Saturday, September 29, 2018

October 2018 Dividend Champions List

I managed to update the list of Dividend Champions for a fourth month in a row. Part of my process of updating the list is to:

1) Review dividend increases weekly, and note if any dividend champions have raised dividends for the month. In addition, check if any dividend contenders have increased dividends

2) Obtain a listing of forward dividend payments at the end of the month, and make a comparison to determine if any changes occurred in the meantime.

You can see that this is a somewhat manual process. However, it is helpful for me, since I rely on dividend champions so much in general.

The October 2018 Dividend Champions list can be downloaded as Google Drive Document or a Dropbox Document.

September Dividend Increases

In the month of September, we had the following champions extending their streak of consecutive annual dividend increases:

Brady Corporation (BRC) raised its quarterly dividend by 2.40% to 21.25 cents/share. This marked the 33rd consecutive annual dividend increase for the dividend champion.

McDonald’s (MCD) hiked its quarterly dividend by 14.90% to $1.16/share. This was the 43rd consecutive annual dividend increase for McDonald’s.

I also updated the record for West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) to 26 years of annual dividend increases. The increase was announced in May 2018 together with the regular dividend payment. The new quarterly dividend of 15 cents/share is 7.10% higher than the previous amount of 14 cents/share.

Dividend Champion Additions/Removals

There were no dividend cuts. However, one company is probably going to lose its dividend champion status at the end of the year, if it doesn’t raise dividends. Tenant Company (TNC)  is in jeopardy of being removed from the list of dividend champions, since it hasn’t raised distributions since 2016.

Another company will be acquired in the first quarter of 2019, so I need to take it off the list then. This is utility Vectren (VVC), which had a 58 year streak of annual dividend increases. We have discussed before how dividend growth stocks make great acquisitions. I have found however that as a dividend investor, I would usually be in a better spot if the stock I owned was never acquired in the first place.

In the process of reviewing dividend histories and dividend increases, I have repeatedly stumbled upon a few companies with long histories of dividend increases that weren’t on the dividend champions list. After reviewing the dividend histories, I have decided to promote the following company into this elite list.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) has increased dividends for 46 years in a row. The messy part about Abbott is that in early 2013, it split into Abbott Laboratories and Abbvie (ABBV). Since the split, both companies have managed to raise their dividends annually. Standard & Poor’s has both companies with the same track record of annual dividend increases, while the late Dave Fish had their track record at 5 years. The company that will keep the dividend increase record will be Abbott Laboratories, since Abbvie is a spin-off that doesn’t keep the legacy name. This is a similar situation to what happened with Altria (MO) in 2007 and 2008, after it spun-off Kraft and Phillip Morris International. Altria gets to keep the dividend record from before, while Kraft and PMI had to build theirs from scratch.

I decided to demote Realty Income, since it has only raised dividends for 24 years in a row. Realty income (O) raised its monthly dividend from 22 to 22.05 cents/share. The company will be eligible for inclusion after its first dividend increase in 2019 however. I still like the REIT, and would love it even more at lower entry prices.


This leaves us with 124 Dividend Champions for October 2018.

Relevant Articles:

Dividend Champions - The Best List for Dividend Investors
S&P Dividend Aristocrats Index – An Incomplete List for Dividend Investors
Dividend Stocks make great acquisitions
What are my dividend portfolio holdings?
September 2018 Dividend Champions List

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