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Companies that have paid dividends consistently for a long period of time are viewed as more reliable in their dividend payments. If you agree with this idea, you may be interested in this list.

We ran a screen on “dividend champions,” companies that have paid dividends consistently over the past 25 years, for those seeing the highest net institutional buying over the current quarter.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬


We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these stocks pay reliable dividends? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by net institutional purchases as a percent of share float.

1. Telephone & Data Systems Inc. (TDS): Provides wireless and wireline telecommunications services in the United States. Market cap of $2.71B. Dividend yield at 1.79%, payout ratio at 21.76%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 3.9M, which is 4.87% of the company's 80.06M share float. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.76, and P/FCF ratio at 7.55. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 8.1% (equivalent to 10.9 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 12.2% over the last week.

2. Tennant Company (TNC): Engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing cleaning solutions worldwide. Market cap of $756.16M. Dividend yield at 1.69%, payout ratio at 33.55%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 814.3K, which is 4.39% of the company's 18.53M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.8% over the last week.

3. Gorman-Rupp Co. (GRC): Designs, manufactures, and sells pumps and related fluid control products worldwide. Market cap of $582.26M. Dividend yield at 1.30%, payout ratio at 21.90%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 413.0K, which is 2.72% of the company's 15.20M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 11.09% over the last week.

4. HB Fuller Co. (FUL): Formulates, manufactures, and markets adhesives, sealants, paints, and other specialty chemical products worldwide. Market cap of $1.11B. Dividend yield at 1.33%, payout ratio at 16.90%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.2M, which is 2.47% of the company's 48.59M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.88% over the last week.

5. Carlisle Companies Inc. (CSL): Manufactures construction materials in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $2.70B. Dividend yield at 1.64%, payout ratio at 26.33%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 1.1M, which is 1.83% of the company's 60.08M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 9.64% over the last week.

6. CLARCOR Inc. (CLC): Provides filtration products, filtration systems and services, and consumer and industrial packaging products worldwide. Market cap of $2.41B. Dividend yield at 1.00%, payout ratio at 26.90%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 660.6K, which is 1.34% of the company's 49.30M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 9.72% over the last week.

7. National Fuel Gas Co. (NFG): Operates as a diversified energy company primarily in the United States. Market cap of $4.81B. Dividend yield at 2.45%, payout ratio at 44.75%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 947.6K, which is 1.18% of the company's 80.59M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.96% over the last week.

8. Raven Industries Inc. (RAVN): Manufactures products for industrial, agricultural, construction, and military/aerospace markets in North America. Market cap of $1.06B. Dividend yield at 1.23%, payout ratio at 26.94%. Net institutional shares purchased over the current quarter at 174.7K, which is 1.01% of the company's 17.26M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 14.29% over the last week.

*Dividend champions sourced from DRiP Investing, institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 8 Dividend Champions Hedge Funds Are Buying Up