When sifting through the universe of dividend-paying stocks, investors should consult known indices as established benchmarks that may help identify stocks featuring desired characteristics. S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index is one such benchmark that consists of attractive dividend-yielding stocks that have increased dividends for at least 25 years in a row. Among dividend aristocrats, there is a selection of stocks that have raised dividends at high, but sustainable rates. Here is a glance at two such companies that stand on course to double their dividends within the next six years.
Becton, Dickinson & Company (NYSE:BDX) is a $15.2 billion medical devices and instruments company. The company pays a dividend yield of 2.4% on a payout ratio of 33%. Its peers, Baxter International Inc. (NYSE:BAX) and Covidien PLC (COV), are yielding 2.5% and 1.7%, respectively. The company has been raising dividends at an average rate of 13.1% a year over the past five years. Its EPS is forecast to grow at an 8% average annual rate for the next five years. This is a fair growth that can sustain continued dividend hikes at the current rate, given the low payout ratio. If the company's dividend increases continue to average the annual rate accomplished over the past five years, the medical device maker will double its payout in 5.6 years.
The stock of Becton, Dickinson & Company is trading at $75 a share or 12.5 times the company's forward earnings. With that valuation, the company trades at a major discount relative to the medical supplies industry. The company's stock has lost 14% over the past year. Billionaires Jim Simons and Paul Tudor Jones are fans of the company.
Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) is a $50 billion personal goods company producing a range of household, healthcare and personal products. It pays a dividend yield of 2.4% on a payout ratio of 50%. Its peers Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) and Kimberly-Clark Corporation (NYSE:KMB) pay dividend yields of 3.7% and 3.5%, respectively. Colgate-Palmolive raised its dividend at an average annual rate of 12.3% over the past five years. Analysts forecast that the firm's EPS will grow at a 9.5% average annual rate for the next five years. With support from higher earnings, the company will be able to continue its dividend raising streaks. If the future dividend hikes average as much as they did over the past five years, Colgate-Palmolive will double its payout in 6 years.
The stock is trading at $103.83 a share or 19.1 times its forward earnings. At this forward P/E, the company's stock is slightly overvalued relative to the industry on average. Jim Simons is also bullish about this stock. So is billionaire Ken Griffin (see Ken Griffin's top stock picks).
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.