Top- And Bottom-Performing Dividend Stocks Through September

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Includes: AFL, CSCO, CTBI, EMR, GD, JNJ, LMT, MSFT, OMI, XOM
by: Dividends4Life

Summary

Investing in dividend growth stocks is a long-term proposition - you don't have to watch your portfolio or the market on a daily basis.

For the most part, daily, monthly and yearly movements are just noise in the system.

Below are my Dividend Growth Portfolio's top and bottom five performers for the year, through September 30, 2014.

[Editor's note: This article has been revised since original publication.]

Investing in dividend growth stocks is a long-term proposition. One of the beauties of following a dividend growth strategy is that you don't have to watch your portfolio or the market on a daily basis. For the most part, daily, monthly and yearly movements are just noise in the system.

My normal practice is to refresh my analytical spreadsheets each Friday with updated price information on the 250+ stocks that I follow. Even then, I don't normally look at the value of my portfolio or the performance of individual stocks.

However, each quarter I update my income portfolio's performance and benchmark it against the S&P 500 and other portfolios. At that time I look at the performance of individual stocks to understand the overall performance the portfolio.

Saturday, I updated my Income Portfolio's performance for the third quarter. Building on that, here are my Dividend Growth Portfolio's top and bottom five performers for the year, through September 30, 2014:

Top Performers

#5 Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is a leader in the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer products industries. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1944 and has increased its dividend payments for 52 consecutive years.

Yield: 2.7% | 2014 Total Return: 25.94%

#4 Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO) offers a complete line of routers and switching products that connect and manage communications among local and wide area computer networks employing a variety of protocols. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 2011 and has increased its dividend payments for 4 consecutive years.

Yield: 3.2% | 2014 Total Return: 28.84%

#3 Lockheed Martin Corp. (NYSE:LMT), the world's largest military weapons manufacturer, is also a significant supplier to NASA and other non-defense government agencies. LMT receives about 93% of its revenues from global defense sales. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1995 and has increased its dividend payments for 12 consecutive years. See full analysis here.

Yield: 3.3% | 2014 Total Return: 31.16%

#2 Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), the world's largest software company, develops PC software, including the Windows operating system and the Office application suite. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 2003 and has increased its dividend payments for 12 consecutive years.

Yield: 2.7% | 2014 Total Return: 38.23%

#1 General Dynamics (NYSE:GD) is the world's fourth largest military contractor and also one of the world's biggest makers of corporate jets. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1979 and has increased its dividend payments for 23 consecutive years.

Yield: 1.9% | 2014 Total Return: 49.69%

Bottom Performers

#5 Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) Exxon Mobil Corp., formed through the merger of Exxon and Mobil in late 1999, is the world's largest publicly owned integrated oil company. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1882 and has increased its dividend payments for 32 consecutive years.

Yield: 2.9% | 2014 Total Return: -6.41%

#4 Owens & Minor Inc. (NYSE:OMI) is a leading domestic distributor of medical and surgical supplies to the acute care market, a health care supply chain management company, and a direct-to-consumer (DTC) supplier of testing and monitoring supplies for diabetes. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1926 and has increased its dividend payments for 16 consecutive years.

Yield: 3.0% | 2014 Total Return: -11.14%

#3 Emerson Electric Co. (NYSE:EMR) designs and supplies product technology, and delivers engineering services and solutions to a wide range of industrial, commercial and consumer markets around the world. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1947 and has increased its dividend payments for 58 consecutive years.

Yield: 2.8% | 2014 Total Return: -11.93%

#2 Aflac Incorporated (NYSE:AFL) provides supplemental health and life insurance in Japan (78% of pretax operating profits) and the U.S. Products are marketed at work sites and help fill gaps in primary coverage. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1973 and has increased its dividend payments for 32 consecutive years.

Yield: 2.5% | 2014 Total Return: -14.71%

#1 Community Trust Bank Corp. (NASDAQ:CTBI) owns and operates Community Trust Bank, Inc. of Pikeville, KY, which provides commercial banking services in Kentucky and West Virginia; and a trust company. The company has paid a cash dividend to shareholders every year since 1988 and has increased its dividend payments for 34 consecutive years.

Yield: 3.6% | 2014 Total Return: -21.04%

To avoid short-term anomalies, I excluded stocks that I did not own on January 1, 2014 from the above lists. As noted above, investing in dividend growth stocks is a long-term proposition, but sometimes it is nice to see that our portfolio is performing well in addition to collecting higher dividends each month.

Full Disclosure: Long JNJ, CSCO, LMT, MSFT, GD, OMI, EMR, AFL, CTBI, RTN in my Dividend Growth Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Disclosure: The author is long JNJ, CSCO, LMT, MSFT, GD, OMI, EMR, AFL, CTBI, XOM.

The author wrote this article themselves, and it expresses their own opinions. The author is not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). The author has no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.