Dividend Aristocrat Overview: The Coca Cola Company

Photo: Freeimages.com/Rosika Voermans

About The Coca Cola Company

The Coca Cola Company is the world’s leading beverage company with over 500 well-known brands including Minute Maid, Dasani and Powerade in the United States. Coca Cola is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia and distributes its products in over 200 countries, at a rate of 1.9 billion servings per day. The company employs over 200,000 people worldwide.

The company is a member of the S&P 500 index and Dow Jones Industrials 30 index and is traded under the stock symbol KO.

Note: There are several companies associated with The Coca Cola Company and with similar names that trade under different stock symbols on U.S. exchanges.  These include Coca Cola Enterprises (CCE), Coca Cola HBC (CCH), Coca Cola Bottling Company (COKE), and Coca Cola Femsa SAB (KOF).  The description on this page is specifically regarding the stock traded under the symbol KO.

Coca Cola’s Dividend and Stock Split History

Coca Cola is one of the older members of the S&P Dividend Aristocrats, having increased their dividends since 1962.  The company became a Dividend Aristocrat in 1988 and has paid quarterly dividends since 1920.  The company usually announces annual dividend increases in February with the stock going ex-dividend in March.

Coca Cola has compounded its payout at an average rate of 7.7% over the last 5 years and 8.1% over the last 10 years.

KO has had 11 stock splits since coming public in September 1919, most recently in July 2012.  The company conducted 3 for 1 stock splits in January 1960 and June 1986, and a 4 for 1 stock split in November 1935.  2 for 1 stock splits occurred in January 1965, May 1968, May 1977, May 1990, May 1992, May 1996, and July 2012.  The company also issued a 100% stock dividend in April 1927.   A single share purchased in September 1919 would now be 9,216 shares.

Coca Cola’s Direct Purchase and Dividend Reinvestment Plans

Coca Cola has both direct stock purchase and dividend reinvestment plans.  Both are administered through ComputerShare.  The minimum initial investment is $500 and additional investments are required to be at least $50.  The Coca Cola plans have extensive fees to both buy and sell shares through the plan.  The following fees are associated with stock purchases:  a fee of $10 to open an account, a fee on direct cash purchases by check of $3 and a fee on purchases made by direct deduction from bank accounts of $2, along with a per share cost of 3 cents for each of these purchase options.  Fees on dividend reinvestments are 5% of the reinvested amount, up to $2, plus 3 cents per share.  Sales fees are also steep: $25 for a market order or $15 for a batch order (end of day), plus 12 cents per share.  The best way to minimize the per share cost is to buy and sell shares in large batches.

Helpful Links

Coca Cola Investor Relations Website

Current quote and financial summary for Coca Cola (finviz.com)

Information on the direct purchase and dividend reinvestment plans for KO

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