25 Companies Raising Their Dividends for 25 Years or More

May 11, 2016 by Jon C. Ogg

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.


1. 3M
> Industry:

Conglomerate
> 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.

2. Coca-Cola
> 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.

3. Exxon Mobil
> Industry: Big Oil, Gas Too!
> Yield: 3.4%
> Years: over 30

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) has paid dividends for more than 100 years. Its most recent hike, in mid-2016, marked its 34th consecutive annual one. Shares of Exxon Mobil were trading at $89.99. The company has a total market cap of $372 billion. The consensus price target is $84.43, and the 52-week range is $66.55 to $89.80.

4. Johnson & Johnson
> Industry: Consumer and Health Care Products
> Yield: 2.8%
> Years: over 50

In early 2016, Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ) hiked its dividend, marking an increase in the quarterly dividend for its 54th consecutive year. Its shares recently traded at $115.00, an all-time high. Its consensus price target is $117.17, and it has a 52-week range of $81.79 to $115.00. The market cap is $316 billion.

5. McDonald’s
> Industry: Fast Food (Casual Dining)
> Yield: 2.7%
> Years: Nearing 40

McDonald’s Corp. (NYSE: MCD) said in January 2016 that it had raised its dividend each and every year since paying its first dividend in 1976. It began paying dividends quarterly back in 2008. The stock was last seen trading at $131.99, near an all-time high. The consensus analyst target is $132.14, and the 52-week range is $87.50 to $131.96. The total market cap is $115 billion.


6. Procter & Gamble
> Industry:

Consumer Products
> Yield: 3.2%
> Years: 60

Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE: PG) raised its dividend in April 2016, the 60th consecutive year that the consumer products giant increased its dividend. The company also said that it has been paying a dividend for 126 consecutive years, since its incorporation in 1890. With this dividend increase, its payout ratio is expected to be over 70% of net earnings. Procter & Gamble shares recently traded at $82.47, within a 52-week range of $65.02 to $83.87. The market cap is $219 billion. The consensus price target is $84.79.

7. Wal-Mart
> Industry:
Retail
> Yield: 2.9%
>Years: over 30

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) now has increased its annual cash dividend every year since first declaring a $0.05 per share annual dividend in March 1974. The stock was trading at $68.79, with a consensus price target of $64.83 and a 52-week range of $56.30 to $79.94. The company has a market cap of $215 billion.

Elsewhere … S&P 500

Additional S&P 500 companies with 25 years or more of hikes have been featured individually, but with less attention that the Dow stocks. Keep in mind that some of these companies have also broken up or been amalgamated and they are referring to their predecessor dividend history. Notes and yields data have been included.

8. Abbott Laboratories
> Yield: 2.7%

As of 2016, Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT) has paid a dividend every quarter since 1924, proof that health care, medical devices and medicine are lucrative through all periods of time. It also has increased the dividend payout for 44 consecutive years.

9. Aflac
> Yield: 2.4%

Aflac Inc. (NYSE: AFL) raised its payout in October 2015, marking the 33rd consecutive year of increasing its cash dividend. That’s a lot longer than any of us have known that duck character.

10. AT&T
> Yield: 4.9%

In December 2015, AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) increased its dividend for the 32nd consecutive year. This is a former Dow stock and it would be the highest Dow yield of all had it stayed in the index. Its DirecTV merger may have even given AT&T better dividend coverage. Merrill Lynch has what seems like a “forever” hold period for AT&T.

11. ADP
> Yield: 2.4%

When Automatic Data Processing Inc. (NASDAQ: ADP) had a hike in November 2015, it noted that it had increased its cash dividend for its 41st consecutive year. With the announcement of the spin-off of CDK Global in 2014, ADP stated its intention to continue its track record of annual dividend increases with a pre-separation target dividend payout ratio of 55% to 60%.

12. Becton Dickinson
> Yield: 1.6%

Becton, Dickinson and Co, (NYSE: BDX) announced in late 2015 that it had completed the largest acquisition in its history, but it was also the 44th consecutive fiscal year in which it had raised the dividend.


13. Clorox
> Yield:

2.4%

Clorox Co. (NYSE: CLX) last hiked its dividend in May 2015. The consumer products player said that its total annual dividends paid to shareholders has increased each year since 1977. Clorox went out on a limb late in 2015 with a vision out to 2020.

14. Consolidated Edison
> Yield: 3.6%

Consolidated Edison Inc. (NYSE: ED) announced in early 2016 that its dividend hike was the 42nd consecutive annual increase for stockholders. The company also included the note that this was actually the longest successive streak of dividend increases of any utility in the S&P 500 index.

15. Franklin Resources
> Yield: 2.0%

Asset management firm Franklin Resources Inc. (NYSE: BEN) said that its 20% increase kept its tradition of raising its dividend every year since 1981.

16. Kimberly-Clark
> Yield: 2.9%

In February 2016, Kimberly-Clark Corp. (NYSE: KMB) announced a dividend hike that was its 44th consecutive year of a raised dividend. The company also said that it marked the 82nd straight year the company has paid dividends. This is one of the original 24/7 Wall St. 10 stocks to own for the decade.

17. Medtronic
> Yield: 1.9%

Medtronic PLC (NYSE: MDT) has dominated in medical devices, now with a $113 billion market cap. In June of 2015 its dividend hike took the payout ratio to approximately 35%, with a 40% goal in the coming years. It also marked the 38th consecutive year of dividend hikes.

18. PepsiCo
> Yield: 2.9%

PepsiCo Inc. (NYSE: PEP) hiked its dividend in May of 2016, making it the 44th consecutive annual dividend hike. The company has paid consecutive quarterly cash dividends since 1965. In many ways. PepsiCo is broader than Coca-Cola, and it is considered a safe dividend, with or without Federal Reserve policies today.

19. Sherwin-Williams
> Yield: 1.1%

Sherwin-Williams Co. (NYSE: SHW) announced in February 2016 that its dividend hike of a sharp 25% followed 37 consecutive years of dividend increases.

20. Stanley Black & Decker
> Yield: 2.0%

Stanley Black & Decker Inc. (NYSE: SWK) announced in July of 2015 that its hike was the 48th consecutive annual dividend increase for the best known tool-making company.


21. Sysco
> Yield:

2.5%

Sysco Corp. (NYSE: SYY) has paid quarterly cash dividends on its common stock since its founding as a public company in 1970. Since then, Sysco has increased its dividend 46 times. You’d almost wonder why the food giant came under activist investor fire.

22. Target
> Yield: 2.8%

In June of 2015, Target Corp. (NYSE: TGT) announced that its third-quarter dividend will be the 192nd consecutive pay out since October 1967. That was the year it became publicly held. The increase in 2015 marked the 44th consecutive year that Target increased its annual dividend.

23. T. Rowe Price
> Yield: 2.9%

T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (NASDAQ: TROW) announced that its March 2016 dividend marked the 30th consecutive year, since the asset manager’s initial public offering, that it increased its regular annual dividend.

24. VF Corp.
> Yield: 2.3%

VF Corp. (NYSE: VFC) announced in October 2015 that its 16% increase over the previous quarter’s dividend would represent the company’s 43rd consecutive year that its annual dividend has increased.

25. Walgreens Boots Alliance
> Yield: 1.8%

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. (NASDAQ: WBA), or just Walgreens before the merger, announced that the dividend payable in June 2016, marks the 334th consecutive quarterly dividend of the predecessor company — more than 83 years. The company said that it has raised the dividend for 40 consecutive years.

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There you have it. These 25 companies have all confirmed dividend hikes without interruption. Many other companies are chronic dividend raisers as well, but these companies seem able or have communicated that they intend to keep raising dividends. Many of them have even said what payout ratios they intend to keep.