In every field there are winners and there are champions. The difference is subtle, but very real. A champion is driven for success and will not let anything stand in its way. Some dividend stocks can be classified as champions. Not surprisingly, I went to the Dividend Champions list to find these ten dividend stocks that stand alone with 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases. They are presented here in descending rank:
10. Integrys Energy Group (NYSE:TEG) - 51 Years
This utility holding company serves about 485,000 regulated electric and 1,674,000 regulated gas customers. The company also operates an unregulated energy supply and services business. On Tuesday, TEG increased its quarterly dividend 1.5% to $0.68. The current yield is 6.81%.
9. 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) - 51 Years
This diversified global company has operations in electronics, health care, industrial, consumer and office, telecommunications, safety and security, and other markets. Last week, MMM declared a 2% quarterly dividend increase to $0.54/share. The current yield is 4.13%.
8. Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) - 52 Years
This company primarily makes backup power equipment for telecom and Internet providers and users, climate control components, and electric motors. EMR last increased its quarterly dividend 10% in November 2008. The current yield is 4.12%.
7. Parker-Hannifin Corp. (NYSE:PH)- 52 Years
This company is a global maker of industrial pumps, valves and hydraulics. Its products are used in everything from jet engines to trucks and autos and utility turbines. PH last increased its quarterly dividend 19% in November 2008. The current yield is 2.46%.
6. Procter & Gamble Co. (NYSE:PG) - 52 Years
This leading consumer products company markets household and personal care products in more than 180 countries. PG last increased its quarterly dividend 14% in April 2008. The current yield is 3.13%.
5. Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE:GPC) - 53 Years
This company is a leading wholesale distributor of automotive replacement parts, industrial parts and supplies, and office products. GPC last increased its quarterly dividend 7% in March 2008. The current yield is 4.83%.
4. Northwest Natural Gas (NYSE:NWN) - 53 Years
This U.S. gas distribution utility serves Oregon and southwest Washington. NWN last increased its quarterly dividend 5% in October 2008. The current yield is 3.60%.
3. Dover Corp. (NYSE:DOV) - 53 Years
This company manufactures a broad range of specialized industrial products and sophisticated manufacturing equipment. DOV last increased its quarterly dividend 25% in August 2008. The current yield is 3.37%.
2. American States Water (NYSE:AWR) - 54 Years
This utility primarily serves water customers in California, as well as in Arizona. It also provides electric service to a small section of San Bernardino County. AWR has not increased its dividend since November 2007. If it remains flat during 2009, AWR will lose its spot on this list. The current yield is 2.73%.
And finally, the defending national champion of dividend increases…
1. Diebold Inc. (NYSE:DBD) - 55 Years
This company develops, makes, and services self-service transaction systems, electronic & physical security systems, and software used to equip bank facilities, voting terminals. This month DBD increased its quarterly dividend 4% to $0.26/share to keeps its streak alive. The current yield is 4.20%.
Earlier this month there were 11 companies eligible for this list. Unfortunately, Masco (NYSE:MAS) cashed in a half century of excellence and cut its dividend.
This list is a great starting point for additional analysis. Over the next several weeks, I plan on prescreening those on the list I had not previously looked at. If any look promising, I will provide a more comprehensive evaluation in the future.
Full Disclosure: Long TEG, PG