Dividend Kings List

A dividend king is a company that has managed to increase dividends to shareholders for at least 50 years in a row.

There are only 28 such companies in the US, and perhaps a couple more in the rest of the world. It is not a small achievement to have been able to reward long-term shareholders with a dividend raise for over half a century.

Over the past 50 years, some calamities experienced include:

- Seven Recessions since 1967
- The Vietnam War
- The oil crisis in the 1970s
- Stagflationary 1970s
- Double digit interest rates in the 1980s
- Fall of the Soviet Union in 1991
- 9/11 in 2001
- The Dot-com bubble bursting in 2000
- The housing bubble bursting in 2007 - 2008
- ZIRP and NIRP since 2009


Throughout this calamity each of those businesses managed to grow earnings, and raise the dividend to their long-term shareholders. If you are looking for a long-term shareholder base, the best way to build it is by paying those owners more every single year. This is a simple, but novel idea for corporations to embrace.

We had three new additions to the list in 2019, and one company that left the list. These actions brought the number of companies to 28. This is a record since we started tracking the list of dividend kings in 2010.

When I first came up with the idea for the list of dividend kings in 2010, there were only eleven companies on it. While our 2019 list also included 28 companies, I had to remove Target for now, since its streak of annual dividend increases was only 48 years. I am pretty confident that the retailer will hit 50 years in a row by the end of the decade. Other websites show Target as a dividend king, when its press releases and the dividend history on its website show a 48 year track record of annual dividend increases.

The new addition for the current year include:

Altria Group (MO)
H.B. Fuller Company (FUL)
Sysco (SYY)

These were consistent with my predictions from last year. It is a testament to the predictable nature of their businesses, not in my forecasting abilities.

The company that left the list in 2019 includes Vectren (VVC), acquired by Centerpoint in January 2019. This is the second company to leave the list of dividend kings since I started monitoring it in 2010.

I did some research on historical changes of the Dividend Kings list, which you may find interesting. I reviewed the evolution of the dividend kings prior to 2007 in the article, which has not been done by anyone else.

The companies in the 2019 dividend kings list include:

Company Name
Symbol
Sector
Years Dividend Increases
10 Year Annualized Dividend Growth
Dividend Yield
Share Price
ABM Industries Inc.
ABM
Industrials
52
3.42%
1.92%
38.50
American States Water
AWR
Utilities
65
7.80%
1.40%
86.90
Commerce Bancshares
CBSH
Financials
51
4.86%
1.45%
68.20
Cincinnati Financial
CINF
Financials
59
3.20%
2.16%
103.90
Colgate-Palmolive Co.
CL
Consumer Staples
57
7.85%
2.49%
69.18
California Water Service
CWT
Utilities
52
2.54%
1.53%
51.52
Dover Corp.
DOV
Industrials
64
9.72%
1.70%
115.47
Emerson Electric
EMR
Industrials
63
4.69%
2.61%
76.51
Farmers & Merchants Bancorp
FMCB
Financials
55
3.14%
1.85%
773.96
Federal Realty Inv. Trust
FRT
Real Estate
52
4.95%
3.28%
128.15
H.B. Fuller Company
FUL
Materials
50
8.89%
1.23%
51.83
Genuine Parts Co.
GPC
Consumer Discretionary
63
6.33%
2.87%
106.24
Hormel Foods Corp.
HRL
Consumer Staples
54
15.02%
2.05%
45.26
Johnson & Johnson
JNJ
Health Care
57
7.03%
2.61%
145.75
Coca-Cola Company
KO
Consumer Staples
57
7.46%
2.89%
55.35
Lancaster Colony Corp.
LANC
Consumer Staples
57
8.09%
1.75%
160.39
Lowe's Companies
LOW
Consumer Discretionary
57
18.36%
1.83%
120.23
3M Company
MMM
Industrials
61
10.52%
3.25%
177.26
Altria Group Inc.
MO
Consumer Staples
50
9.46%
6.67%
50.40
Nordson Corp.
NDSN
Industrials
56
13.10%
0.93%
162.80
Northwest Natural Gas
NWN
Utilities
64
2.22%
2.63%
72.56
Procter & Gamble Co.
PG
Consumer Staples
63
6.25%
2.36%
126.09
Parker-Hannifin Corp.
PH
Industrials
63
12.32%
1.70%
207.00
Stepan Company
SCL
Materials
52
8.09%
1.10%
99.93
SJW Corp.
SJW
Utilities
51
5.69%
1.68%
71.61
Stanley Black & Decker
SWK
Industrials
52
7.43%
1.66%
165.90
Sysco Corp.
SYY
Consumer Staples
50
5.05%
2.10%
85.74
Tootsie Roll Industries
TR
Consumer Staples
53
4.45%
1.04%
34.73

Note: The prices and yields are as of December 29th, 2019.

There are three companies which are set to potentially join the elite list of dividend kings by the end of 2020. These companies have a 49 year record of annual dividend increases:

Black Hills Corp (BKH)

MSA Safety (MSA)

National Fuel Gas (NFG)

This track record is a testament to the stability of the underlying businesses that generated the earnings growth necessary to grow the dividend for half a century (and longer). This track record is an indication of a business that is relatively immune to outside shocks. This resilience throughout the period manifests itself into the long stretch of dividend increases, spanning over half a century.

While these companies are not investment recommendations, I post them as examples for further study by serious dividend investors. Studying the businesses, their industries, could give you clues as to the type of business that can flourish over a half of a century.

If you had invested an equal amount in the dividend kings list starting at the end of 2007, and made updates along the way, along with re-balancing annually to an equal weighted position, you would have done well. The dividend kings list did better than S&P 500 over time, although it did not best it every single year.



As I mentioned above, I have been compiling the list of dividend kings since 2010. To view the historical changes in the list, please follow the links below:

Dividend Kings List For 2019








Thank you for reading!

PS Note that Parker-Hannifin's track record is based upon dividend payments for its Fiscal Year rather than the Calendar Year. The fiscal year runs from July 1 to June 30.

Therefore, the FY 2015 dividend was $2.37/share ( one dividend payment of 48 cents/share plus three dividend payments of 63 cents/share).
The FY 2016 dividend was $2.52/share ( four dividend payments of 63 cents/share)
The FY 2017 dividend was $2.58/share ( two dividend payments of 66 cents/share plus two dividend payments of 63 cents/share)

Because of the use of Fiscal Years, rather than Calendar Years, I excluded Parker - Hannifin from the first list of dividend kings that I compiled in 2010.

Update: 06/17/2018

In early 2018 I listed Target as a dividend king incorrectly with a 50 year history of annual dividend increases. Upon reviewing the dividend history for Target on the company’s investor relations website, I agree that it has only managed to boost distributions for 47 years in a row ( which is not a small achievement either). Therefore, I am downgrading it back to dividend champion status. Hopefully in three years it can become a dividend king. The lesson for this paragraph is to trust, but always verify the numbers you see. In addition, you should always do your own research and only invest in what makes sense for you. Blindly following others is frequently a mistake


Popular Posts