Dividend Aristocrats Week in Review for September 13, 2014: Troubles Don’t Stop the Dividends From This Company

This week saw four Dividend Aristocrats and a High Yield Dividend Aristocrat make announcements of regular dividend payments.

Target has paid dividends since coming public in 1967 and has increased dividends since 1971. Photo courtesy Mike Mozart/flickr.com.

Target has paid dividends since coming public in 1967 and has increased dividends since 1971.
Photo courtesy Mike Mozart/flickr.com.

Retailer Target Corporation (TGT), which has been dealing with problems with data breaches and slow sales at their stores, will pay a quarterly dividend of 52 cents per share on December 10th to shareholders of record on November 19th.  Target has paid dividends since coming public over 47 years ago, has increased dividends for 43 years, and is one of less than 5 Dividend Aristocrats that have tripled their dividend payout over the last five years.  The company announced their most recent dividend increase in June when they upped the quarterly dividend by 20.9% from 42 cents per share.  Target stock currently yields 3.33%.

Colgate-Palmolive (CL) declared a quarterly dividend of 36 cents per share, payable on November 14th to shareholders of record on October 17th.  This continues a record of continuous dividend payments since 1895.  Colgate-Palmolive has increased dividends for 51 years.  In May, Colgate increased the annualized dividend by 5.9%, from $1.36 to $1.44.  Colgate-Palmolive stock currently yields 2.23%

Steel manufacturer Nucor (NUE) will pay a quarterly dividend of 37 cents per share on its common stock.  The dividend payment will take place on November 10th to shareholders of record on September 30th.  The company has increased dividends since 1973 and this payout represents Nucor’s 166th consecutive quarterly dividend.  Nucor last increased its dividend in February and I expect Nucor’s next dividend to incorporate the company’s 42nd consecutive annual dividend increase.  Over the last 3 years, Nucor has had a very slow dividend growth rate, increasing the quarterly dividend by 0.25 cents per share in each year from 2011 – 2013.  Nucor’s stock currently yields 2.69%.

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) will pay its 363rd consecutive quarterly dividend on November 15th to shareholders of record on October 15th.  The annualized dividend rate of 88 cents per share gives the stock a current yield of 2.07%.  Abbott, which spun off AbbVie (ABBV) in 2013, increased its dividend for the 42nd straight year in February 2014 when the quarterly dividend went from 14 cents to 22 cents per share.  I expect that the next dividend payout will be in February 2015 and will be an increase over the current dividend rate.  Simultaneously, Abbott announced a new share repurchase program, adding $3 billion to the $511 million that remains on the share repurchase program that was authorized in June 2013.

Another Natural Gas Company Announces a Quarterly Payout

Following on the heels of last week’s dividend announcement by Piedmont Natural Gas, the High Yield Dividend Aristocrat that made a dividend announcement this week was National Fuel Gas Company (NFG).  National Fuel will pay a regular quarterly dividend of 38.5 cents per share on October 15th to shareholders of record on September 30th.  The company is an integrated energy company primarily serving western New York State and northwestern Pennsylvania and whose divisions include production, pipeline and storage, utility, and energy marketing.  National Fuel began increasing dividends in 1970 and has paid dividends for 112 years.  The most recent dividend increase was announced in July, when National Fuel increased the quarterly dividend by 2.7%, from 37.5 cents to 38.5 per share.  The annualized rate of $1.54 gives the stock a yield of 2.09%.

There are over 50 S&P 500 companies that have increased dividends for more than a quarter century.  See the full list of S&P Dividend Aristocrats.

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