Many investors prefer dividends. Yet, just because a stock pays a dividend does not make it a good stock. But if a company has been raising dividends, and raising them on a consistent basis, it probably means that the company has been doing something right.
A Dividend Aristocrat takes this concept to the extreme. It is a stock that has increased its dividend every year for at least the last 25 years.
The stock that is the leader of the pact is American States Water (AWR). It has raised its dividend annually for the last 60 years! (Side note: Although I am not currently invested in this one, I have invested in several water utility companies over the years, and have never lost money on any of them.)
At 2.1%, the yield doesn't sound that high, but compared to a bank savings account, a certificate of deposit, or a money market fund, the yield is great. The company serves customers in ten counties in California.
Other well-known companies that fall into this elite category are the following:
Proctor & Gamble (PG) 58 years
Coca-Cola (KO) 52 years
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) 52 years
Lowe's (LOW) 52 years
Colgate Palmolive (CL) 51 years
Tootsie Roll (TR) 49 years
Target (TGT) 47 years
PepsiCo (PEP) 42 years
If you had bought any of these stocks ten or twenty or 30 years ago, and reinvested the dividends, your yield based on your original investment would be enormous.
If you like interesting stock lists like this, check out many of the free stock lists at WallStreetNewsNetwork.com.
Disclosure: Author owned Coca-Cola at the time this article was written.