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Dividend Champion stocks are similar to Dividend Aristocrats in that they are dividend paying stocks that have increased dividends for at least 25 consecutive years.

Using 10 different metrics, I have ranked the Dividend Champions into different classes with 'Heavyweights' being the most attractive and 'Flyweights' being the least attractive.

The ten stocks that fit into the Middleweight class include: KO, HCP, AFL, LEG, BF-B, FUL, KMB, LANC, WMT, and RAVN.


This is Part 4 of a series of articles ranking the Dividend Champion stocks (currently 105 stocks compiled by Dave Fish). Part 1 (the Heavyweights) and Part 2 (the Light Heavyweights) can be found here and here.

In ranking the Dividend Champions, I have decided to use the following 10 metrics (full scoring system can be seen in Part 1):

  • # of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases
  • Current Dividend Yield
  • PE Ratio (trailing twelve months)
  • Return on Assets (trailing twelve months)
  • Return on Equity (trailing twelve months)
  • Asset Utilization (trailing twelve months)
  • 3 Year Price Returns
  • Dividend Growth (past five years)
  • Revenue Growth (past five years)
  • Earnings Growth (past five years)

For each metric, a stock has been assigned a point value based on its current assessment. For example, a stock with a dividend yield of 5.50% would receive a 10 point value for that metric, while a stock with a 3.50% dividend yield would receive a 6 point value and a stock with a dividend yield less than 1.00% would receive a 1 point value. So for each metric, an initial point value of between 1 and 10 can be earned.

The next step I have taken is to apply a weight to certain metrics I feel more or less important than others. Because I consider myself a dividend growth investor, the metrics with the highest weights are earnings growth (2.0x) , dividend growth (1.75x), revenue growth (1.5x), and 3 year price returns (1.25x). # of consecutive years with dividend increases is weighted at 0.75x and asset utilization is weighted at 0.50x, while all remaining metrics are weighted to their original values.

After completing the analysis, the values assigned to individual stocks ranged from 92 to 23.50.

Note: Because of the high number of stocks being evaluated, I relied on data provided by ycharts rather than calculating my own ratios/values for each metric. Because of this, the stock Computer Services (OTCQX:CSVI) has not been included in the analysis as required data was not available. So, 104 out of the 105 dividend champions will be included in this series of articles.

For Part 4, I will be taking at look at the Super Middleweight stocks which include:

  • Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) - Total score of 69.75
  • HCP, Inc. (NYSE:HCP) - Total score of 69.75
  • Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) - Total score of 69.50
  • Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) - Total score of 69.50
  • Brown-Forman (NYSE:BF.B) - Total score of 68.50
  • H.B. Fuller Company (NYSE:FUL) - Total score of 68.50
  • Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) - Total score of 68.00
  • Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC) - Total score of 68.00
  • Wal-Mart Stores (NYSE:WMT) - Total score of 67.25
  • Raven Industries (NASDAQ:RAVN) - Total score of 66.25

Coca-Cola Company

Coca-Cola is a worldwide manufacturer and marketer of non-alcoholic beverages. In addition to its namesake brand, the company also sells a wide variety of non-carbonated juices, flavored waters, energy drinks, and sports drinks. The company was founded in 1886 and is headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases5296.75
Current Dividend Yield3.16%55
PE Ratio20.32x77
Return on Assets9.67%66
Return on Equity26.36%1010
Asset Utilization0.53x63
3 Year Price Returns14.88%22.5
Dividend Growth48.78%814
Revenue Growth51.19%57.5
Earnings Growth31.53%4


Coca-Cola continues to grow revenues and earnings at a slow pace and I don't see that trend changing anytime soon. One of the advantages of owning Coca-Cola stock is its fairly impressive dividend yield along with its high and consistent growth. Even with near double digit yearly dividend growth, Coca-Cola has been able to keep a reasonable payout ratio, currently at just under 60%.

Some recent developments concerning Coca-Cola include:

  • There is currently a legal dispute with Coca-Cola's pomegranate juice label.
  • IHG announces strategic alliance with The Coca-Cola Company.
  • While overall soda sales declined, Coca-Cola had growth in non-soda and emerging markets.


HCP, Inc. is a REIT that invests primarily in real estate serving the healthcare industry throughout various areas of the United States. HCP was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Long Beach, California.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases2932.25
Current Dividend Yield5.42%99
PE Ratio18.87x88
Return on Assets4.87%44
Return on Equity9.14%44
Asset Utilization0.11x21
3 Year Price Returns8.59%22.5
Dividend Growth18.48%47
Revenue Growth82.77%812
Earnings Growth432.50%10


HCP has seen very impressive revenue and earnings growth, while having a very impressive dividend yield and an attractive PE ratio. HCP has a high payout ratio right at 100%, but considering it's a REIT this is understandable.

Some recent developments concerning HCP include:

  • HCP recently enhanced its credit facility.

Aflac Incorporated

Aflac Incorporated is a large insurance company that provides supplemental health and life insurance products through its two segments: Aflac Japan and Aflac US. The company was founded in 1955 and is headquartered in Columbus, Georgia.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases3143
Current Dividend Yield2.40%33
PE Ratio9.15x1010
Return on Assets2.49%33
Return on Equity21.20%88
Asset Utilization0.2x21
3 Year Price Returns15.11%45
Dividend Growth32.14%610.5
Revenue Growth31.14%46
Earnings Growth111.80%10


Aflac's greatest strengths are its impressive earnings growth and very attractive valuation. Aflac's dividend growth has been fairly consistent and with a payout ratio right at 20%, there is no reason to assume that Aflac's dividend growth will slow down any time in the near future.

Some recent developments concerning Aflac include:

  • Recent survey announces Aflac as consumer's #1 choice among voluntary insurance providers.
  • Aflac named as a World's Most Ethical Company for 8th consecutive year.

Leggett & Platt

Leggett & Platt designs and manufactures a wide range of engineered products that are used in a variety of factories, warehouses, offices, homes, and automobiles. The company was founded in 1883 and is headquartered in Carthage, Missouri.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases4275.25
Current Dividend Yield3.75%66
PE Ratio23.88x66
Return on Assets6.02%55
Return on Equity13.82%66
Asset Utilization1.15x105
3 Year Price Returns37.82%45
Dividend Growth20.00%58.75
Revenue Growth22.61%34.5
Earnings Growth94.29%9


Leggett & Platt has seen very impressive earnings growth along with a fairly steady high yielding dividend. The company's payout ratio remains reasonable at just over 60%.

Some recent developments concerning Leggett & Platt include:

  • Echo Automotive recently announced the signing of a distribution and installation agreement with Leggett & Platt.


Brown-Forman Corporation engages in the manufacturing, bottling, importing, exporting, marketing, and selling of alcoholic beverages. The company was founded in 1870 and is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases3032.25
Current Dividend Yield1.30%22
PE Ratio30.11x44
Return on Assets16.80%1010
Return on Equity37.41%1010
Asset Utilization0.78x84
3 Year Price Returns96.48%911.25
Dividend Growth51.30%814
Revenue Growth14.83%23
Earnings Growth44.27%4


Some of Brown-Forman's strengths include very impressive returns on assets and equity along with a strong history of dividend growth and stock price returns. With a payout ratio of 35%, Brown-Foremen is likely to continue its substantial dividend growth well into the future.

Some recent developments concerning Brown-Forman include:

  • Last month, a law concerning Tennessee whiskey was upheld that favors Brown-Forman's Jack Daniel's distillery.

H.B. Fuller Company

H.B. Fuller Company manufactures and markets adhesives, sealants, and other specialty chemical products worldwide through its four operating segments of Americas Adhesives; Construction Products; Europe, India, Middle East and Africa; and Asia Pacific. The company was founded in 1887 and is headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases4475.25
Current Dividend Yield1.06%22
PE Ratio25.56x66
Return on Assets4.97%44
Return on Equity10.49%55
Asset Utilization1.12x105
3 Year Price Returns110.50%1012.50
Dividend Growth76.47%915.75
Revenue Growth65.79%69
Earnings Growth12.14%2


H.B. Fuller's strengths can be seen in its impressive dividend and revenue growth. With a payout ratio of 22%, H.B. Fuller's impressive dividend growth is likely to continue for some time.

Some recent developments concerning H.B. Fuller include:

  • Earlier this month, H.B. Fuller increased its quarterly dividend 20%, marking the 45th consecutive year the company has increased its dividend.
  • In its latest quarterly report, H.B. Fuller realized slower revenue growth than forecast, but was able to maintain 5% increase in operating earnings due to strong cost management.


Kimberly-Clark Corporation manufactures and markets a wide variety of products worldwide through its four operating segments: Personal Care, Consumer Tissue, K-C Professional, and Health Care. The company was founded in 1872 and is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases4275.25
Current Dividend Yield3.06%55
PE Ratio19.81x77
Return on Assets10.99%77
Return on Equity45.42%1010
Asset Utilization1.09x105
3 Year Price Returns67.74%67.5
Dividend Growth40.00%712.25
Revenue Growth10.66%23
Earnings Growth23.18%3


While Kimberly-Clark's revenue and earnings growth has been slower compared to some of the other stocks in this class, the company's returns on assets and equity are impressive and the company continues to pay an attractive yielding dividend that keeps growing. With a payout ratio under 60%, there is no reason to believe this will change anytime soon.

Some recent developments concerning Kimberly-Clark include:

  • In its 1st quarter report, Kimberly-Clark posted in line earnings and reaffirmed its forecast of 4% to 7% earnings growth for the full year.
  • Kimberly-Clark reported the company remains on track with its capital spending plans to grow business.

Lancaster Colony

Lancaster Colony Corporation manufactures and markets specialty food products for retail and foodservice markets throughout the United States. The company was founded in 1961 and is headquartered in Columbus, Ohio.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases5196.75
Current Dividend Yield1.87%22
PE Ratio23.03x66
Return on Assets17.84%1010
Return on Equity22.19%99
Asset Utilization1.88x105
3 Year Price Returns52.58%56.25
Dividend Growth54.39%814
Revenue Growth10.88%23
Earnings Growth26.18%3


Lancaster Colony's strengths can be seen in its impressive returns on assets and equity along with its impressive history of strong dividend growth. With a payout ratio just under 40%, the company's dividend looks to continue growing well into the future.

Some recent developments concerning Lancaster Colony include:

  • Last month, Lancaster Colony participated in two separate investor conferences.
  • Earlier in the year, the company sold its candle operations.

Wal-Mart Stores

Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. operates retail stores worldwide through three segments: Wal-Mart U.S., Wal-Mart International, and Sam’'s Club. The company was founded in 1945 and is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases4175.25
Current Dividend Yield2.48%33
PE Ratio15.84x88
Return on Assets7.85%55
Return on Equity21.77%88
Asset Utilization2.33x105
3 Year Price Returns46.37%56.25
Dividend Growth76.15%915.75
Revenue Growth16.71%23
Earnings Growth31.72%4


Wal-Mart's strengths can be seen in its impressive dividend growth, attractive yield, and attractive PE ratio. Even with its strong dividend growth, the company has been able to maintain a healthy payout ratio, currently at 43%.

Some recent developments concerning Wal-Mart include:

  • Wal-Mart is launching new money transfer services.
  • Wal-Mart is shifting its growth focus toward Central America.
  • Wal-Mart is moving into the organic products market.

Raven Industries

Raven Industries, Inc. provides various products for the industrial, agricultural, energy, construction, and military/aerospace markets throughout the world. The company operates in three segments: Applied Technology, Engineered Films, and Aerostar. Raven Industries was founded in 1956 and is headquartered in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

ValueMetric ScoreWeighted Metric Score
# Of Consecutive Years With Dividend Increases2721.5
Current Dividend Yield1.50%22
PE Ratio27.28x55
Return on Assets14.76%99
Return on Equity18.06%77
Asset Utilization1.36x105
3 Year Price Returns10.27%22.5
Dividend Growth71.43%915.75
Revenue Growth65.98%69
Earnings Growth49.37%5


The strengths of Raven Industries can be seen in its impressive dividend growth, along with attractive returns on both assets and equity. With a payout ratio right at 40%, the company's dividend growth is safe going forward.

Some recent developments concerning include:

  • Last month, Raven Industries outlined its segment growth strategies.

Final Analysis

Just like the Super Middleweight class, there are no stocks in this group that I think investors should flat out avoid. I do have my personal favorites which include: HCP, AFL, and WMT.

HCP has the highest yield of the group and also has seen the highest earnings growth. It is one of my favorite REITs and I feel that its focus on the healthcare industry puts it lower risk than some of the other REITs out there.

AFL is currently priced very attractively. With its market capitalization and solid balance sheet, I feel that not only will Aflac continue rewarding shareholders with increased dividends, I feel that significant price returns are in Aflac's short-term future.

While WMT has had issues with same store sales, I like the approach the company is now taking. By adding new products and services as well as looking at a larger expansion into emerging products, I think Wal-Mart is poised to once again see a surge in earnings growth in the coming years that will go along nicely with its continuing dividend growth.

There are two stocks that I currently would consider holding off on until a more attractive price point can be achieved. Those two companies are BF-B and RAVN.

Raven Industries recently had a very disappointing quarter in which it saw a significant decline in earnings. Its next quarter looks to be flat or slightly down as well. I do believe these are short-term problems for the company, but I think the stock is currently overpriced considering these issues.

Brown-Forman isn't facing earnings declines and actually had a really great recent quarter. The only issue I have with Brown-Forman is its current price. I would like to see the stock's PE under 25.00 before considering a purchase.


This ranking system, just like any other investment screen, ranking, or rating system, should be the first step in a long line of analysis to determine whether or not a stock is a right choice for you. Based on some excellent questions and comments I received from Part 1 of this article, I am already in the process of revising my metrics and weighting system for any future series of articles.

As always, I suggest individual investors perform their own research before making any investment decisions. Part 5 of this article will feature the 'Welterweight' Dividend Champion stocks (11 stocks that have weighted scores between 61 and 64.99).

Disclosure: I am long KO. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.