Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Dividend Conspiracies

I have recently stumbled upon some intriguing dividend information that broadened my investment horizon. Some fellow dividend bloggers mentioned HSY and CL in their dividend analyses. Being too focused on the dividend aristocrats and the high-yield aristocrats I ignored those picks as ones that are “not good for me”.

After reading through both companies financial statements though, it seems to me that both have increased their dividend payments for over 25 years. In fact Colgate Palmolive has increased its annual dividend payments for over 45 years, while Hershey’s has increased its dividends only for 33 years. I had a brief conversation under my posting on “Historical changes of the S&P Dividend Aristocrats”, where yielder posted some S&P data, showing that both companies have cut their dividends. Yet, according to my trusted data source (Yahoo Finance) and both companies’ annual reports, these stocks should be included in the dividend aristocrats lists. I think that the S&P sometimes eliminates stocks from the lists due to factors such as spin-offs ( Altria, Hillenbrand Industries), or special dividends (CL). In addition, the dividend aristocrat lists exclude all companies which are not part of the S&P 1500 universe. What about a company with a market cap of less than 2 billion dollars, which trades 200,000 shares a day and has increased its dividends for 40 years? It appears that one of my local banks, Commerce Bancshares is indeed a company worth investigating.

I found a more thorough list of US companies that have continuously increased their dividend payments to shareholders for over 25 years on website. There are more than 130 companies in the US that fit this criterion. The person who prepared the list is Dave Fish, Exec. Editor of The Moneypaper, Direct Investing, The Moneypaper Guide to Direct Investment Plans as well as a Co-manager of The MP 63 Fund (DRIPX).

For future references I would call this list Dividend Champions. You could find the complete list here.
Tomorrow, I would present to you the results of my screen on the US Dividend Champions.

Relevant Articles:

- Historical changes of the S&P Dividend Aristocrats
- Current Aging of the Dividend Aristocrats
- Diversification Matters
- Dividend Achievers Watchlist

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