This Year's 5 Best Performing S&P Dividend Aristocrats Stocks

Realty Income

Shares of this real estate investment trust (REIT) are higher by 13% this year. The monthly dividends at Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) are supported by the cash flow from nearly 4,500 real estate properties owned under long-term lease agreements with regional and national commercial tenants.

To date, the company has declared 548 consecutive common stock monthly dividends throughout its 47-year operating history, and it has increased the dividend 84 times since its public listing in 1994. The company has in-house acquisition, portfolio management, asset management, credit research, real estate research, legal, finance and accounting, information technology and capital markets capabilities.

Shareholders receive a very solid 4.05% dividend. The consensus price objective is $56.07, and the shares closed above that on Tuesday at $58.84.


This company has seen its shares rise 12% this year. Nordson Corp. (NASDAQ: NDSN) engineers, manufactures and markets products and systems to dispense, apply and control adhesives, coatings, polymers, sealants, biomaterials and other fluids.

The company reported better-than-expected results for the first quarter of fiscal 2016. Nordson’s adjusted earnings per share easily surpassed the Wall Street consensus estimate. The company delivered better-than-expected revenues, though they declined less than 2% year over year. The revenue decline was triggered by 5.3% adverse impact from unfavorable foreign currency translation, which more than offset the 3.5% positive impact from volumes.

Nordson shareholders are paid a 1.35% dividend. The consensus price target is $77.30. The shares closed on Tuesday at $73.21 apiece.

Atmos Energy

Rounding out the top five performers is Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE: ATO), with shares up 11% this year. The company is one of the country’s largest natural-gas-only distributors, serving over 3 million natural gas distribution customers in over 1,400 communities in eight states from the Blue Ridge Mountains in the East to the Rocky Mountains in the West.

Atmos Energy also manages company-owned natural gas pipeline and storage assets, including one of the largest intrastate natural gas pipeline systems in Texas, and it provides natural gas marketing and procurement services to industrial, commercial and municipal customers, primarily in the Midwest and Southeast.

Shareholders are paid a 2.43% dividend. The consensus price target is set at $69, and shares closed right there on Tuesday at $69.27.

Remember, the key to being in the Dividend Aristocrats club is 25 years of raising dividends. While these companies don’t pay the highest dividends necessarily, they have consistently generated positive cash flow over the years. For growth and income investors looking for dependable companies to buy and hold, these fit the bill perfectly.

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