Emerson Electric Co. (EMR), a diversified global technology company, engages in designing and supplying product technology and delivering engineering services to industrial and commercial, and consumer markets worldwide. It operates in five segments: Process Management, Industrial Automation, Network Power, Climate Technologies, and Appliance and Tools.
At the same time company has managed to deliver a 7.50% average annual increase in its EPS since 1998.
EMR is a dividend aristocrat as well as a major component of the S&P 500 index. It has been increasing its dividends for the past 50 consecutive years. From 1998 up until 2007 this dividend growth stock has delivered an annual average total return of 10.50 % to its shareholders. (Click images to enlarge.)
The ROE has increased from its early 200's lows at 15-17% to 24% in 2007.
Annual dividend payments have increased over the past 10 years by an average of 7% annually, which is equal to the growth in EPS. The annual growth in dividends has directly traced the fluctuations in EPS growth. A 7% growth in dividends translates into the dividend payment doubling almost every 10 years. If we look at historical data, going as far back as 1989, EMR has actually managed to double its dividend payment every nine years.
If we invested $100,000 in EMR on December 31, 1997 we would have bought 3,720 shares (adjusted for 2:1 stock split in December 2006). In February 1998 your quarterly dividend income would have been $549. If you kept reinvesting the dividends, though, instead of spending them, your quarterly dividend income would have risen to $1419 by November 2007. For a period of 10 years, your quarterly dividend income has increased by 103 %. If you reinvested it though, your quarterly dividend income would have increased by 159%.
The dividend payout increased from 43% in 1998 to more than 65% in the early 2000s before settling back to 40% in 2007. A lower payout is always a plus, since it leaves room for consistent dividend growth minimizing the impact of short-term fluctuations in earnings.
I think that EMR is attractively valued with its low price/earnings multiple of 19 and yield at 2.20%.
Disclosure: I own shares of EMR.