend – about $5.35 per share annually.

Assess the data, formulate an understanding, consider the contrary positions, and invest your money soberly.

22. Dover (DOV)

Market capitalization: $22 billion
Stock Value: $152.46
Dividend yield: 1.31%
Dividend payout ratio: 34.92%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 65

Dover is a manufacturing company that produces equipment and products necessary for crucial aspects of modern living: gasoline pumps, car equipment, waste management, and refrigeration technology, just to name a few. They’ve been “Redefining what’s possible, since 1955”.

Right now, DOV is performing very well, and is projected to enjoy long-term earnings per share growth of over 11% in the next year.

Several government programs this past year have given them new projects to work on, and they have been prioritizing their production processes, cutting internal costs, and maximizing margins.

Obviously, 59 years of consistent dividend payout and growth is nothing to scoff at. Providing diversified products in various areas of the industry sector is a really stable grind that makes dividends shine.

Among their offerings, Dover is involved in the oil industry and other cyclical businesses, which may be seeing some disruptions, as well as their expected volatility.

This also makes Dover somewhat exposed to the sways of the international market – as oil spikes, and electric cars become more popular, their margins may suffer.

Dover Corporation is comprised of 45 subsidiary companies that all provide engineered equipment and services to many of the moving parts that the bedrock of modern society depends on.

Even if the entire world went full green and vegan by 2030, they would probably still be afloat – and on the rise.

23. Ecolab (ECL)

Market capitalization: $63.02 billion
Stock Value: $220.27
Dividend yield: .87%
Dividend payout ratio: 47.76%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 29

Ecolab is the leading water, hygiene and infection prevention company across the world. They provide water treatment, sanitizing solutions, and cleaning products to industrial, food service, and healthcare sectors.

Though Ecolab’s gig might sound mundane, their efforts actually impact a wild amount of modern society at a global level.

In 2019, their services helped their customers conserve 206 billion gallons of water, curb the emission of 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases, and protect over 36% of the world’s packaged foods. Yes Bill, science rules indeed.

As far as Ecolab’s dividends look, they’re certainly respectable, but the return seems lacking. With a dividend yield of  .87%, their annual dividend return pays about $2 per share… at a stock pricing of $220 and change.

A stock like this is great to round out your dividend portfolio, but there are many safe dividends with higher yields out there to build wealth with.

Ecolab has seen some great stock growth in the past few years, which is notable. However, because its current pricing is over that $200 mark, it’s not as likely that the value will continue to rise at the same rate – though it still could!

24. Consolidated Edison (ED)

Market capitalization: $25.57 billion
Stock Value: $74.56
Dividend yield: 4.10%
Dividend payout ratio: 74.16%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 47

Consolidated Edison is an utility service company who primarily keeps New York City running (and the surrounding area, to boot). They supply electric, gas, steam and all the inner-workings of transporting these necessary fuels to the big apple.

A quick skim through ED's stats show that while it's got a track record, that its dividends seem a smidge risky.

Though the dividend yield being over 4% isn't really a bad thing, that 4.10% inside the context of a dividend payout ratio of 74.16% is a real red flag.

This might not be the exact case for Edison, but usually when a stock's dividend yield spikes for a year, it doesn't mean they chose to raise the dividend by a whole percent or more, but rather that the value of their stock dropped. 

This fluctuation also affects the dividend payout ratio, and can often predict if a stock's dividend will eventually be cut.

It's important to check their charts for about a year back or more, up to the current date, as the dividend payout ratio is based on the prior year's performance.

This doesn't mean you shouldn't outright throw them out of your potential picks, but rather to be aware while you learn more about them as an investment prospect.

In ED's favor, their current dividend payout ratio based on current cash flow is very low- at around 31%, and they have a track record of 47 years of dividend growth.

As a company, Consolidated Emerson is pretty cool because their clients are very diversified – not just homeowners, but many big businesses, the US government, and industrial companies in New York and New Jersey rely on ED.

Furthermore, they have declared that they're prioritizing a full transition to clean energy sources, fueled by solar and wind energy.  They're already the 2nd largest solar developer in America!

25. Emerson Electric (EMR)

Market capitalization: $58.97 billion
Stock Value: $98.34
Dividend yield: 2.05%
Dividend payout ratio: 58.38%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 59

Emerson Electric provides a wide variety of technological advancements to many industrial processes, including both innovations in equipment and software automation of business functions.

A powerful manufacturing and industrial company, EMR took a hit from the COVID pandemic but is on a steady rebound.

Their dividend yield is right in the sweet spot at 2.05%, with a large room for growth with a dividend payout ratio of 58%.

That payout ratio is a little high, but not really in the red flag territory. With their performance this past year, EMR has been improving their cash flow as well.

EMR stock has grown over 100% in the past 5 years, and has a history of beating their earnings expectations. They also have a history of overpaying for new acquisitions when they make moves, which is a potential risk for shareholders.

Because EMR has their hands both in the backbone industry sector, and the ever-expanding tech sector, by the books, they are extremely well-positioned as a dividend stock pick.

Emerson Electric has been a leading force in their sectors, with half of their revenue coming from international sources.

They have also been aggressively updating their business processes, and have been focusing on their best-performing services of late, leaving some of their fringe businesses on the wayside.

A great investment prospect to research, with a pretty interesting position.

26. Essex Property Trust (ESS)

Market capitalization: $21.5 billion
Stock Value: $330.60
Dividend yield: 2.61%
Dividend payout ratio: 65.21%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 27

Essex Property Trust is a real estate investment trust (a REIT) who manages residential properties in the west coast of the US.

While ESS may only have 27 years of consistently increasing their dividend, this is a perfect track record for them – as they became a publicly exchanged company 27 years ago in 1994.

ESS’s dividend looks pretty stock, save their dividend payout ratio which is a bit high at 65.21%. Most of the time this would be a larger red flag to keep track of, but in the instance of Essex Property Trust, this isn’t as big a deal, because they’re a REIT.

REITs are required by law to pay out at least 90% of their taxable income to their shareholders (we’ll talk more about the ins and outs of this in a little bit, when we cover FRT!).

ESS is interesting, because they’re one of the younger REITs on the dividend aristocrat list – as well as having one of the lowest dividend payout ratios among REITs.

This is likely due to the fact that ESS is a younger REIT, and is probably using a good portion of its investment income to purchase more land – they’ve still got some room to grow!

27. Expeditor International of Washington, Inc. (EXPD)

Market capitalization: $21.18 billion
Stock Value: $124.64
Dividend yield: 0.92%
Dividend payout ratio: 28.5%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 27

Expeditor International is a global freight and shipping company who aids their customers in all the logistics of transporting and storing goods.

They boast 357 locations across the world, and their services include supply chains, transportation, warehouse storage, and international distribution of goods.

EXPD offers a dividend yield of 0.92%, which isn’t the best for growing a dividend stock, but their dividend payout ratio is very low at 28.5%.

There is very little likelihood of this dividend getting cut, as it ranges even below the ‘safe zone’ spectrum of 35-55%.

The EXPD stock has had a pretty great run in the past 5 years, valued at $51 in late 2016, and growing to $124.64 the  year after March 2020.

Because of this appreciation, and where the stock is currently valued in August 2021, it may still have a good span of short term growth before its projection evens out again.

28. Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT)

Market capitalization: $9.13 billion
Stock Value: $117.43
Dividend yield: 3.61%
Dividend payout ratio: 93.81%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 49

Federal Realty Investment Trust is both a unique corporation, and a unique dividend aristocrat. FRT is a REIT – a Real Estate Investment Trust. Similar to trust funds, mutual funds, and hedge funds that invest in stocks, REITs are actively managed real estate portfolios.

FRT prides itself in buying and managing high-end shopping centers and urban areas allocated to various businesses like banks, grocery stores, and apartment complexes.

I hope you noticed the obvious outlier this stock holds – its dividend payout ratio is at a ridiculous 93.81%! (When all the math is done, FRT’s dividend payout has come to sit at a little over $1 each quarter per share.)

“How could a dividend aristocrat company sustain itself with a dividend payout ratio so high for so long?”

Part of it is due to how REITs are taxed.

REITs were originally created by Congress as an investment vehicle for Americans who want to invest in real estate.

They operate similar to mutual funds, in that an individual REIT contains many different properties, most of which are profiting through equity or rental payments.

In order for REITs to be considered a security by the IRS, they must pay out at least 90% of their taxable income to their investors as dividends, among other stipulations.

Though their payout looks very high, dividends provided by REITs are taxed, and the REIT itself doesn't have to pay taxes as an entity if 100% of their revenue is distributed.

While all of this sounds very attractive, the flip-side of it is that dividends paid out by REITs are taxed at the ordinary rate, up to even around 39%.

REITs are a very peculiar asset overall. If you're curious about REITs, we have a guide to farmland REITs on our other blog, farmlandriches.com.

In the grand scheme of REITs, Federal Realty is actually quite stable and boring compared to what the adventurous could find out there – and this is why they're a certified dividend king!

29. General Dynamics (GD)

Market capitalization: $55.71 billion
Stock Value: $199.30
Dividend yield: 2.39%
Dividend payout ratio: 43.27%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 30

General Dynamics is a manufacturer of military vehicles, combat communications systems, and advanced business jets.

These guys specialize in their technological offerings primarily with airplanes and ships, but they also make tanks. Sure, airplanes and battleships are interesting, but you can’t get more hardcore than designing and manufacturing tanks.

GD’s stock is likewise formidable. Sitting just below $200 per share, they currently pay out a dividend yield of 2.39%, with a stable dividend payout ratio of 43.27%.

By the numbers, General Defense doesn’t have many red flags in the dividend arena, and analysts in 2021 are largely “thumbs up” about GD in general.

GD’s stock is a great object lesson about stock value for dividend investing.

Especially for newer dividend investors, lower priced stocks with similar dividend yield percentages may seem like a better play to build up one’s dividend portfolio quicker.

If you’re the type to snipe deals and time the market for your dividend stock buys, or if you’re starting on a budget, bigger stocks such as GD may seem like less than worth your time.

“I can find something in the $50-60 range with a healthy dividend yield of 3-4%, why bother with stocks like this?”

The main reason to consider buying bulkier stocks such as GD is in fact it’s stock price: because it’s higher, on the whole the company’s stock is inherently valuable.

Because the stock is already valuable, it indirectly becomes a safer pick.

Consider again the dividend trap, and the dividend fool who buys it. In this scenario, the dividend fool is looking for a short-term value grab they can capitalize off of, and buys a stock whose stats look “too good to be true” at a glance.

Usually, these higher value stocks have less percentages of price fluctuation than lower value stocks. Because of that steadiness, their dividend yield percentage doesn’t fly off the handle in one direction or the other all that often.

Instead, they continue to be steady with a ‘stagnant’ dividend yield, because their businesses have reached a plateau of success – a completed transition from “growth mode” to “profit mode”.

Thus, these higher value stocks aren’t often susceptible to becoming dividend traps.

In the dividend trap scenario, many of these higher priced stocks are also seen as a barrier for a newer buyer: they may only have so much to invest at that time, and due to the company’s pricing, it would mean the investor would have less baskets to diversify their eggs in.

Unless an industry titan is falling apart seconds away from when you buy the stock, their overall value is more likely to stay put for the long term.

Finally, so long as the dividend yield percentage is in that safe “Goldilocks” zone of 2.5-5%, the pricing of the stock itself doesn’t matter – especially in a world where buying fractional shares is common.  

30. Genuine Parts (GPC)

Market capitalization: $18.53 billion
Stock Value: $128.18
Dividend yield: 2.56%
Dividend payout ratio: 61.86%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 65

Genuine Parts may not ring a bell, but they’re the owners of NAPA auto parts, as well as several other subsidiaries operating mainly in the automotive sector.

They also flirt with the industrial sector “from time to time”, with about 34% of their business allocated to the sector.

Right now, GPC is on the rebound, with its 2021 dividend payout ratio projected to sit around 55% instead of last year’s 61%. Again, the sweet spot for dividend payout ratio is anywhere from 35-55%, so this is a fantastic development.

The company is still seeing growth in their stock value, with a year-over-year growth rate of around 9%, which makes GPC look like a great investment pick overall for holding long-term.

One thing to pay attention to with GPC is that they are heavily steeped in the auto industry, which is facing a continual disruption by the rise of electric vehicles.

With Genuine Parts specifically dealing in the production of auto parts and replacements for gas-fueled cars, electric cars are somewhat of a threat.

Under the hood, the two cars don’t share much in common, with the electric car’s engine being mostly alien to the gas car.

Electric cars feature around 20 separate parts in their engines, while gas cars sport over 200 – most of which GPC has built their fortune with over the years.

While this doesn’t spell the end of Genuine Parts or NAPA by any means, they may be shifting their focus in the eras to come. Being a dividend king of 65 years is also pretty incredible.

31. W. W. Grainger (GWW)

Market capitalization: $23.64 billion
Stock Value: $453.61
Dividend yield: 1.42%
Dividend payout ratio: 40.05%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 50

W. W. Grainger is an industrial manufacturing company that focuses on maintenance, and operating products for construction corporations and vendors.

Their products range from inventory management systems, security systems, power tools, lighting, plumbing supplies, and all the overlooked logistics a budding storefront needs.

By the numbers, GWW is a solid dividend payer.

Though their dividend yield is only 1.42%, they’ve been consistently growing it for half a decade, and at $453.61, the annual dividend gained nets a little over $6 per share.

Grainger is unique in that it is a business to business operation who prides itself in delivering large quantity orders from big companies fast, to the right location, without any mistakes.

Because they’ve been playing this specific game for a long time, they have grown a deep sense of trust with their customer base that they steward well.

Because of all this, their gains are steady and solid – their main external market exposure is limited to whether or not their customers’ businesses fail.

Due to the last few years, there has been higher stress on GWW’s system, due to COVID-19’s negative effect on the industry sector in general.

Grainger’s plan for the future involves over-delivering and cutting short term profit for gaining longer term market territory. This could be a red flag to some, but the move doesn’t offend Warren Buffett’s investing philosophy.

A giant like GWW choosing to grow further shows they’re still thinking competitively, as opposed to resting on the victories of battles long past.

32. Hormel Foods (HRL)

Market capitalization: $25.45 billion
Stock Value: $46.95
Dividend yield: 2.07%
Dividend payout ratio: 59%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 55

You may remember Hormel Foods for supplying you and your buddies cheap canned chili or SPAM in college. You may also be surprised to find them on this list of certified dividend aristocrats!

The truth you’ll find behind HRL is actually quite interesting – they’re not just a dividend aristocrat, but are hailed as a dividend “king”, for growing their dividend payout for over 50 years.

Doling out quarterly dividends that are rounding out to be nearly an actual $0.25, HRL’s dividend yield has been growing by an average of 11% each year.

Their payout ratio is currently a little high at 59%, and HRL has had a pretty rough year due to COVID restrictions.

Including social distancing regulations at their factories, these restrictions increased their supply chain costs, lowered the company’s overall output, and their margins suffered.

In addition to creating popular brands such as Hormel’s Chili, SPAM, and Skippy peanut butter, HRL produces both shelf stable food products, and a wide variety of meat products.

This being said, HRL seems to be in a great position for a big boom in 2021. Their current stock price is quite low compared to many other aristocrats on this list, and with pandemic regulations subsiding, business-as-usual could spell big bucks for Hormel.

33. International Business Machines Corp (IBM)

Market capitalization: $125.13 billion
Stock Value: $139.60
Dividend yield: 4.72%
Dividend payout ratio: 75.66%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 25

IBM. The company who seemingly laid the foundation for the digital age, and then lost their tech hegemony to a starry-eyed Bill Gates – a true legend in America’s mythology.

Though their current offerings aren’t as flashy as their competitors, IBM has taken a comprehensive approach to all things in the ‘back-end’ of software.

They have software products for nearly all businesses, including cutting edge cloud softwares, business management systems, and solutions for IT teams.

IBM’s stock is hefty, with a high stock value at $139, and aggressive dividend yield of 4.72%. They are also a bit riskier on paper, with a dividend payout ratio currently sitting at 75.66% (40.19% based on current cash flow).

IBM sticks out as a dividend stock that could have a high ceiling of return, as well as a higher level of inherent risk than some of the other aristocrats on this list.

Let’s evaluate them together as a dividend-paying tech company in 2021, taking everything we can into consideration.

Again, our examination here is for educational purposes – we’re not trying to sway you towards or away from purchasing IBM for yourself.

Being a dividend aristocrat is hard to do – it takes a quarter of a century to increase your dividend payments year after year, surviving the volatility the market brings for over 20 years.

It requires a successful company to keep giving out their profit, and give out more of their profit, consistently, in spite of internal downturn in short term revenue. IBM is a dividend aristocrat, but just earned the title, with 25 years of consistent dividend increase.

On that same note, IBM has seen some growth in the past 5 years, but the sum of the company’s ‘moves’ and initiatives haven’t reflected in significant stock growth.

Even considering the ‘big pandemic dip’ from March 2020, and the rebound that many companies experienced since then, IBM has largely just ‘stayed put’.

Each of these details are less damning for most other companies who’ve gained a status as a ‘big boring profit mode giant corporation’, but because IBM is specifically in the tech sector, these are signs that should be noted.

34. Illinois Tool Works (ITW)

Market capitalization: $71.68 billion
Stock Value: $226.91
Dividend yield: 2.01%
Dividend payout ratio: 65.14%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 50

Illinois Tool Works is a global manufacturer in the industrial sector, providing equipment in 7 major segments; ranging from automotive equipment, food equipment, welding, to general construction.

Yet another big boring industrial company with well-diversified offerings inside of a sector which is crucial to maintaining modern society.

ITW is interesting because they are quite steady in their dividend offering, and have chosen to give their shareholders a high payout ratio – at over 65% of their total earnings.

This is certainly a red flag for any astute student of dividend investing.

When considering any stock’s dividend payout ratio, it is good practice to not only weigh their payout ratio from the prior year (which is the stat we quote here), but also their dividend payout ratio based on their current cash flow.

For example, ITW’s payout ratio based on cash flow is right at 55%, which is on the top end of what is considered a sustainable dividend payout ratio.

While ITW has faced some criticism from market speculators through this year, their dividend yield itself is only 2% – perfectly middle of the road, even for conservative investors.

All in all, ITW remains a stock to watch, and see how their current movements pan out.

35. Johnson and Johnson (JNJ)

Market capitalization: $444.04 billion
Stock Value: $168.82
Dividend yield: 2.52%
Dividend payout ratio: 52.8%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 59

“A Family Company”, JNJ produces copious amounts of health, beauty, and medical consumer products. Among their subsidiaries are leaders like Aveeno, Listerine, Neutrogena, and Band-Aids.

Though their presence may seem unseen, they are nearly everywhere.

Johnson and Johnson have sported a really attractive quarterly dividend payout of just over $1 per share through this past year. Sitting at a dividend yield of 2.52%, this is a really attractive dividend stock, with its recent payouts increasing by around 5 cents a year!

While overall a solid stock from a strong company, JNJ faces risks as they walk the fine line between maintaining crucial attention to detail with their products, and expansive global growth.

The company makes such a broad range of important medical products, that if the quality of such products were to decline, could produce potential human suffering, and tarnish the company’s fantastic name.

As well as this, ever-changing international government regulation on healthcare and medical sectors are a notable exposure of this company.

While this isn’t a major fear at this interval of play, potential investors would be wise to keep track of JNJ’s expanding scope.

Recently, in the advent of the global COVID-19 pandemic, many healthcare companies faced the largest stress tests of their business’ lifespan thus far. Johnson and Johnson was one of several private companies who tasked themselves with producing global supply for the COVID-19 vaccines.

Unfortunately, JNJ had to throw away over 75 million contaminated vaccine doses this past year, and their vaccine was pulled from suppliers for a time, as it caused rare blood clotting in patients of specific blood types.

In spite of all this, Johnson and Johnson remains a healthcare giant, and a strong addition to any dividend portfolio. They are renowned as a dividend aristocrat for a reason.

36. Kimberly Clark (KMB)

Market capitalization: $45.68 billion
Stock Value: $135.37
Dividend yield: 3.39%
Dividend payout ratio: 58.91%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 48

Kimberly Clark manufactures personal care products such as tissues, diapers, and other disposable hygiene products. Their brands include Huggies, Depends, Kleenex, Scott, and several other regular household names.

Right on the cusp of being an illustrious “dividend king”, KMB has been increasing its dividend offering for 48 years.

KMB has performed as a true underdog these past years – they've been simultaneously increasing their dividend yield while lowering their dividend payout ratio.

That might sound like dividing by zero, but they've been growing their company out and doing quite well for themselves through this past decade, increasing their stock's earnings-per-share higher than their dividend offering. 

Through this consistent general growth, they are able to increase their dividend yield, while also keeping their payout ratio down in the healthy zone.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the subsequent recession, KMB proved itself mostly resilient to the chaos – turns out people need tissues even when the world is on fire.

37. Coke (KO)

Market capitalization: $228.86 billion
Stock Value: $48.77
Dividend yield: 3.4%
Dividend payout ratio: 78%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 59

A Warren Buffet certified stock pick, Coke is a global beverage company that is seemingly too big to fail.

They have destroyed their competition, being three times larger than their biggest competitor.

Though Coca-Cola itself may not be as popular as it once was in the face of recent fitness trends, the company has been diversifying its offerings to different brands of seltzers, water beverages, and soft drinks.

Historically, soft drink companies have been very safe investment picks, and Coke has been very wise in capitalizing on consumer trends and updating their offerings.

On paper, their dividend payout ratio is a bit high, but 59 consecutive years of dividend increase is the real deal.

Coke is an interesting case among the aristocrats, as their dividend payout ratio is definitely a big red flag on paper, but the stock is so well renowned for its overall value, and dividend.

KO is an example of a company who has entered a true ‘profit mode' – having conquered their sector and continually reaping the rewards, without growing stagnant.

38. Leggett & Platt (LEG)

Market capitalization: $6.77 billion
Stock Value: $50.81
Dividend yield: 3.30%
Dividend payout ratio: 78.87%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 50

Leggett & Platt is a manufacturing company that provides many engineered products, mostly revolving around seating, cushioning, and mattresses.

Though this may seem like a narrow focus for a dividend aristocrat, the application of this company’s focus is extremely pervasive – you’re probably sitting down reading this article right now.

LEG looks like a little guppie in the context of the megacorps who comprise this list, and their dividend might not make you stand up either.

But, let’s take a look under the hood and see what we can learn from them!

LEG’s dividend yield is at 3.30%, which is the goldilocks zone for any seasoned-yet-aggressive dividend investor. However, one look at their dividend payout ratio should stop said seasoned investor in their tracks: 78.87%!

The hard rule with dividend investing, and investing in general, is to always do your due diligence. Never take any single stat, good or bad, at face value.

Instead, make sure you take your time understanding the full context of where the stock in question is positioned at this moment in time.

The markets are always fluctuating, and comprehensively understanding why these fluctuations take place is key to winning the money game.

While Leggett & Platt’s payout ratio was over 70% last year, their payout ratio based on cash flow is actually at 44.27% – extremely sustainable for a short-term snapshot.

However, let’s go even deeper.

Looking at LEG’s dividend payout ratio from 2015 through 2018, they had a slight increase, hovering from around 50% to 68%.

As we’ve mentioned the great pandemic of 2019 several times in our survey, LEG took a stock value dive in 2020 that it’s largely recovering from.

Weighing their current cash flow against last year’s dividend payout ratio inside this greater context makes LEG seem a lot stronger than it might at first glance.

LEG is also positioned as a great growth stock in 2021, with their COVID rebound coalescing nicely with the booming housing market.

If there’s anything to learn from this stock, it’s to take your time when researching and double-check everything.

39. Linde PLC (LIN)

Market capitalization: $161.32 billion
Stock Value: $312.28
Dividend yield: 1.36%
Dividend payout ratio: 51.52%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 28

Linde is a chemical and engineering company which is one of the biggest gas companies in the world. Headquartered in Ireland, Linde’s technical gases are used in a variety of industries, including aerospace technology, food and beverage, healthcare, steel refining, electronics, and water treatment.

LIN’s dividend is pretty middle of the road, with a dividend yield of 1.36%, and a dividend payout ratio of 51.52%. As the stock’s value sits at around $312, their annual dividend payout is a pretty hefty $4.24 per share.

We’ve mentioned annualized dividend payouts through our survey, and at times talked about specific stocks’ annual payout as a point of strength.

However, while the price per share is the ‘true’ dollar value you get paid at the end of the day, focusing on those amounts is a bit of a newbie mistake. Let’s talk about why that is!

  1. To judge the value of a stock’s dividend based on their current stock price, and their dividend payout doesn’t provide any enough information about a dividend’s health – how likely it is to grow, or be cut over time.
  2. Dividend yield percentages do reflect how aggressively a company is paying dividends, which you can quickly refer to as a reliable starting point to research and evaluate a stock’s dividend health.
  3. Finally, because buying fractional shares is just as viable as buying full shares nowadays, you really do have the luxury of pinpointing how much of a stock you want to buy, as per your budget allows.

With fractional shares, there isn’t actually any barrier to investing in a higher valued stock like LIN if you want to take advantage of their dividend offering.

Because of all these reasons, especially fractional shares, the dividend yield expressed as a percentage is incredibly more accurate in telling you as the investor how much you can expect to get paid from your asset each year.

Dividend yields, and dividend payout ratios, are much more crucial to understanding a dividend stock’s value than stats you might highlight when looking for growth or value stock picks.

The most important stat separating another dividend aristocrat whose yield is 1.38% from LIN is their dividend payout ratio. Stock price and annual dividends don’t play nearly as big of a factor here.

40. Lowe’s (LOW)

Market capitalization: $136.79 billion
Stock Value: $193.51
Dividend yield: 1.62%
Dividend payout ratio: 17%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 47

Lowe’s is a leading home improvement retailer, helping numerous families and businesses across America renovate and maintain their homes.

Lowe’s has been steadily increasing their dividend payout for a consecutive 47 years, which is golden.

Even after that streak, their dividend payout ratio is only a mere 17%, which is a ridiculous amount of room for dividend growth.

Recently, Lowe’s has experienced an increase in cash flow due to being able to stay open during the pandemic, and saw over 43% growth in the past year.

Often this leads to a company re-buying their own shares to consolidate their assets, which in turn drives up the value of a stock because there is less overall buyable supply.

Additionally, Lowe’s is renowned for having a very positive relationship to their shareholders – rebuying billions of dollars in stock to keep its margins healthy.

Lowe’s certainly checks all the boxes for a solid dividend aristocrat, and is a great standard for what a dividend king should look like.

Look up more details about their LOW’s performance, and learn more about their company’s management and history, and see if you can locate any areas of caution or red flags for yourself!

41. McDonald’s (MCD)

Market capitalization: $171.71 billion
Stock Value: $208.71
Dividend yield: 2.4%
Dividend payout ratio: 53%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 44

While you may or may not eat at McDonald’s, their dividend offering is surprisingly healthy.

Their dividend yield sits at 2.4%, with a lot of great room for growth considering their payout ratio of 53%.

The biggest factor about MCD’s dividend is that they’ve been steadily increasing their dividend payouts for 43 years – nothing to scoff at.

McDonald’s profitability is also not what you might expect: the money coming through the front door is mainly through the sale of their food to lower and middle income families.

This indirectly means that market conditions don’t affect MCD’s profit margins all that much – poorer communities are usually limited in their options for food regardless of the market, and this benefits McDonalds’.

However, their main strategy is actually through buying the land the stores are located on, and leasing them out to independent franchise owners.

Through this method, the success or shortfall of a single McDonald’s falls on the independent restaurant owner instead of McDonald’s, and the corporations’ profits remain steady.

They’re basically landlords collecting rent, and this makes their dividends scary reliable.

Another thing to note: McDonalds is almost everywhere in the US, but it’s still expanding globally, using this same method of profitability.

42. Medtronic (MDT)

Market capitalization: $172.93 billion
Stock Value: $128.68
Dividend yield: 1.92%
Dividend payout ratio: 44.37%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 43

Medtronic is a medical technology company whose main focus lies in manufacturing medical devices that aid in the treatment of cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, chronic pain, and diabetes.

They are currently exploring what is possible using robotic-assisted surgery, and AI-integrated medical systems. Very cool!

MDT's dividend looks pretty great on paper, though their earnings leave something to be desired. This may be a feature, instead of a bug, however. Their dividend yield is just below the sweet spot, at 1.92%, and their stock value is rising, currently at $128.68.

With a healthy dividend payout ratio of 44%, there's no way MDT's dividend will need a statin any time soon.

Okay, back to the robots. MDT is currently producing surgical robots as well as other AI innovations that could vastly improve the effectiveness of medical science for humanity. This is really kinda big – the stuff you'd see on Star Trek!

Their AI technologies are continually being cleared by government regulators, and if there's any tech stock that has the resilience against a normal tech stocks' volatility, being a seasoned contender in the medical sector ought to do it! MDT has been increasing their dividend payout for 44 years!

Though their dividend payout ratio may only be at 1.92%, by the books, MDT looks like a solid dividend growth stock, with some high potential upside.

43. McCormick & Company (MKC)

Market capitalization: $23.26 billion
Stock Value: $87.03
Dividend yield: 1.55%
Dividend payout ratio: 48.06%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 35

McCormick is so quintessential to American food culture, that it almost rhymes with barbecue (not phonetically, but spiritually). Their spice mixes, and their other successful food brands, like French’s, Grill Mates, and McCormick Gourmet can be found in any grocer and summerside pool party in America.

MCK’s stock looks like a great place to start a dividend portfolio. Their dividend yield isn’t in the ‘golden zone’ from 3-5%, but their dividend payout ratio is quite healthy at 48%, and their stock price is pretty affordable at this juncture.

This spice company has also seen very steady growth throughout the past 5 years.

They saw a quick dip like everyone else when the pandemic broke out in the March of 2020, but their stock sprang back faster than most, and besides that one incident, their performance has been slow, stable growth.

McCormick is also making proactive strides in making sure their products are sourced through sustainable supply chains, and is being praised for ethical initiatives which include ensuring their farmers are fairly compensated – something which isn’t always the case in the modern food manufacturing business.

44. NextEra Energy (NEE)

Market capitalization: $167.55 billion
Stock Value: $85.42
Dividend yield: 1.83%
Dividend payout ratio: 66.67%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 25

NextEra Energy is the largest utilities company in the world, and is a large contender in the clean energy game. Their biggest contribution is their work in wind energy, producing wind turbines, and solar panels.

A newcomer to the league of dividend aristocrats, one can only hope NEE sees continued success, and grows to disrupt the landscape of the energy sector, creating a cheaper, sustainable future of energy for the generations to come.

NEE’s stats aren’t bad for an up and comer. Their dividend yield is in the middle, at 1.83%. However, one would think this dividend would be more manageable than causing their dividend payout ratio to be 66%.

Many dividend stocks with more defensive dividend yields are attractive because their dividend payout ratios are either squarely in the ‘safe zone’ of 35-55%, or just below that range.

Based on current cash flow, NEE’s dividend payout ratio is closer to 33% than 66%, which is great news, as long as the company continues to perform well in the future.

NextEra Energy’s stock value has also seen a steady and consistent climb for the past five years, with surprisingly low volatility.

Even the March 2020 dip they experienced only caused their stock value to lose around $5-7 depending on how you calculate it, and their trajectory has only continued to perform well.

With newer aristocrats like NEE, the true hidden value of the stock is buying it while it’s young, allowing both the stock to appreciate, and the dividend yield to grow as well.

$86 a share isn’t all that much considering a lot of the other contenders on this list, and with their company’s purpose being so crucial in the coming markets, by the numbers NEE checks off everything a younger dividend stock should have.

45. Nucor Corp (NUE)

Market capitalization: $27.80 billion
Stock Value: $92.90
Dividend yield: 1.80%
Dividend payout ratio: 48.50%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 48

Nucor Corp, founded in 1905, is the leading steel producer in North America, and offers steel manufacturing and products for construction and infrastructure.

NUE's dividend by the numbers is conservative and solid – with a dividend yield just below 2%, and its dividend payout ratio just under 50% of its earnings, it's not the flashiest car in the lot, but it's sustainable for the long haul!

(I wonder if Honda Civics are manufactured with Nucor Corp steel? Hmm…)

While NUE's dividend offering looks boring on paper, the company itself is something you can get excited about.

Nucor Corp is the leading provider of one of the largest modern commodities out there. With all the hot-button variables market analysts are currently looking at, each favors NUE in a vacuum;

  • Steel stocks generally rise in value in inflation-heavy economies
  • NUE has experienced a fantastic rebound from the recession of last year
  • The US government is closing in on passing a major infrastructure bill that would heavily increase steel demand
  • With tensions rising between US and China, tariffs are making cheaper foreign steel less competitive

NUE has a lot of things going for it, and seems to be perfectly positioned for the next market.

46. Realty Income Corp (O)

Market capitalization: $28.26 billion
Stock Value: $72.58
Dividend yield: 3.93%
Dividend payout ratio: 83.48%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 26

Realty Income Corp is a REIT whose real estate portfolio contains clients such as Walgreens, Dollar General, 7 Eleven, FedEx, Walmart, Regal Cinemas, Home Depot, and CVS. The REIT was formed in 1994, and have been paying out monthly dividends, steadily increasing their dividend value since their IPO.

O’s dividend stats might look like an aggressive dividend trap – until you remember they’re a REIT.

The 83% dividend payout ratio isn’t all that high for a real estate investment trust, as again, they are required by law to pay out at least 90% of their taxable income as dividends.

Considering their dividend yield, being close to 4% is pretty sweet – and a monthly dividend payout can sound like a dream for newer dividend investors.

However, the truth of both of these selling points aren’t without any trade-offs:

  • Because these dividends come from a REIT, you as the dividend investor are taxed for the dividends you are paid – eating some of your gains, and potentially creating more work for you to manage with the IRS.
  • Monthly dividends don’t actually change the full amount paid out based on a dividend yield. At the end of each quarter, or year, if you had the same investment position in another dividend stock with the same yield percentage, you’d get the same amount of money.

On the flip side, there is still some value to these traits – don’t get us wrong. Many people invest in REITs and build wealth through them, and monthly dividend payments do have some upsides!

  • With ‘regular’ quarterly paying dividend stocks, there’s usually a dip in stock value after a dividend is paid, and a small rise right before a new dividend is declared, due to ‘dividend capture’ strategists (we don’t recommend this strategy for long term wealth building – unless an investor is moving very large positions regularly with dividend capture, most of the profits are lost to processing fees). With monthly dividends, this is less volatile.
  • If you begin to get cold feet about a monthly dividend paying stock, you can react quicker and sell off your stock position without losing a whole quarter’s worth of dividends – instead, you trade off only the dividends you would receive next month.
  • For newer investors, especially dividend investors, everything is about education and building good habits. By having at least a small part of your dividend portfolio in a monthly dividend payer, you can get more notifications about your dividends each year. This can serve as both a reminder to actively manage your entire dividend portfolio, as well as a great encouragement, as you can see your dividend pay out each month, as opposed to just quarterly!

Monthly dividends are pretty cool, but more so as a tool to keep us aware and active in our studies of dividend investing, as opposed to a means to build a monthly income stream (which is also certainly possible, if you have enough invested).

47. People’s United Financial (PBCT)

Market capitalization: $6.98 billion
Stock Value: $16.31
Dividend yield: 4.39%
Dividend payout ratio: 57.48%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 28

People’s United Financial is a bank and finance firm founded in 1847. Their vast array of financial products has something for everyone, from individuals, to businesses, and even government entities.

PBCT has a pretty cool stat line for an aggressive dividend.

Their dividend yield of 4.39% brings PBCT’s annual dividend payout to around $0.70 per share, and with their dividend payout ratio hovering at 57.48%, it’s a little high, but it’s still quite manageable.

The big draw for adding PBCT to one’s dividend portfolio would be that low stock price.

Even if their dividend yield sat at a more conservative 3%, People’s United provides a more aggressive dividend payout, with relatively low risk due to the stock’s pricing. Penny stock dividend investing.

48. PepsiCo (PEP)

Market capitalization: $214.5 billion
Stock Value: $155.25
Dividend yield: 2.78%
Dividend payout ratio: 77.90%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 48

Pepsi. The seemingly inevitable concession when you ask for Coke at a bad restaurant (This is just a joke Pepsi, we love your soda and your dividend stock, don't sue us).

Humor aside, PepsiCo not only owns the second most popular global soda brand, but is also the second largest snack food producer in the world, next to Nestle.

They own many convenience food brands, such as Lays, Frito Lay, Quaker Oats, and have multiple snackfood operations in each continent.

Overall, PEP is a solid dividend stock looking everything over. While their dividend payout ratio is quite high at 77%, their payout ratio based on cash flow is currently 57.44%.

Per-share, PEP pays over $4 annually, and they're one year away from gaining the elusive dividend king status.

Soft drinks in general have faced a bit of a downturn in sales within the last decade.

As information about nutrition becomes more accessible, and as the population begins to make more health-conscious spending choices, soda has become less fashionable.

However, this isn't stopping growth for PepsiCo overall – they are always continually adapting their product lines, and there will always be teenagers who need their soda fix, until the end of time.

49. Procter & Gamble (PG)

Market capitalization: $333.22 billion
Stock Value: $128.95
Dividend yield: 2.5%
Dividend payout ratio: 62%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 65

Procter & Gamble has been paying dividends since the year 1890, and is the definition of the “big boring company”.

P&G owns many manufacturing brands for essential goods like toiletries, hygiene products, household appliances, and other consumer staples.

Because of their stranglehold on this corner of the market, and their sector being essential in many ways, P&G sees success regardless of the economic cycle’s wrath.

P&G is ancient, and has a long history of outperforming their earnings expectations.

Even on paper, their stats are air tight.

A 2.5% yield, a healthy 62% payout ratio, and they’ve been increasing their yield for 65 years in a row!

Big, safe, boring, solid dividends. Just like we wrote it up.

Beautiful.

50. Pentair (PNR)

Market capitalization: $12.08 billion
Stock Value: $72.69
Dividend yield: 1.11%
Dividend payout ratio: 32%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 44

I don't know about you, but especially after COVID hit, all I've wanted to do is get outside and get my butt in the pool.

Pentair is a publicly-traded company that manufactures and sells pool products to residential and commercial consumers, as well as crucial water filtering, softening, and managing products.

Pumps, valves, filtration membranes, all this stuff we never think about when turning on the tap.

While their offerings may seem refreshing, Pentair's dividend is anything but. With a dividend yield of only 1.11%, you may as well appraise PNR as a growth stock altogether (it's not too shabby in that context).

However, even though Pentair is only 6 years away from the acclaimed dividend king status, their dividend competition is at this juncture, clearly superior.

On the upside, it is worth mentioning that their stock value has increased from the low $40's to where it is now in just this past year.

51. PPG Industries (PPG)

Market capitalization: $40.80 billion
Stock Value: $172.08
Dividend yield: 1.26%
Dividend payout ratio: 37.89%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 49

PPG Industries makes various paints, sealants, and associated products used throughout several industry sectors, including construction, transportation, military, infrastructure, as well as consumer products.

What’s more boring than watching paint dry? Well, not the dividends this company offers.

PPG’s has a really steady dividend they’ve been increasing for 49 years. It’s also considerably healthy by our estimations – with its respectably low dividend payout ratio of 37.89% and dividend yield of 1.28%, it’s really safe at a glance.

It’s not a 2.5%-yield rockstar, but PPG looks stable and sustainable – everything you want in your dividend portfolio.

While PPG doesn’t have any whirring red flags, the details of the company should still be examined.

PPG’s offerings include mainly paint, sealants, and coatings, which have been very successful through the decades.

However, there isn’t necessarily anything special about PPG’s products, perhaps other than their competitive pricing and ancient level of brand trust.

They could potentially see some competition in the future if their production line becomes less than cost-effective.

Additionally, with the inflation increases of 2021 setting in, PPG has announced that it will have to increase its pricing – though in theory, this pressure would also affect their hypothetical competitors.

Just because we made the “paint drying” pun doesn’t mean you need to buy this stock, but if a stock is on this list, there’s certainly something to learn by studying it.

52. Roper Technologies (ROP)

Market capitalization: $50.40 billion
Stock Value: $478.06
Dividend yield: 0.47%
Dividend payout ratio: 17.66%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 28

Roper Tech is a company who owns and manages a large variety of software programs, selling them both as licensed purchases, and as a service subscription.

Most of their offerings aid various types of businesses in directing projects or managing logistics.

Roper’s stock features a high stock value of $478.06, with a very low dividend yield of 0.47%. Their dividend payout ratio also has a lower margin of 17.66%.

For the dividend seeker, ROP is solidly in the defensive area.

Because it’s a diversified tech company who sells their systems at a B2B capacity, and have a high stock value in 2021, a driving motive for purchasing this stock would be to employ the Buffett strategy of buying and holding the stock long term, for its overall asset appreciation.

Here, the dividend is more of a bonus feature, than the main course.

It is worth noting that with smaller yield dividend stocks like ROP, that they often have more ‘proportionally aggressive’ dividend growth – most dividend stocks will raise their dividend payout by fractions of cents each year.

Though ROP is largely raising their dividend offering by those same fractions of cents each year, the growth percentage of the dividend yield looks higher.

An interesting stat for finance nerds, but whether or not it actually bears any extra insight or wealth is secondary to the fundamentals.

53. Sherwin-Williams (SHW)

Market capitalization: $78.14 billion
Stock Value: $305.86
Dividend yield: 0.75%
Dividend payout ratio: 26.86%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 42

Sherwin-Williams is another leading paint and coating retailer whose clientele contain both individual consumers and businesses – they’re currently the biggest paint retailer in the US, and compete with PPG in a vicious, eternal struggle for America’s paint budget.

While consumers’ opinions vary between both companies and their other competitors, comparing their dividend stats is less opaque.

SHW’s dividend offering is stable, but not exciting. By the numbers, their annual dividend payout is about the same as PPG’s – about $2.20 per share.

But, annual payout-per-share should always be regarded as a secondary detail to the metrics we’ve stressed thus far. 

While their payouts are the same, SHW’s dividend yield is a paltry 0.75% – if you’re trying to build wealth through reinvesting dividends, there are ample trustworthy stocks who have a consistent & healthy dividend yield in the 2-5% range.

Because their dividend yield is so low, the importance of their dividend payout ratio doesn’t matter much. For our purposes, its main function is to determine if higher dividend yields are sustainable or suspicious.

However, there’s always more ground to dig. SHW has been performing great this past year, as well as enjoying a 5+ year span of sustained share growth.

With it’s share price higher than $300, it’s hard to pin it down decisively as a “dividend growth stock”. It just doesn’t seem to have another ‘ceiling of success’ to punch through – SHW has already arrived.

Though our conjecture here may seem harsh, SHW on the whole isn’t bad whatsoever – our survey is mainly focused on assessing dividend stocks for growing a dividend portfolio.

If your investing goal is to move your pre-existing asset into something long term and reliable, instead of building a dividend asset, Sherwin-Williams could be a great prospect for you!

54. S&P Global (SPGI)

Market capitalization: $99.58 billion
Stock Value: $413.40
Dividend yield: 0.74%
Dividend payout ratio: 26.35%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 48

Providers of the renowned Dow Jones and the S&P 500 indices, S&P Global have changed names several times in their history, but have been in the data game since 1888!

Beyond what we're obviously familiar with, SPGI provides:

  • Cutting edge analytics on market movements
  • Research and commentary on the shifting industry sectors
  • Tracking global benchmark pricings of accepted credit, debt, and equity
  • Credit ratings which help large-scale B2B transactions
  • Data on individual companies' environmental, social, and governance initiatives

That may sound like a library of jargon (it kinda is), but what makes S&P Global so special is that it acts as the authoritative neutral news source for businesses and investors across the world – as they say, “the numbers never lie”.

However, while taking a peek at SPGI's dividend offering, the short term snapshot isn't the most attractive.

While S&P pays over $3 in dividends annually per-share, their offering is very conservative: 0.74% dividend yield, and a dividend payout ratio in the mid- 20% bracket.

Though that 3$ a year doesn't sound bad in a vacuum, paying $413 to get there just doesn't seem as efficient as what competitors are offering.

Taking all these factors into account, there's still more to uncover (there always is).

SPGI has been steadily growing through the past decade, up to its current monumental stock price of $413.

It's grown over 28% in the last 12 months, and has had a phenomenal decade of growth.

Considering it's also 2 years away from becoming a dividend king, SPGI seems like a great dividend growth stock with ample margin for the future.

55. Stanley Black & Decker (SWK)

Market capitalization: $33.13 billion
Stock Value: $209
Dividend yield: 1.36%
Dividend payout ratio: 30.97%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 53

Stanley Black & Decker provides professional tools and equipment for construction and household use to both industrial companies and DIY consumers.

From vacuums to power tools to infrastructure equipment, their products are consistently reliable and superior.

SWK has faced a great year of growth in stock value.

At the start of 2021, SWK hovered around $152 per share, but have enjoyed a steady bullish season, and are sitting tight on a recent rebound at $209 stock value.

This is pretty cool, as generally speaking, when dividend investing, you trade off more aggressive stock growth for a steady, concrete dividend.

With Stanley Black & Decker, they’ve been growing their dividend offering for over 50 years, and seem to be pushing ahead full steam instead of simply ‘resting on the laurels’ of their already massive empire. Way to go SWK!

SWK’s president and CEO Jim Loree also recently announced they are going green with many of their previously gas-powered offerings – which is kind of huge.

Consumer products such as lawn mowers, hedge trimmers, and leaf blowers are all unregulated gas guzzlers, some of which are known to have carbon emissions similar to cars!

This is a fantastic move for the environment, and by making these proactive innovative decisions, SWK is looking more and more attractive by the month.

56. Sysco Corp (SYY)

Market capitalization: $40.71 billion
Stock Value: $79.53
Dividend yield: 2.36%
Dividend payout ratio: 93.53%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 41

Sysco is the largest American food distributor who supplies restaurants and other organizations with food products. They also supply food products and hospitality products to restaurants, hotels, and various businesses in Europe.

Sysco opened in 1969, and went public only a year after in 1970. They’ve been a Fortune 500 company since 2009, and have been increasing their dividend offering nearly as long as the company has existed. Pretty solid track record!

SYY has a pretty standard dividend offering compared with the rest of our aristocrats – obviously, their 93% dividend payout ratio is highly alarming; Sysco isn’t a REIT by any means.

While their dividend payout ratio based on their last 12 months reflects a 93% payout ratio, this can largely be chalked up to the pandemic year.

Considering their current cash flow and revenue, a more accurate projection for SYY’s dividend payout ratio is in the 40-55% range.

This doesn’t mean Sysco is out of the water. With the current inflation concerns, SYY must face a choice to either pass their inflation costs onto their restaurant-centric consumer base, or take on those costs themselves and lower their margins further.

Considering their recent quarterly performance hasn’t met projected expectations, it may not be viable or desirable for them to keep their prices in line with what they offered before the pandemic.

Additionally, with the American workforce leaving their jobs in droves, and social distancing regulations placed on restaurants, the strain on Sysco might prove larger than a small bump in the road.

On the up, a 2.36% dividend yield for a potential dividend king with a share price in the $80 range is pretty attractive!

Let’s keep moving!

57. Target Co. (TGT)

Market capitalization: $124.79 billion
Stock Value: $252.24
Dividend yield: 1.09%
Dividend payout ratio: 28.87%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 49

If you’re in the US, Target is almost everywhere. The mongoose to Walmart’s cobra, the general store chain has marked its territory as a staple of American culture.

Target’s dividend offering at a glance may seem lacking for a seasoned dividend aristocrat; they’re only offering a 1.09% dividend yield, and their dividend payout is very low, right over 28%.

The range of a ‘healthy’ dividend payout ratio isn’t set in stone by any means, but the general consensus is anywhere between 35-55% is the healthy zone.

Above 55%, and the dividend payout starts to become cumbersome on the company’s margins, and can easily become unsustainable – game over for us dividend investors.

Below 35% is a bit of a different scenario: while there isn’t any stark red flag spelling doom for the dividend, oftentimes dividend investors would serve to better build their portfolio with competitor dividend aristocrats who are offering healthy dividends in the 2-4% area.

Unless stocks like TGT have other strengths, dividend investors primarily concerned with growing their dividend portfolio may seek greener pastures.

While this commentary is intended to keep you on your toes, Target is actually in a great place right now.

The crucible that was 2020 & 2021 boosted Target ahead instead of behind.

They have innovated their omnichannel shopping experience to include mobile app ordering, curbside pickup, and have been able to expand during the pandemic.

Beyond even the scope of the past two years, Target is actually in growth mode – even though they’ve been growing their dividend offering over the past 49 years, TGT still has a lot of room to expand, and now has some great momentum to make it happen.

58. T. Rowe Price Group (TROW)

Market capitalization: $48.22 billion
Stock Value: $212.49
Dividend yield: 2.03%
Dividend payout ratio: 45.09%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 35

T. Rowe Price is an asset management firm that partners with investor clients to build wealth. They offer actively managed investment products across all asset classes, and currently manage over $1.5 trillion in equity.

TROW is all about helping people make big money, but does their dividend align with their company values? Let's take a look.

At a stock price of $212.49 at time of writing, their 2.03% dividend yield pays out a little over a dollar quarterly per share. Their dividend payout ratio looks very healthy, and they have 35 years of sustained payout increase, which makes the dividend overall look very stable. All great stuff – no red flags here.

Further considerations about this stock would lie with the company itself; their industry sector, and personal performance, as well as weighing various opinions about the stock from multiple analysts.

As far as TROW goes, in 2021 many consider them to be a “value stock”.

Value Stock: a stock whose current price is lower than their overall performance indicates.

Value stocks are hailed as attractive buys, at least to hold on to as they gain short-term growth.

However, for our purposes, a value stock that also happens to be a dividend aristocrat looks like a deadly combo for some long-term financial gains.

59. V.F. Co (VFC)

Market capitalization: $29.38 billion
Stock Value: $74.89
Dividend yield: 2.53%
Dividend payout ratio: 149.62%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 49

V.F. Corporation is a clothing and footwear company that sells and produces various brands like the North Face, Supreme, Dickies, and Timberland. Most of their offerings focus on active outdoor lifestyles, and durable apparel for manual labor.

The first thing to jump out at you should be VFC’s dividend payout ratio.

“149%? These guys must be on the way out!”

This is a reasonable reaction, and means that you’re paying attention.

However, the better attitude to take here would be to ask yourself:

“VFC owns a lot of really great brands, and is on its path to being a dividend king – what’s the truth behind this bizarre stat?”

The truth is that VFC’s performance through 2020 hasn’t been the most stellar. Just like many companies reliant on in-store sales of physical products, the pandemic hit V. F.  pretty hard.

But I hear you: “Covid can’t be an excuse for everything!”, and I totally agree.

Taking a look at the ‘09 recession, VFC took a dip then as well but quickly bolstered back, with their stock value multiplying five-fold in the next 4 years.

In both recession years, VFC has continued to increase their dividends, and sustain them, in the face of short term disruption.

At the same time, if the pandemic era continues, and lockdowns take place again in the near future, this disruption may turn into loss.

Currently, VFC's dividend payout ratio based on cash flow is around 63% – things seem to be on the rebound.

60. Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

Market capitalization: $40.71 billion
Stock Value: $47.06
Dividend yield: 3.99%
Dividend payout ratio: 39.45%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 45

Take a gander, friends. This is a beautiful example of a safe dividend stock. If you've read through this far, and aren't getting butterflies, consult your primary care physician to make sure you're not sick.

Walgreens Boots Alliance has a relatively low stock price for this list, at $47. The dividend yield being almost 4% makes this stock pay almost $2 per share annually.

There's a lot of other stocks, even on this list, where you'd end up paying a good dollar more for similar results.

The crazy thing here is that their dividend payout ratio is so low, below 40%, and WBA is right about to cross the threshold into dividend king territory!

There's gotta be something wrong here… is there?

While their stats are seemingly air-tight, Walgreens Boots Alliance is an international group of pharmacy chains in different countries, and all of their offerings – pharmaceutical, and regular convenience store goods, are becoming highly competitive, with lower profit margins.

Furthermore, with the pandemic continually up in the air, and external competitors like Amazon making brick and mortar stores increasingly obsolete, WBA's ship isn't sinking by any means, but there could be rough waters on the horizon.

61. Walmart (WMT)

Market capitalization: $400.82 billion
Stock Value: $143.04
Dividend yield: 1.55%
Dividend payout ratio: 40.15%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 48

If you're living in America, do I really need to tell you about Walmart? Love them or hate them, you probably have a Walmart shopping experience anecdote that's wilder than mine.

Personally, I found a really sturdy, 1.5 liter metal thermos water bottle for like $12 – a steal. And this is why we all keep giving Walmart our money.

Retail giant Walmart actually operates over 10,000 storefronts, 5,900 of which are outside the US.

Their dividend stats are pretty solid: their dividend yield is a little low at 1.55%, but their dividend payout ratio is really quite healthy at 40.15%.

With a current stock value of $143, this places their annual payout per share at $2.20.

While WMT might seem like a giant of yesteryear, it turns out they're continuing to innovate ways to leverage the reach of their vast empire.

Similar to Amazon, Walmart is looking into creating a space in their online ecosystem where smaller businesses can pay a subscription to sell their wares on Walmart's network. They have also partnered with Adobe in producing this new offering.

Whether or not the long-term outcome of this development will help or hinder humanity – Bezos knows.

62. West Pharmaceutical Services (WST)

Market capitalization: $32.89 billion
Stock Value: $444.52
Dividend yield: 0.15%
Dividend payout ratio: 14.29%
Consecutive years of dividend increase: 28

Behold, the swan song of our survey. West Pharmaceutical Services, or West for short, is the leading producer of medical equipment for injectable medicines.

Very technical and precise work, for a crucial cause. A big, boring company – awesome!

Looking at WST’s dividend stats, they’ve got the oddest mix on our list – a really high stock value, and the lowest dividend yield among the aristocrats.

On the whole, one might think they ‘stumbled’ into the dividend aristocrat list by accident (which would be an amazing feat to pull off, if it were true)!

Truth be told, West’s dividend isn’t the best offering – even in conservative portfolios whose main goal is preserving growth and value, there are at least ten dividend aristocrats who can provide a better defensive dividend payout.

While all of this looks odd, West’s numbers definitely seem less out there when we consider the company’s recent track record. 

In March 2020, so many companies suffered because of the disruption that the COVID pandemic thrust upon the world.

As we’ve recanted through our survey, even our beloved dividend aristocrats on the whole took a big hit that month, and the savvier companies have since been able to use the market changes to create a strong rebound.

With West Pharmaceutical Services, instead of facing any sort of loss, they faced a massive spike in demand, which only fueled their company’s growth – to an insane year.

Before March 2020, their stock value was worth around $150 per share, which is great for a smaller market cap medical tech company!

Considering their current annual dividend payout per share is around $0.68, before their massive gains this year, that same $0.68 ended up being a ‘normal’ lower dividend yield, just above 1%.

“Okay, that makes sense. I still don’t think this stock is that great for my dividend portfolio though.”

Regardless of the input we’ve shared here, you must come to conclusions about individual stocks on your own.

With the state of the world currently in flux, there is chatter in the media and the governments that COVID precautions and variants may be here to stay.

Even if that isn’t the case, WST’s massive growth this past year signals good things for it’s future moving forwards. If their growth continues, even with less momentum than the wild year they’re currently in, this growth overall may be that final ‘domino’ WST needs to fully transition from a growth stock to a dividend stock.

In that scenario, WST then becomes a solid dividend payer – because they’re already an aristocrat, they’ve proven that they can ‘stick it out’ when paying and growing dividend offerings isn’t necessarily the most attractive short-term option for a company.

West then offering increases on its dividends would only cement their place among the dividend pantheon.

Certainly a stock to keep tabs on, even if only to see how they do!

Last Lesson of the Day

If you've read through this entire survey in one sitting, then your brain is either close to fried, or your notes on your favorite dividend stock picks just got a heck of a lot longer!

If there's anything left to say about dividend investing, it is that you really can't judge a dividend stock through quick stats alone.

It's all about taking your time and making safe, educated plays.

You can never time the market, and you can't see into the future, but you can take extra precaution and prepare through diversifying your portfolios, and double checking your investment prospects.

Looking for a way to invest in dividends while on your mobile phone?

Check out our Top 13 Best Investing Apps for 2021 here!

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