These five companies appear on the DRIP Investing Resource Center’s list of U.S. Dividend Champions for increasing dividends for at least 25 consecutive years. All of these stocks would make a nice addition to your income portfolio. We summarize a few key valuation measures below:
United Bankshares Inc. (NASDAQ:UBSI) – This Mid-Atlantic regional bank, with a market capitalization of $983.78 million, increased its dividend for 37 consecutive years. It has paid $0.30 a quarter since December 2009, up from $0.29 paid quarterly for eight consecutive periods prior. Its current forward annual dividend yield is 5.7%. There are no dividend reinvestment or stock purchase fees. It went ex-dividend on Sept. 7.
UBSI’s earnings per share is $1.65. Its price to earnings ratio is 11.88, and its five-year expected price/earnings to growth ratio is 1.57. It posted a quarterly loss of 5.9%. Its return on equity is 9.1 percent. Price to book value is 1.13.
UBSI is currently trading around $19.60 a share, which is near the bottom of its 52-week range of $19.44 to $30.84. Based on these metrics, this is a risk-averse bet, especially when compared to beleaguered giants like Citigroup (NYSE:C) and Bank of America (NYSE:BAC) which have opaque structural problems and heaps of questionable loans with which to contend.
Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV) – This small-cap leaf tobacco processor has raised its dividend consistently for 40 years. It paid $0.48 for the past three quarters, which is up from $0.47 a quarter throughout 2010. Its forward annual dividend yield is 4.9%.
It charges no fees for its dividend reinvestment and stock purchase options. It trades ex-dividend on Oct. 6.
UVV shows earnings per share of $5.22. Its price to earnings ratio is 7.24, but its price/earnings to growth ratio is not available. It posted a quarterly loss in revenue of 11%. Return on equity is 13.57%, and debt to equity 56.44. Price to book value is 0.93.
UVV is currently trading around $37.82. Share price has ranged from $35.02 to $45.96 over the past 52 weeks. This is also a low-risk, steady bet.
Valspar Corporation (NYSE:VAL) – VAL, a paint and coatings manufacturer, boasts increases in dividends for 30 consecutive years. It announced Monday that it would pay $0.18 a share for the fourth consecutive quarter. This is up from $0.16 a share for the previous four quarters. VAL’s forward annual dividend yield is 2.2%. The company charges fees for its stock purchase plan but not for dividend reinvestment.
Earnings per share is $2.12, and price to earnings ratio is 14.76. Price/earnings to growth ratio is 1.12. It posted quarterly revenue growth of 22.5%. Return on equity is 13.2%, and debt to equity is 72.43. Price to book value is 1.86.
Currently trading around $31.10, VAL has ranged from $27.44 to $40.60 over the past year. Valspar is a slow-growth bet with solid input cost control. It is a wise option for risk-averse investors.
Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC) – With a market capitalization of $2.22 billion, this utility company, which serves customers in Indiana and Ohio, has increased its dividend for the past 51 years. It raised its payout a half a cent in November 2010 and has paid $0.345 a quarter for three periods. Its forward annual dividend yield is 5%. Its dividend reinvestment plan carries no fees. VVC went ex-dividend on Aug. 11.
Earnings per share is $1.49, and price to earnings ratio is 18.31. VVC’s price/earnings to growth ratio is 2.98. Quarterly revenue growth is strong at 18.2%. Return on equity is 8.48%, but debt to equity is high at 128.89. Price to book value is 1.58.
The utility is currently trading around $27.20, which is in the middle of its 53-week range of $23.65 to $28.85. This is one of the better stocks that few know about. We think interested investors should take a look.
VF Corp. (NYSE:VFC) – This shoe and clothing designer and manufacturer has a market capitalization of $13.27 billion. It has increased its dividend for 38 consecutive years. Earlier this month, it paid $0.63 a share for the fourth consecutive quarter. For last year’s four quarters it paid $0.60 a share. Both its dividend reinvestment and stock purchase plans carry fees. Its ex-date was Sept. 7.
Its dividend yield is 2%. Earnings per share is $5.70, and its price to earnings ratio is 21.21. Its price/earnings to growth ratio is 1.59. Quarterly revenue grew by 15.4%. Return on equity is 15.9%, and debt to equity is 22.95. Price to book value is 3.25.
VFC’s share price of $120.98 approaches it 52-week high of $131.30. The yearly low is $77.02. VFC is a bit more prone to consumers' spending swings and seasonal sales. Nonetheless, its brands have staying power. We think interested investors should take a look on further weakness.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.