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More Companies Skip Dividend Increases In Second Half Of May As Uncertainties Continue

Jun. 01, 2020 11:23 PM ETASH, BG, BGS, CASY, CAT, CLX, DCI, FLO, WLY, KR, LOW, NFG, NOC, TGT, UNH, WBA15 Comments
Harvesting Dividends profile picture
Harvesting Dividends


  • More companies continue to risk falling off the list of dividend growth stocks as they hold payouts steady.
  • While 5 of 8 expected increases in late May failed to materialize, defense contractor Northrop Grumman came through with the biggest boost.
  • Until the economy improves we can expect this to continue. I expect to see as many as 5 dividend growth stocks skip their annual increase in June.

This is the latest in a series of articles where I provide my predictions of annual dividend increases for a variety of long-term dividend growth companies. Back in the middle of May, I provided predictions for 8 dividend growth companies that have historically announced annual payout increases in the second half of the month. Now, at the beginning of June, I provide my predictions for another 8 companies that historically have increased their dividends over the course of the month.

Before I offer these predictions, here are how my predictions from the second half of May came out (you can see the original article with my predictions here):

(All yields are based on stock prices at the market close on Friday, May 29th.)

Results for the Eight Dividend Increase Predictions from the Second Half of May

Ashland Global Holdings Inc. (ASH)

Prediction: 3.6–7.3% increase to $1.14-1.18

Actual: 0% increase to $1.10

Forward yield: 1.64%

I was hoping that the specialty chemical producer would boost its dividend after 14% EPS growth in 2019, but it held the payout steady. 2020 will be Ashland’s 11th year of dividend growth due to 2019’s mid-year boost.

Bunge Limited (BG)

Prediction: 3.0–6.0% increase to $2.06-2.12

Actual: 0% increase to $2.00

Forward yield: 5.13%

While Bunge still has until the end of the year to boost its dividend, it looks like the agribusiness company will stop its dividend growth streak at 18 years.

B&G Foods, Inc. (BGS)

Prediction: 0–2.1% increase to $1.90-1.94

Actual: 0% increase to $1.90

Forward yield: 8.18%

B&G Foods is also at risk of ending its dividend growth streak this year, unless it boosts the payout by the end of 2020. If it doesn’t, the company will end its dividend growth streak at 9 years.

The Clorox Company (CLX)

Prediction: 6.1–8.0% increase to $4.50-4.58

This article was written by

Harvesting Dividends profile picture
I'm an individual investor looking to grow my wealth over the long term. I've tried many different styles of investing over the last 25 years and have found that buying dividend growth stocks and reinvesting the dividends is one of the easiest ways to grow wealth over the long term. Over the years, I've owned stocks, options, ETFs, treasury notes, and mutual funds. I operate a blog, HarvestingDividends.com, that provides information on the S&P Dividend Aristocrats and other dividend growth stocks.

Analyst’s Disclosure: I am/we are long BGS. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.

I may take a position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article in the near future.

Seeking Alpha's Disclosure: Past performance is no guarantee of future results. No recommendation or advice is being given as to whether any investment is suitable for a particular investor. Any views or opinions expressed above may not reflect those of Seeking Alpha as a whole. Seeking Alpha is not a licensed securities dealer, broker or US investment adviser or investment bank. Our analysts are third party authors that include both professional investors and individual investors who may not be licensed or certified by any institute or regulatory body.

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Comments (15)

Dividend Ambassador profile picture
Your predicted range on KR is HUGE.
Harvesting Dividends profile picture
On a % basis, yes. But it's only a 4 cent difference.

Prior to the pandemic, my predictions were tighter. But with all the economic uncertainty, I have generally lowered and widened my predictions.

Thanks for the comment.

cemanuel profile picture
UNH announced a raise to $1.25. Good news.
@cemanuel Where do you see the UNH dividend increase news? I am learning first from your comments and do not find it anywhere.
cemanuel profile picture

No idea if you can read it without a Fidelity Account
Wow! Thanks for reporting this. I found it, finance.yahoo.com/...

At its meeting, the Board authorized payment of a cash dividend of $1.25 per share, to be paid June 30, 2020, to common stock shareholders of record as of the close of business June 22, 2020

It is a 25% increase which is very big in this Covid-19 era.
I am willing to forego any dividend increases while my company recovers during this time of crisis
Dividend increases are a miracle at a time when many corporations are "suspending" dividends to bolster balance sheets (and future executive profits from options to be issued on consequently depressed stock prices.) There are even articles here on our favorite forum analyzing presumed future high yields AS IF they were hypothetically to be paid on stocks with suspended dividends--which in real life are zero, the empty set, the empty checking accounts of those relying on dividends to live.
thank you for your work! much apprciated and hopefully everything will go back to normal.
Harvesting Dividends profile picture
Thanks for the kind words, honkydonky!

There's still more than six months left this year. Have some patience.
Harvesting Dividends profile picture
Fair point. My concerns center around how quickly things can come back. As I've mentioned before, companies that raised their dividends last year and skipped them this year still show year-over-year dividend growth, and they have until the end of 2021 to increase the payout to maintain their DG record. But there are several companies that had skipped their increase last year and so have only until the end of this year to maintain their streak.

As one of the commenters from the last article mentioned, in this economy just holding a dividend steady is a win.

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