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The Dividend Champions spreadsheet and PDF have been updated through 2/28/11. Note that all references to Champions mean companies that have paid higher dividends for at least 25 straight years; Contenders have streaks of 10-24 years; Challengers have streaks of 5-9 years. Together, all of these companies may be referred to using the abbreviation “CCC.”

This is the ninth in a series of articles focusing on specific industries and isolating the CCC companies within those industries. The first eight can be found under my articles page, beginning on March 2.

Consumer Choices

Beyond our basic needs, we face many choices of how to spend our consumer dollars. That includes personal products from tissues to household cleaners and clothing to entertainment, as well as the retailers where we choose to spend those dollars. (Retailing is often presented as an industry of its own, and I could have included grocers in the article on Food and Beverages, but the discretionary nature of these businesses make them a good fit for this article.) Most of the products in this category are relatively low-cost items that are purchased frequently, but there is also an element of big-ticket items, such as furniture and snowmobiles, not to mention the computers and big-screen televisions that might be bought at some of the retailers. Normally, this category might also include automobiles and trucks, but none of the automakers has a streak of dividend increases at the present time.

Naturally, there is also a degree of overlap, since many of these companies offer products and services that fall into more than one sub-category (or even outside the consumer segment), but I have grouped together similar classifications for comparison purposes. For example, the Media group may offer financial news or other specialized content and the Education companies may not typically be considered entertainment, but the grouping below brings together products and services that involve choices of how individuals might commit their time and energy. And the retailers could obviously be broken down many ways, but they all have a common thread in that they are physical locations (and, in some cases, websites) that consumers go to in order to purchase products.

The Companies

Consumer Discretionary companies make up an important segment of the CCC universe, with 52 firms. Although the average yield is a below the average for the CCC universe, the Consumer Product sub-group has an above average yield and there are other companies in almost every group that sport generous yields. Another positive is that these companies average much higher recent dividend increases (by percentage) and that growth is also reflected in the longer-term DGRs. Most of those listed are American companies, many with substantial foreign operations. Once again, I'm including as many columns of data as is practical, from a perspective of width and significance.

No.

2/28

%

Payout

TTM

NY%

MktCap

DGR

DGR

Company

Symbol

Industry

Yrs

Price

Yield

Inc.

%Ratio

P/E

Growth

($Mil)

5-yr

10-yr

Columbia Sportswear

(NASDAQ:COLM)

Apparel

5

62.79

1.27

11.11

35.40

27.78

16.42

2,110

n/a

n/a

Nike Inc.

(NYSE:NKE)

Apparel

9

89.03

1.39

14.81

29.95

21.50

12.56

42,600

16.1

16.7

VF Corp.

(NYSE:VFC)

Apparel

38

95.67

2.63

5.00

48.65

18.47

11.54

10,340

17.2

10.6

Weyco Group Inc.

(NASDAQ:WEYS)

Footwear

29

25.48

2.51

6.67

55.65

22.16

n/a

288

19.9

16.0

Averages for

4

Clothing

20.3

68.24

1.95

9.40

42.41

22.48

13.51

13,835

17.7

14.4

Clarcor Inc.

(NYSE:CLC)

Auto Parts

46

41.14

1.02

7.69

22.34

21.88

14.09

2,070

9.0

5.6

Genuine Parts Co.

(NYSE:GPC)

Auto Parts

55

52.69

3.42

9.76

60.00

17.56

10.45

8,300

5.7

4.2

Monro Muffler Brake Inc.

(NASDAQ:MNRO)

Auto Parts

6

32.68

0.98

33.33

23.36

23.85

18.88

993

40.9

n/a

Averages for

3

Auto Parts

35.7

42.17

1.81

16.93

35.23

21.10

14.47

3,788

18.5

4.9

Clorox Company

(NYSE:CLX)

Cleaning Prod.

33

67.76

3.25

10.00

54.19

16.69

12.15

9,320

13.4

9.9

Ecolab Inc.

(NYSE:ECL)

Cleaning Prod.

19

48.64

1.44

12.90

31.39

21.81

13.94

11,290

12.1

10.0

Stepan Company

(NYSE:SCL)

Cleaning Prod.

43

70.19

1.48

8.33

17.63

11.90

9.68

705

4.5

4.2

Church & Dwight

(NYSE:CHD)

Consumer Prod

15

75.44

1.80

100.00

36.27

20.12

10.27

5,370

20.9

12.8

National Presto Indus.

(NYSE:NPK)

Consumer Prod

8

126.54

6.52

1.23

89.77

13.77

11.28

869

37.3

14.5

Procter & Gamble Co.

(NYSE:PG)

Consumer Prod

54

63.05

3.06

9.50

52.51

17.18

9.80

176,590

11.6

10.9

Unilever NV

(NYSE:UN)

Consumer Prod

11

30.24

3.78

2.66

56.94

15.04

n/a

84,970

6.8

10.4

Unilever plc

(NYSE:UL)

Consumer Prod

11

29.70

3.85

2.66

56.94

14.78

10.50

83,450

6.8

9.2

Avon Products Inc.

(NYSE:AVP)

Personal Prod

22

27.81

3.31

4.55

66.19

20.01

12.81

11,950

5.9

9.1

Colgate-Palmolive Co.

(NYSE:CL)

Personal Prod

48

78.52

2.95

9.43

53.83

18.22

8.70

38,780

12.8

12.4

Kimberly-Clark Corp.

(NYSE:KMB)

Personal Prod

39

65.90

4.25

6.06

62.92

14.81

7.41

26,650

8.1

9.2

Nu Skin Enterprises Inc.

(NYSE:NUS)

Personal Prod

11

31.92

1.69

8.00

25.59

15.13

12.29

1,970

6.8

n/a

Averages for

12

Consumer Prod

26.2

59.64

3.12

14.61

50.35

16.62

10.80

37,660

12.3

10.2

DeVry Inc.

(NYSE:DV)

Education

5

54.25

0.44

20.00

5.47

12.36

7.00

3,760

n/a

n/a

Strayer Education Inc.

(NASDAQ:STRA)

Education

7

137.44

2.91

33.33

41.24

14.17

1.55

1,820

39.1

29.5

Dun & Bradstreet Corp.

(NYSE:DNB)

Media

5

80.80

1.78

2.86

28.92

16.22

13.21

4,020

n/a

n/a

John Wiley & Sons Inc.

(NYSE:JW.A)

Media

17

47.81

1.34

14.29

23.10

17.26

13.21

N/A

12.7

14.7

McGraw-Hill Companies

(MHP)

Media

38

38.68

2.59

6.38

37.74

14.60

9.09

11,860

7.3

7.2

Meredith Corp.

(NYSE:MDP)

Media

18

35.26

2.89

10.87

35.05

12.12

0.37

1,610

10.4

11.1

Thomson Reuters Corp.

(NYSE:TRI)

Media

18

39.45

3.14

6.90

114.81

36.53

22.07

32,880

8.0

5.4

Bowl America Class A

(NYSEMKT:BWL.A)

Recreation

39

13.60

4.71

3.23

220.69

46.90

n/a

N/A

2.4

4.2

Hasbro Inc.

(NASDAQ:HAS)

Recreation

8

44.90

2.67

20.00

43.80

16.39

15.21

6,150

23.5

14.7

International Speedway

(NASDAQ:ISCA)

Recreation

5

27.72

0.58

14.29

14.16

24.53

15.15

1,330

21.7

10.3

Polaris Industries

(NYSE:PII)

Recreation

16

75.45

2.39

12.50

42.06

17.63

16.32

2,570

7.4

13.8

Averages for

11

Entertainment

16.0

54.12

2.31

13.15

55.18

20.79

11.32

7,333

14.7

12.3

Leggett & Platt Inc.

(NYSE:LEG)

Furniture

39

23.06

4.68

3.85

93.10

19.88

26.52

3,370

11.1

10.1

Sherwin-Williams Co.

(NYSE:SHW)

Paints

33

82.12

1.78

1.39

34.68

19.51

16.87

8,810

11.9

10.3

Valspar Corp.

(NYSE:VAL)

Paints

30

38.02

1.89

12.50

32.73

17.28

12.45

3,680

9.9

9.4

Stanley Black & Decker

(NYSE:SWK)

Tools

44

75.83

2.16

20.59

124.24

57.45

22.06

12,680

3.3

4.1

Averages for

4

Home Products

36.5

54.76

2.63

9.58

71.19

28.53

19.47

7,135

9.0

8.5

Ross Stores Inc.

(NASDAQ:ROST)

Retail-Apparel

17

72.04

1.22

37.50

19.91

16.30

9.74

8,430

25.0

23.7

TJX Companies Inc.

(NYSE:TJX)

Retail-Apparel

15

49.87

1.52

26.67

22.96

15.07

12.18

19,830

20.4

22.1

Gap Inc.

(NYSE:GPS)

Retail-Clothing

7

22.53

2.00

12.50

24.86

12.45

6.70

13,840

19.6

15.6

Costco Wholesale

(NASDAQ:COST)

Retail-Discount

7

74.79

1.10

13.89

27.06

24.68

14.37

32,650

12.3

n/a

Family Dollar Stores

(NYSE:FDO)

Retail-Discount

35

50.08

1.44

16.13

26.47

18.41

15.65

6,330

10.2

10.8

Target Corp.

(NYSE:TGT)

Retail-Discount

43

52.55

1.90

47.06

25.00

13.14

9.68

37,000

18.5

14.9

Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

(NYSE:WMT)

Retail-Discount

36

51.98

2.33

11.01

27.13

11.65

10.16

184,480

15.3

17.8

CVS Caremark

(NYSE:CVS)

Retail-Drugs

8

33.06

1.51

42.86

20.08

13.28

13.72

45,230

19.1

11.7

Walgreen Company

(NYSE:WAG)

Retail-Drugs

35

43.34

1.62

27.27

31.11

19.26

14.94

39,980

21.6

16.5

Best Buy Corp.

(NYSE:BBY)

Retail-Elec.

8

32.24

1.86

7.14

18.02

9.68

8.76

12,710

13.7

n/a

Casey's General Stores

(NASDAQ:CASY)

Retail-Grocery

11

41.07

1.31

35.00

26.87

20.43

18.71

1,560

19.0

19.2

Kroger Company

(NYSE:KR)

Retail-Grocery

5

22.90

1.83

10.53

24.85

13.55

9.71

14,560

n/a

n/a

Safeway Inc.

(NYSE:SWY)

Retail-Grocery

6

21.82

2.20

20.00

30.97

14.08

13.61

8,030

34.5

n/a

Village Super Market Inc.

(NASDAQ:VLGEA)

Retail-Grocery

8

30.04

3.33

4.17

54.64

16.42

n/a

403

47.4

n/a

Lowe's Companies

(NYSE:LOW)

Retail-Home

48

26.17

1.68

22.22

30.99

18.43

15.88

35,430

32.0

27.6

Williams-Sonoma Inc.

(NYSE:WSM)

Retail-Home

5

36.09

1.66

15.38

37.97

22.84

12.97

3,790

n/a

n/a

Tiffany & Company

(NYSE:TIF)

Retail-Jewelry

8

61.55

1.62

25.00

39.06

24.04

14.29

7,780

25.5

20.0

Aaron's Inc.

(NYSE:AAN)

Retail-Rental

6

23.54

0.22

8.33

3.61

16.35

10.06

1,900

6.4

15.2

Averages for

18

Retail

17.1

41.43

1.69

21.26

27.31

16.67

12.42

26,330

21.3

17.9

Averages for

52

Discretionary

21.8

51.45

2.25

15.95

43.52

19.14

12.60

21,742

16.3

12.8

Averages for

447

CCC Co's

16.7

47.91

2.91

8.20

68.18

21.94

12.39

16,745

12.5

10.3

Summary

Consumer Discretionary stocks include many with long histories of annual increases, but their generally lower yields are a reminder of their inclusion in broader indices, like the S&P 500 (NYSEARCA:SPY), which are often dominated by such firms. Like the CCC universe in general, each sub-group offers some exceptional choices for portfolio diversification. I welcome feedback in the Comments section below.

Next Up: Technology and Transportation

Source: Dividend Champions: Focus on Consumer Discretionary