The 5 Best Dividend Stocks From the Last 3 Years

Includes: DRI, FDO, HAS, ROST, TJX
by: eChristian Investing
Since the end of 2007, investors have seen their portfolios decimated by market losses. During that time the Dow Jones index has fallen 25%, while the S&P 500 index has plunged 29%.
Dividend investors have performed a little better, with the S&P 500 dividend aristocrats posting only a 13% decline during that time. However, most investors aren’t pleased with market losses, even if they are better than the overall market losses. Fortunately, investors that owned the following five companies have reaped the benefits of owning the best dividend stocks over the last three years.
Ross Stores (NASDAQ:ROST)
Can you think of any stocks that have doubled in price since the end of 2007? High growth stocks like Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Chipotle (NYSE:CMG) can’t make that claim. However, dividend stock Ross Stores has seen its share price climb 110% while outperforming even Apple. The company also increased its dividend by 45% this year and now yields 1.2%.
Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI)
Even in the midst of the recession it seemed like Red Lobster and Olive Garden restaurants were always crowded. The popularity of those two restaurant chains has enabled Darden shares to climb 41% since 2007. Meanwhile, competitors like Brinker (NYSE:EAT) and DineEquity (NYSE:DIN) have seen their stocks tumble. Darden investors are also benefiting from the stock’s 3.3% dividend yield which was just increased by 28% last week.
Family Dollar Stores (NYSE:FDO)
Its 1.6% dividend yield might be overlooked by some investors, but FDO has increased its dividend for 34 consecutive years. It has consistently been one of the top performing dividend aristocrat stocks and has seen its stock price rise 98% since the end of 2007.
Toy maker Hasbro has been relatively insulated from the economic woes that have hit other consumer stocks. Hasbro shares posted positive gains in 2008, 2009 and are up nearly 31% again in 2010. The company only offers an average 2.3% dividend yield, but the company increased its dividend payments by 25% this year. Just more positive news for investors that have seen HAS shares jump 64% since 2007.
TJX Companies (NYSE:TJX)
Cost-conscious consumers flocked to TJ Maxx and Marshalls stores during the Great Recession. That helped the company deliver better than expected earnings results that have lifted the stock 48% since 2007. Dividend investors have benefited from TJX increasing its dividends for each of the past 14 years. This year was no exception with the company hiking its dividend by 25% and initiating a $1 billion stock repurchase program.
Disclosure: No Positions