The Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) engages in the manufacture, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings, and related products to professional, industrial, commercial, and retail customers primarily in North and South America. It operates in three segments: Paint Stores, Consumer, and Global.
It is a dividend aristocrat as well as a major component of the S&P 500 index. Over the past 10 years this dividend growth stock has delivered an annual average total return of 12.10 % to its shareholders. The company has managed to deliver an impressive 12% average annual increase in its EPS through organic growth and share buybacks. Management has consistently bought back 4.90% of outstanding shares each year for the past 10 years. Without the buybacks, the growth in EPS would have been 6.90% annually.
The ROE has been increasing steadily over our study period, rising from 17% in 1998 to 30% in 2007.
Annual dividend payments have increased over the past 10 years by an average of 12.4% annually, which matches the growth in EPS. A 12% growth in dividends translates into the dividend payment doubling every 6 years. If we look at historical data, going as far back as 1985, SHW has actually managed to double its dividends every six years.
An investment of $100,000 in SHW on December 31, 1997, would have bought you 3757 shares. The quarterly dividend income would have been $420.78 in February 1998. Had you kept reinvesting the dividends, though, instead of spending them, your quarterly dividend payment would have risen to $1438.92 by November 2007, and $1606.85 in February 2008. Over a period of 10 years, your quarterly dividend income has increased by 212%. Had you reinvested it, though, your quarterly dividend income would have increased by 282%.
The dividend payout has consistently remained under 35% over the past 10 years. This is always a plus, since it leaves room for consistent dividend growth, minimizing the impact of short-term fluctuations in earnings.
I believe that SHW is attractively priced at the moment with its low price/earnings multiple of 11.10 and above-average yield at 2.70%.