6 Dividend Aristocrats With Excellent Growth Records

Includes: BCR, GWW, HRL, MKC, SHW, VFC
by: Avi Morris

Investment growth comes from capital appreciation and dividends. Capital appreciation varies from year to year but dividends have a dependable quality and the most reliable dividend payers are the Dividend Aristocrats with records of increasing dividends annually for a minimum of 25 consecutive years. Below is a list of 6 Dividend Aristocrats that have at least doubled in the last 10 years, a time when stocks of many blue chip companies did not.

VF Corporation (NYSE:VFC)________$95.01__$2.52__2.7%
McCormick & Company (NYSE:MKC)__$48.19__$1.12__2.3%
W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW)______$143.57__$2.64__1.8%
Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL)_________$28.35__$0.51__1.8%
Sherwin-Williams (NYSE:SHW)_______$83.97__$1.46__1.7%
CR Bard (NYSE:BCR)_____________$28.35__$0.72__0.7%

VF is the world's largest apparel company with brands that include: Wrangler, The North Face, Lee, Vans and Nautica sold worldwide. VFC is guiding for revenue to rise approximately 10% in 2011, up from previous guidance of 8%-9% increase. EPS is expected to increase to $7.25, up from previous guidance of $7.00-$7.10, excluding a modest amount from special items. This is the 38th consecutive year of higher dividends for shareholders.

VF Corporation -- 10 years (click charts to expand)

McCormick sells flavor products and other specialty food products to the food industry worldwide, operating in 2 segments: Consumer (spices, herbs, extracts, seasoning blends, etc.) and Industrial (provides seasoning blends, natural spices and herbs). For fiscal year 2011, EPS is guided at $2.80-$2.85 and sales are projected to grow 5-7%. MKC joined the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats last year.

McCormick & Company -- 10 years

WW Grainger is North America’s leading supplier of maintenance, repair and operating products, with an expanding presence in Asia and Latin America. After an outstanding Q1 performance, management raised 2011 sales growth guidance to a range of 7-10% and EPS should growth to $8.10-$8.60. The dividend was just raised 22%, the 40th consecutive annual increase.

Grainger -- 10 years

Hormel Foods produces and markets meat and food products in the US and around the world. Meat products include: fresh meats, sausages, hams, wieners, bacon and poultry products. Food products include: nutritional products, sugar and sugar substitutes, creamers, salt and pepper products, sauces, salad dressings and desserts. Fiscal 2011 EPS guidance was just increased a nickel to $1.67-$1.73 (based on expectations of higher cost prices but strong brands should allow HRL to overcome those obstacles). HRL increased its annual dividend to 51¢, the 45th consecutive annual dividend increase.

Hormel Foods -- 10 years

Sherwin-Williams (SHW) is the largest coatings manufacturer in the US and 3rd largest worldwide. Major brand names are: Sherwin-Williams, Dutch Boy, Krylon, Minwax and Thompson’s WaterSeal sold in 109 countries. Sales have been sluggish, but 2010 marked the end of a 4-year slide in US coatings industry volume. While recovery is expected to be slow and erratic, home maintenance and remodeling activity should contribute to recovery. 2011 sales are expected to increase by a high single digit percentage and diluted EPS is expected to be $4.65-$5.05, above $4.21 in 2010. The dividend was increased 1.4% in February, the 31st straight annual increase.

Sherwin-Williams -- 10 years

CR Bard is a leading manufacturer and marketer of life-enhancing medical technologies in the fields of vascular, urology, oncology and surgical specialty products. The main guidance from management is that "Our R&D investments and business development activities continue to provide healthy returns to shareholders." Analysts are forecasting 2011 EPS will grow to $6.41 up 14% and increase to $7.09 next year. The annual dividend has been increased for 40 consecutive years.

CR Bard -- 10 years

When a stock doubles in 10 years, the compounded annual growth rate is 7.2% and the annual rate for tripling is almost 12%. These companies have moderate yields, generally around 2%. If their stocks double, the total annual returns are raised to nearly 10% and tripling would raise the rates to 14%. Business is strong and these companies are doing well. Their longer term charts are excellent and dividends have been increased annually for decades, key ingredients for successful investing.

Disclosure: I am long VFC.