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How long have you gone without cheating on your diet? How long have you stuck to your budget? How long have you driven without speeding? How long have you gone since missing a day of work/school due to illness? Most of these would be measured in minutes, days, months, while some might be measured in a few years.

Imagine stringing together a 25 year series of the above items, or anything else for that matter. That would be something very special. The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats have done just that. Here is some more information on this special group of stocks...

The Dividend Aristocrats index is the most recognized list of dividend stocks. The index is designed to measure the performance of S&P 500 constituents that have followed a policy of consistently increasing dividends every year for at least 25 consecutive years.

Dividend Aristocrats exhibit the following characteristics:

- They are a member of the S&P 500

- The index is equally weighted with constituents re-weighted quarterly

- List is reviewed and updated annually in December

In no uncertain terms, Dividend Aristocrats are the blue-blood of dividend growth stocks. This is the go-to list to start your evaluation when building a dividend portfolio. Looking for dividend growth? These stocks have been there, and done that - for decades.

This week week, I screened my dividend growth stocks database for Dividend Aristocrats with a yield greater than 3% and have increased their dividends for at least 35 consecutive years. The results are presented below:

The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) is a leading consumer products company the markets household and personal care products in more than 180 countries.

Yield: 3.1% | Years of Dividend Growth: 55

Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) designs and supplies product technology, and delivers engineering services and solutions to a wide range of industrial, commercial, and consumer markets around the world.

Yield: 3.2% | Years of Dividend Growth: 56

PepsiCo, Inc. (NYSE:PEP) is a major international producer of branded beverage and snack food products.

Yield: 3.2% | Years of Dividend Growth: 39

Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE) is the largest minimill steelmaker in the U.S., Nucor has one of the most diverse product lines of any steelmaker in the Americas.

Yield: 3.3% | Years of Dividend Growth: 38

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is a leader in the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer products industries.

Yield: 3.5% | Years of Dividend Growth: 49

Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT) is a diversified life science company that is planning to split into two publicly traded companies, one in diversified medical products and the other in research-based pharmaceuticals.

Yield: 3.5% | Years of Dividend Growth: 39

The Clorox Company (NYSE:CLX) is a diversified producer of household cleaning, grocery and specialty food products is also a leading producer of natural personal care products.

Yield: 3.5% | Years of Dividend Growth: 36

Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) is a large distributor of food and related products, primarily to the foodservice or food-away-from-home industry.

Yield: 3.6% | Years of Dividend Growth: 41

Consolidated Edison, Inc. (NYSE:ED) is an electric and gas utility holding company that serves parts of New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Yield: 4.2% | Years of Dividend Growth: 39

Cincinnati Financial Corp. (NASDAQ:CINF) is an insurance holding company that primarily markets property and casualty coverage. It also conducts life insurance and asset management operations.

Yield: 4.6% | Years of Dividend Growth: 51

Leggett & Platt Inc. (NYSE:LEG) makes a broad line of bedding and furniture components and other home, office and commercial furnishings, as well as diversified products for non-furnishings markets.

Yield: 4.8% | Years of Dividend Growth: 39

As with past screens, the data presented above is in its raw form. Some of the the companies would be disqualified for poor dividend fundamentals. However some of the others may be worth additional due diligence.

My database, D4L-Data, is an Open Office spreadsheet containing more than 20 columns of information on the 210+ companies that I track. The data is sortable and has built-in buttons and macros to make it easy to use. Companies included in the list are those that have had a history of dividend growth. The D4L-Data spreadsheet is a part of D4L-Premium Services and is updated each Saturday for subscribers.

Disclosure: Long PG, EMR, PEP, NUE, JNJ, ABT, CLX, SYY, ED, CINF, LEG. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Source: 11 Dividend Aristocrats Giving Stability And Higher-Yields