Investors love when companies pay dividends. More specifically, they love companies that are raising their dividends year after year. There exists a classification of dividend payers known as the Dividend Aristocrats. These are companies in the S&P 500 with a history of raising their dividends for 25 years or more.
Not all of these companies are created equally, however. Some just cannot maintain that pace indefinitely, and many other dividend-paying companies just haven’t been paying out for anywhere long enough to count.
24/7 Wall St. has gone through roughly 50 of the S&P 500 stocks that fall into the Dividend Aristocrats index. We have featured the companies that have stated or confirmed on their own that they are in the 25-year dividend hike category. Some of these companies have hiked dividends twice that long. We have screened out many companies that may run into issues ahead continuing to hike those dividends.
Most investors may assume these would all be Dow Jones Industrial Average stocks. Guess again! Not even one-third of the current 30 Dow stocks have a 25 consecutive year history of dividend hikes. In short, these companies have been raising dividends for as long as or longer than most investors have been investing.
24/7 Wall St. has featured the seven Dow stocks first, followed by the rest of the lot. Additional commentary also has been included that was provided either in the companies’ statements of the last dividend hike or from their investor relations sites.
The respective yield on each, followed by the number of years of consecutive dividend hikes, is provided, along with additional color if applicable.
> Yield: 2.6%
> Years: over 50
As of 2016, 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM), has paid dividends to its shareholders for more than 99 straight years, and it has increased the annual dividend for 57 consecutive years. 3M shares were last seen trading at close to all-time highs, at $170.30, with a consensus analyst price target of $171.60 and a 52-week trading range of $134.00 to $170.77. The conglomerate and industrial player now has a total market cap of $103 billion.
> Industry: Beverages
> Yield: 3.1%
> Years: over 50
Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) has paid dividends for more years than most investors can count. Its last dividend hike marked the 54th consecutive annual dividend increase. Coca-Cola shares recently traded at $45.74. The stock has a consensus price target of $48.29 and a 52-week range of $36.56 to $47.13. The beverage giant’s market cap is $197 billion.