Monday, May 20, 2024

Five Dividend Growth Stocks Rewarding Shareholders With Raises Last Week

I review the list of dividend increases each week, as part of my monitoring process. This exercise helps me to review existing holdings and potentially uncover companies for further research.

This of course is just one aspect in my process. It does provide a helpful look at the way I would quickly evaluate companies, before determining if I want to place them on my list for further research.

Namely I look for:

1) Ten year streak of consecutive annual dividend increases

2) Rate of change in the most recent dividend increase, relative to the ten year historical average

3) Trends in earnings per share, in order to determine sustainability of that dividend income stream

4) Valuation, as well as dividend safety


My review of the weekly dividend increases follows the philosophy outlined in the checklist above.

Over the past week there were five companies that raised dividends and also have a ten year minimum streak of consecutive annual dividend increases. The companies include:


Chubb Limited (CB) provides insurance and reinsurance products worldwide.

Chubb increased quarterly dividends by 5.80% to $0.91/share. This marks the 31st consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend aristocratdividend aristocrat. Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost dividends at an annualized rate of 5.40%.

The company has managed to grow earnings from $8.50/share in 2014 to $21.97/share in 2023. Chubb is expected to earn $21.67/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 12.65 times forward earnings and yields 1.33%. 

Note, Warren Buffett recently initiated a large position Warren Buffett recently initiated a position in this insurer. 


Northrop Grumman Corporation (NOC) operates as an aerospace and defense technology company in the United States, Asia/Pacific, Europe, and internationally. 

The company increased quarterly dividends by 10.20% to $2.06/share. This is the 21st consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost dividends at an annualized rate of 11.90%.

Between 2014 and 2023, the company grew earnings from $9.91/share to $13.57/share. 

The company is expected to earn $24.78/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 18.98 times forward earnings and yields 1.75%.


Realty Income (O) is a real estate investment trust which owns over 15,450 real estate properties. 

Realty Income increased its monthly dividend by 2.14% to $0.2625/share. The new dividend is 2.94% higher than the dividend paid during the same time last year. This dividend aristocrat dividend aristocrat has increased annual dividends several times per year since going public in 1994. Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost dividends at an annualized rate of 3.60%.

Realty Income grew FFO/share from $2.58 in 2014 to $4.08 in 2023.

Realty Income is expected to generate $4.23/share in FFO in 2024.

The stock sells for 13 times forward FFO and yields 5.60%.



Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. (WMS) designs, manufactures, and markets thermoplastic corrugated pipes and related water management products in North America and internationally. The company operates through Pipe, International, Infiltrator, and Allied Products & Other segments.

The company raised quarterly dividends by 14.30% to $0.16/share. This is the tenth consecutive annual dividend increase for this newly minted dividend achiever. Over the past 5 years, the company has managed to boost dividends at an annualized rate of 11.84%.

Between 2015 and 2024 the company managed to grow earnings per share from  a loss of $0.38/share to a profit of $6.52/share. The company is expected to earn $6.79/share in 2025.

The stock sells for 25.63 times forward earnings and yields 0.37%.


HNI Corporation (HNI)  engages in the manufacture, sale, and marketing of workplace furnishings and residential building products primarily in the United States and Canada. The company operates through two segments, Workplace Furnishings and Residential Building Products.

The company raised quarterly dividends by 3.10% to $0.33/share. This is the 14th year of consecutive annual dividend increases for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost dividends at an annualized rate of 2.90%.

Earnings went from $1.37/share in 2015 to $1.11/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $3.05/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 15.10 times forward earnings and yields 2.87%.


Relevant Articles:

- Eight Dividend Growth Stocks Rewarding Shareholders With a Raise

- Fourteen Dividend Growth Stocks Raising Dividends Last Week


Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Is it worth investing at all-time highs?

I just recently found a very interesting paper from J.P. Morgan from 2020, which tested whether it is worth it investing at all time highs. This is particularly helpful as US Markets just hit an all-time-high.

The researchers looked at the returns of the US Stock Market Index S&P 500 over a one, three and five year periods on any random day versus on a day that the index hit an all time high. The data in the sample covered the 1988 - 2020 time period. I believe that the results of the study could be relevant today, particularly for investors who may be afraid of the market because "it is too high".

If you invested in the S&P 500 on any random day since the start of 1988 and reinvested all dividends, your investment made money over the course of the next year 83% of the time. On average, your one year total return was +11.7%. 

Now, what do those figures look like if we only consider investments on days when the S&P 500 closed at an all-time high? They’re actually better! Your investment made money over the course of the next year 88% of the time, and your average total return was +14.6%.

And if we look at cumulative total returns three or five years after the original investment, the takeaway is the same. 


Markets can have bad weeks, months, and years, but the value of investments in the S&P 500 has risen over time. Getting invested and staying invested is a simple step an individual can take towards growing their capital and income over time.

The message is simple - do not let all time highs prevent you from investing. The investor who puts money to work on a regular basis could definitely benefit as well, especially from a behavioral perspective. Getting invested and staying invested over long periods of time is how wealth is built in the stock market. Over long periods of time, the US Stock Market has generated great returns partly as a result of earnings growth and reinvested dividends. Over time, those fundamental sources of returns can lead to higher intrinsic values for businesses, and higher dividends, all of which can lead to all-time-highs.


Saturday, May 11, 2024

Fourteen Dividend Growth Stocks Raising Dividends Last Week

I review the list of dividend increases every week, as part of my monitoring process. I usually focus my attention on the companies with a ten year streak of annual dividend increases, and then review each company using my criteria. I am always on the lookout for new ideas, and to determine if my existing holdings are working. I also want to be ready to act quickly, when the right time arrives.

This exercise helps me to evaluate companies I already own, and see how they are doing. This is a helpful piece of the puzzle, that would be helpful when/if I decide to add to these companies at the right price.

This exercise also helps me identify companies for further research. A large part of the time is spent reviewing companies, screening for companies, and trying to learn more about companies, their business, etc. 

It is not glamorous at all, but dull and boring. 

But it does pay dividends.

There were 51 companies that announced a dividend increase over the past week. Only 14 of these companies have also managed to increase dividends for at least ten years in a row. The companies include:



This of course is just a list, not a recommendation.


When I review companies, I look at ten year trends in:

1) Earnings per share
2) Dividend payout ratio
3) Dividends per share
4) Valuation


Since I have some experience evaluating dividend companies, I also modify my criteria based on the environment we are in and the availability of quality companies. If I see a company with a strong business model and certain characteristics that I like, I may require a dividend streak that is lower than a decade. I have also found success in looking beyond screening criteria by purchasing stocks a little above the borders contained in a screen.

It is important to be flexible, without being too lenient.

You may like this analysis of PepsiCo (PEP) as an example of how I review companies.

Relevant Articles:



Thursday, May 9, 2024

Texas Pacific Land Trust (TPL): The Story of Certificate 390

One of my favorite stock market stories involves a lost share certificate.

The Texas Pacific Railway went broke in 1885. To compensate bondholders, some land was put in a trust called Texas Pacific Land Trust

All the bonds were exchanged except for Certificate 390.




It was probably worth a few thousand dollars back around the turn of the 20th century.

The Texas Pacific Trust then found some oil and gas, and managed to distribute dividends and do share buybacks for about a century.

The Texas Pacific Land Trust spun off its oil and gas interests as the TXL Oil Co, which later merged with Texaco.

The value of that missing certificate ballooned. It led to people searching for it in basements/books/archives, but to no avail.

The story appeared in Reader’s Digest and constituted a whole radio program was launched. 

The trust placed all dividends and stock in escrow, while they searched for the owner.

That missing certificate was worth $3.2 Million by the time it was found in Wells Fargo Bank archives by a historian in San Francisco in 1979. It came in a box of documents recovered from a Manhattan subbasement.

It was exchanged for shares of Texas Pacific Land Trust and Texaco stock, which generated $170,000 in annual dividend income then...

By the time it was sold in 1986, the collection of stock was worth $5.7 million.

I've read about the Texas Pacific Land Trust (TPL) for over a decade. That stock has done remarkably well:


Texas Pacific Land Trust is also a dividend achiever with a 21 year track record of annual dividend increases under its belt. It is not a very popular dividend growth stock, which it should have been.

This is a really fascinating story, because it confirms the idea that once you find a good company, you need to just hold on to it and let the power of compounding do the heavy lifting for you. Even a moderate rate of consistent compounding can generate enormous wealth over time. In addition, by holding this certificate in paper form, and losing it, the shareholders weren't going to be able to do something silly, such as selling too early for example. Perhaps it is not untrue that the best investors are dead.

There is another fascinating interplay between this story, the company and legendary investor Warren Buffett. It was the second stock purchased by the then 13-14 year old Warren Buffett. 

These are Warren Buffett's comments about his investment from the 2022 Annual Meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders:


Source: 3:10 Value

You can read more about it here:

4. You may also like this old chart I found from Global Financial Data




Monday, May 6, 2024

15 Dividend Stocks In The News

I review the list of dividend increases as part of my monitoring process. This exercise helps me monitor existing portfolio holdings and also identify companies for further research. It also identifies companies that I should put on the chopping block.

In this review, I typically share the companies that raised dividends. However, over the past week, there were two notable dividend cuts. Both came from two dividend kings, 3M (MMM) and Leggett & Platt (LEG). 

Leggett & Platt (LEG) cut dividends by 89% to 5 cents/share. This ended a 52 year streak of consecutive annual dividend increases for this now former dividend king.

3M (MMM) announced its intent to target a 40% adjusted free cash flow per share after spinning off its subsidiary Solventum (SOLV) earlier this month. The spin-off has not declared dividends yet. 3M shareholders holding 4 legacy 3M shares ended up with 1 share of Solventum as part of the spin-off.

This announcement for the new 3M dividend polity targeting 40% free cash flow payout ratio is a stealth dividend cut.


Source: 3M Press Release


Since 2010, there have been only four companies that have left the dividend kings list. One, Vectren (VVC) was acquired. The second, Integrys Energy Group was also acquired. The second, Diebold (DBD), kept dividends unchanged, but ultimately ended up cutting them. The third, V.F. Corp (VFC) became a dividend king in 2022, but left the list after 2 months as the company cut dividends in February 2023.

Losing two dividend kings at once in an year is a record. However, this number should also not be viewed in isolation because the dividend kings list has increased from 10 in 2010 to 47 in early 2024 (to 45 now). 

From a historical context, dividend kings did not even exist until 1994. That's when Winn Dixie became the first company in the world to become a dividend king. In the next decade or so, there were only one or two dividend kings at all. And between 2000 and 2001 there were no dividend kings at all. We've seen an increase in the number of dividend kings since then. You may like this post here on the evolution of dividend kings.

There were also 12 dividend increases last week from companies that have managed to raise dividends for at least 10 years in a row. The companies include:


Apple Inc. (AAPL) designs, manufactures, and markets smartphones, personal computers, tablets, wearables, and accessories worldwide.

Apple raised its quarterly dividend by 4.20% to $0.25/share. This is the 12th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 8.50%. The rate of dividend growth has been decelerating over the past 3 and 5 years however.

The company managed to grow earnings from $1.62/share in 2014 to $6.16/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $6.57/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 27.89 times forward earnings and yields 0.55%.

American Water Works Company, Inc. (AWK) provides water and wastewater services in the United States.

The company increased quarterly dividends by 8.10% to $0.765/share. This is the 16th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 9.80%. 

The company managed to grow earnings from $2.36/share in 2014 to $4.89/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $5.25/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 24.50 times forward earnings and yields 2.40%.



CNO Financial Group, Inc. (CNO), through its subsidiaries, develops, markets, and administers health insurance, annuity, individual life insurance, insurance products, and financial services for senior and middle-income markets in the United States.

The company increased quarterly dividends by 6.70% to $0.16/share. This is the 12th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. The company has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 8.60% over the past five years.

The company managed to grow earnings from $0.24/share in 2014 to $2.44/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $3.41/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 8 times forward earnings and yields 2.21%.


FactSet Research Systems Inc. (FDS) is a financial data company which provides integrated financial information and analytical applications to the investment community in the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific.

FactSet Research Systems raised quarterly dividends by 6.10% to $1.04/share. This is the 25th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend champion. Over the past decade, it has managed to raise dividends at an annualized rate of 10.90%.

The company managed to grow earnings from $4.98/share in 2014 to $12.26/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $15.98/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 26.80 times forward earnings and yields 0.97%.


International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) provides integrated solutions and services worldwide. The company operates through Software, Consulting, Infrastructure, and Financing segments.

IBM eked out a 0.60% raise in its quarterly dividend to $1.67/share. This is the 29th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend aristocrat. Over the past five years, it has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 1.30%.

The company's earnings fell from $11.97/share in 2014 to $8.23/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $10/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 16.60 times forward earnings and yields 4%.


MSA Safety Incorporated (MSA) develops, manufactures, and supplies safety products and technology solutions that protect people and facility infrastructures in the fire service, energy, utility, construction, and industrial manufacturing applications, as well as heating, ventilation, air conditioning, and refrigeration industries worldwide. 

MSA Safety raised its quarterly dividend by 8.50% to $0.51/share. This was the 54th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend king. Over the past decade, the company managed to increase dividends at an annualized rate of 4.70%. 

The company managed to get earnings from $2.37/share in 2014 to $1.49/share in 2023.

The stock sells for 27.50 times earnings and yields 1.11%.


Paychex, Inc. (PAYX) provides integrated human capital management solutions for human resources (HR), payroll, benefits, and insurance services for small to medium-sized businesses in the United States, Europe, and India.

Paychex raised its quarterly dividend by 10.10% to $0.98/share. This was the 14th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. The company has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 9.80% over the past decade.

The company's earnings increased from $1.72/share in 2014 to $4.32/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $4.72/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 25.47 times forward earnings and yields 3.26%.


Pool Corporation (POOL) distributes swimming pool supplies, equipment, and related leisure products in the United States and internationally.

Pool raised its quarterly dividends by 9.10% to $1.20/share. This was the 14th year of consecutive annual dividend increases for this dividend achiever. The company has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 19.40% over the past decade.

The company's earnings increased from $2.50/share in 2014 to $13.45/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $13.35/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 27.31 times forward earnings and yields 1.32%.


RLI Corp. (RLI) is an insurance holding company which underwrites property and casualty insurance. 

The company increased quarterly dividends by 7.40% to $0.29/share. This is the 49th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend champion. The company has managed to increase dividends at an annualized rate of 4.80%.

The company's earnings increased from $3.15/share in 2014 to $6.68/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $5.78/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 24.83 times forward earnings and yields 0.81%.


Simpson Manufacturing Co., Inc. (SSD) designs, engineers, manufactures, and sells structural solutions for wood, concrete, and steel connections. 

The company increased quarterly dividends by 3.70% to $0.28/share. This was the 11th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to increase dividends at an annualized rate of 7.80%.

The company's earnings increased from $1.30/share in 2014 to $8.31/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $8.44/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 21.46 times forward earnings and yields 0.62%.


The Timken Company (TKR) designs, manufactures, and sells engineered bearings and industrial motion products, and related services in the United States and internationally. 

Timken raised dividends by 3% to $0.34/share. This was the 16th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to grow dividends at an annualized rate of 6.97%.

The company's earnings increased from $1.89/share in 2014 to $5.52/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $6.18/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 14.48 times forward earnings and yields 1.52%.



Tetra Tech, Inc. (TTEK) provides consulting and engineering services in the United States and internationally. The company operates through two segments, Government Services Group (GSG) and Commercial/International Services Group (CIG). 

The company raised quarterly dividends by 11.50% to $0.29/share. This is the tenth consecutive annual dividend increase for this newly minted dividend achiever. Over the past five years, the company has managed to increase dividends at an annualized rate of 16.70%.

The company's earnings increased from $1.68/share in 2014 to $5.14/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $6.20/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 33.51 times forward earnings and yields 0.56%.



Unum Group (UNM) provides financial protection benefit solutions primarily in the United States, the United Kingdom, Poland, and internationally. 

The company announced a 15% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.42/share. This is the 16th year of consecutive annual dividend increases for this dividend achiever. Over the past decade, the company has managed to raise dividends at an annual rate of 9.70%.

The company's earnings increased from $1.57/share in 2014 to $6.53/share in 2023.

The company is expected to earn $8.17/share in 2024.

The stock sells for 6.32 times forward earnings and yields 2.83%.


Relevant Articles:

- Five Dividend Growth Companies Raising Dividends Last Week






Friday, May 3, 2024

How Ronald Read managed to accumulate a dividend portfolio worth $8 million

Dividend investing is as sexy as watching paint dry on the wall. Defining an entry criteria that selects quality dividend stocks with rising dividends over time and then patiently reinvesting these dividends while sitting on your hands is not exciting. While active traders have a plethora of hedge fund managers on the covers of Forbes magazine there are not many well-publicized successful dividend investors. Even value investing has its own superstars – Ben Graham and Warren Buffett.

I did some research and uncovered several successful dividend investors, whose stories provide reassurance that the traits of successful dividend investing I outlined in a previous post are indeed accurate.

The reason why dividend investors are not highly publicized is because dividend investing is not sexy enough to be featured in the financial mainstream media. In addition to that, it is not profitable for Wall Street to sell you into the idea that ordinary investors can invest on their own. This is why you have advisors crying wolf over the fact that you are paying 15% tax on your dividend income, while charging clients 1%/year on assets under management, and investing that money in a mutual fund that costs an additional 1%/year. Mutual funds, annuities and other products generate billions in commissions for Wall Street, despite the fact that they might not be in the best interest of small investors.

The dividend investor to profile today is Ronald Read, who left an $8 million fortune behind when he passed away in 2015. What's fascinating about him is that he never earned a high income, because he worked as a gas station worker or a janitor. 

I find this story to be very inspiring, because it showed how an ordinary person who never earned a high income was able to amass a dividend portfolio worth $8 million by the time of his death. The portfolio was generating close to $20,000 in monthly dividend income on average. This portfolio was a result of frugality, hard work, and ability to buy stocks to hold for decades, while patiently reinvesting dividends.

When Ronald Read died at the age of 92 in 2014, he left a dividend portfolio worth $8 million to charity and his children. That story shows that Ronald Read earned close to $20,000 in monthly dividend income from this diversified portfolio of 95 blue chip securities. They were spread across a variety of sectors, including railroads, utility companies, banks, health care, telecom and consumer products. He avoided technology stocks. It looked like Mr Read invested solely for dividend income, and his portfolio was well put together. Besides being a good stock picker, he displayed remarkable frugality and patience which gave him many years of compounded growth.



Ronald Read didn't have a finance degree, nor an MBA, but was an ordinary Joe who managed to save and invest for the long term. The story is appealing to me because it shows that investors who pick quality blue chip stocks to hold for decades, and reinvest those dividends patiently, can accumulate a sizeable portfolio over time. The important trait is patience. I follow the same slow and steady approach to long term dividend investing as Ronald Read.

Attached below is a list of Ronald Read's largest portfolio holdings:


Mr. Read left behind a five-inch-thick stack of stock certificates in a safe-deposit box. Owning the stock directly is old school, but it also reinforces the behavior to buy and hold equity stakes in solid blue chips. 

Among his longtime holdings were blue-chip stalwarts such as Procter & Gamble, J.P. Morgan Chase, General Electric and Dow Chemical. When he died, he also had large stakes in J.M. Smucker, CVS Health and Johnson & Johnson. He was able to stick to his securities for many years. Not all of his securities worked out, but did pretty well in the end. For example, his portfolio included shares of Lehman Brothers Holdings, the financial firm that collapsed in 2008, for example. 

One example of a long-term investment was buying 39 shares of Pacific Gas & Electric on Jan. 13, 1959 for $2,380. Adjusting for stock splits, these shares would have been worth $10,735 at te time of his death. He ended up owning 578 shares in all of PG&E, worth just over $26,500, some of which he may have purchased with the dividend payments made to shareholders.

He researched his ideas thoroughly, reading business publications such as Wall Street Journal, going to the library, and chatting about investments with close friends.

Ronald Read's success was dependent on several important factors:

1) Stay frugal and live within your means
2) Invest savings at a high rate of return for a long period of time
3) Invest in companies with durable competitive advantages with a long runway
4) Stay patiently invested for decades, without selling
5) Keep reinvesting those dividends along the way

This dividend investor managed to turn small investments into a cash machine that generated large amounts of dividends. He was able to accomplish this through identifying quality dividend growth companies at attractive valuations, patiently reinvesting distributions and mostly maintaining a diversified portfolio of stocks. These are the lessons that all investors could profit from.





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