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Dividend investors are looking for stocks with great dividend payments. One criterion is the history of consecutive rising dividends. Additional criteria are fundamentals like margins, debt ratios or even growth rates. Let's focus on debt. The amount of debt is of huge importance for investors. The debt level is a capital capacity measure and something like a buffer for tough times. If the company gets trouble, big credit lines could help the make sure that the company gets back on track.

Recently, I screened stocks with consecutive dividend hikes of at least 10 years in a row (Dividend Achievers) and low debt to equity ratios (below 0.1). Twenty-two Dividend Achievers fulfilled these criteria but most of the results had a low number of dividend growth years. Then, I narrowed my criteria and screened the investment category Dividend Champions (over 25 years of consecutive rising dividends) by stocks with the same debt to equity ratio. Twelve Dividend Champions fulfilled these criteria. These are the detailed results sorted by dividend yield:

1. Mercury General (MCY) has a market capitalization of $2.40 billion. The company generates revenues of $2,777.28 million and has a net income of $191.16 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $988.78 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 35.60% (operating margin 8.83% and the net profit margin finally 6.88%).

The total debt representing 3.44% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 7.54%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 10.47% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $3.76. Last fiscal year, the company paid $2.41 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 25 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 11.63, Price/Sales 0.86 and Price/Book ratio 1.29. Dividend Yield: 5.59%. The beta ratio is 0.80.

2. Chevron Corporation (CVX) has a market capitalization of $197.74 billion. The company generates revenues of $253,706.00 million and has a net income of $27,008.00 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $60,545.00 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 23.86% (operating margin 18.78% and the net profit margin finally 10.65%).

The total debt representing 4.85% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 8.36%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 23.75% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $13.61. Last fiscal year, the company paid $3.09 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 25 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 7.36, Price/Sales 0.77 and Price/Book ratio 1.61. Dividend Yield: 3.64%. The beta ratio is 0.78.

3. Automatic Data Processing (ADP) has a market capitalization of $25.87 billion. The company generates revenues of $9,879.50 million and has a net income of $1,254.20 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $2,135.40 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 21.61% (operating margin 19.56% and the net profit margin finally 12.69%).

The total debt representing 0.10% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 0.57%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 21.83% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $2.78. Last fiscal year, the company paid $1.42 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 30 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 19.06, Price/Sales 2.61 and Price/Book ratio 4.30. Dividend Yield: 3.00%. The beta ratio is 0.69.

4. Exxon Mobil (XOM) has a market capitalization of $383.12 billion. The company generates revenues of $486,429.00 million and has a net income of $42,206.00 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $89,087.00 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 18.31% (operating margin 15.06% and the net profit margin finally 8.68%).

The total debt representing 5.15% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 11.03%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 27.26% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $8.28. Last fiscal year, the company paid $1.85 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 30 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 9.89, Price/Sales 0.79 and Price/Book ratio 2.52. Dividend Yield: 2.78%. The beta ratio is 0.49.

5. T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) has a market capitalization of $14.87 billion. The company generates revenues of $2,747.10 million and has a net income of $773.20 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $1,299.30 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 47.30% (operating margin 44.66% and the net profit margin finally 28.15%).

The company has no long-term debt and serves $1.1 billion in cash and short-term investments. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 22.92% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $2.93. Last fiscal year, the company paid $1.24 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 25 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 19.92, Price/Sales 5.31 and Price/Book ratio 4.24. Dividend Yield: 2.38%. The beta ratio is 1.61.

6. Lancaster Colony (LANC) has a market capitalization of $1.81 billion. The company generates revenues of $1,089.95 million and has a net income of $106.36 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $164.13 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 15.06% (operating margin 13.49% and the net profit margin finally 9.76%).

The company has no long-term debt and serves $168 million in cash and short-term investments. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 21.19% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $3.62. Last fiscal year, the company paid $1.29 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 49 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 18.31, Price/Sales 1.65 and Price/Book ratio 3.48. Dividend Yield: 2.19%. The beta ratio is 0.38.

7. Hormel Foods (HRL) has a market capitalization of $7.98 billion. The company generates revenues of $7,895.09 million and has a net income of $479.20 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $849.17 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 10.76% (operating margin 9.40% and the net profit margin finally 6.07%).

The total debt representing 5.89% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 9.41%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 18.75% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $1.75. Last fiscal year, the company paid $0.51 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 46 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 17.33, Price/Sales 1.01 and Price/Book ratio 3.00. Dividend Yield: 1.99%. The beta ratio is 0.45.

8. The Gorman-Rupp (GRC) has a market capitalization of $591.31 million. The company generates revenues of $359.49 million and has a net income of $28.80 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $54.45 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 15.15% (operating margin 11.96% and the net profit margin finally 8.01%).

The total debt representing 3.35% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 4.66%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 13.89% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $1.52. Last fiscal year, the company paid $0.35 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 40 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 18.52, Price/Sales 1.64 and Price/Book ratio 2.75. Dividend Yield: 1.42%. The beta ratio is 1.32.

9. Tootsie Roll Industries (TR) has a market capitalization of $1.35 billion. The company generates revenues of $532.50 million and has a net income of $43.94 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $77.20 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 14.50% (operating margin 10.89% and the net profit margin finally 8.25%).

The total debt representing 0.87% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 1.13%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 6.59% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $0.75. Last fiscal year, the company paid $0.31 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 47 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 30.31, Price/Sales 1.58 and Price/Book ratio 2.00. Dividend Yield: 1.38%. The beta ratio is 0.63.

10. Raven Industries (RAVN) has a market capitalization of $1.22 billion. The company generates revenues of $381.51 million and has a net income of $50.64 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $84.91 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 22.26% (operating margin 19.83% and the net profit margin finally 13.27%).

The company has no long-term debt outstanding and serves $43.54 million in cash and short-term investments. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 31.44% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $2.95. Last fiscal year, the company paid $0.72 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 26 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 22.81, Price/Sales 3.19 and Price/Book ratio 6.74. Dividend Yield: 1.25%. The beta ratio is 1.24.

11. CLARCOR (CLC) has a market capitalization of $2.51 billion. The company generates revenues of $1,126.60 million and has a net income of $124.36 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $213.70 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 18.97% (operating margin 16.09% and the net profit margin finally 11.04%).

The total debt representing 1.52% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 2.07%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 15.59% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $2.46. Last fiscal year, the company paid $0.44 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 47 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 20.36, Price/Sales 2.20 and Price/Book ratio 2.97. Dividend Yield: 0.97%. The beta ratio is 0.87.

12. Helmerich & Payne (HP) has a market capitalization of $5.06B billion. The company generates revenues of $2,543.89 million and has a net income of $434.67 million. The firm's earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) amounts to $1,017.98 million. Because of these figures, the EBITDA margin is 40.02% (operating margin 27.62% and the net profit margin finally 17.09%).

The total debt representing 6.99% of the company's assets and the total debt in relation to the equity amounts to 10.70%. Last fiscal year, a return on equity of 14.26% was realized. Twelve trailing months earnings per share reached a value of $4.63. Last fiscal year, the company paid $0.26 in form of dividends to shareholders. The company raised dividends over a period of 39 consecutive years.

Here are the price ratios of the company: The P/E ratio is 10.18, Price/Sales 1.95 and Price/Book ratio 1.51. Dividend Yield: 0.61%. The beta ratio is 1.21.

Source: 12 Dividend Champions With Very Low Debt Ratios