Updated on November 1st, 2023 by Bob Ciura Spreadsheet data updated daily
The Dividend Kings are the best-of-the-best in dividend longevity.
What is a Dividend King? A stock with 50 or more consecutive years of dividend increases.
The downloadable Dividend Kings Spreadsheet List below contains the following for each stock in the index among other important investing metrics:
You can see the full downloadable spreadsheet of all 51 Dividend Kings (along with important financial metrics such as dividend yields, payout ratios, and price-to-earnings ratios) by clicking on the link below:
The Dividend Kings list includes recent additions such as RPM International (RPM), Archer Daniels Midland (ADM), and Walmart (WMT).
Each Dividend King satisfies the primary requirement to be a Dividend Aristocrat (25 years of consecutive dividend increases) twice over.
Not all Dividend Kings are Dividend Aristocrats.
This unexpected result is because the ‘only’ requirement to be a Dividend Kings is 50+ years of rising dividends.
On the other hand, Dividend Aristocrats must have 25+ years of rising dividends, be a member of the S&P 500 Index, and meet certain minimum size and liquidity requirements.
Table of Contents
How To Use The Dividend Kings List to Find Dividend Stock Ideas
The Dividend Kings list is a great place to find dividend stock ideas. However, not all the stocks in the Dividend Kings list make a great investment at any given time.
Some stocks might be overvalued. Conversely, some might be undervalued – making great long-term holdings for dividend growth investors.
For those unfamiliar with Microsoft Excel, the following walk-through shows how to filter the Dividend Kings list for the stocks with the most attractive valuation based on the price-to-earnings ratio.
Step 2: Follow the steps in the instructional video below. Note that we screen for price-to-earnings ratios of 15 or below in the video. You can choose any threshold that best defines ‘value’ for you.
Alternatively, following the instructions above and filtering for higher dividend yield Dividend Kings (yields of 2% or 3% or higher) will show stocks with 50+ years of rising dividends and above-average dividend yields.
Looking for businesses that have a long history of dividend increases isn’t a perfect way to identify stocks that will increase their dividends every year in the future, but there is considerable consistency in the Dividend Kings.
The 5 Best Dividend Kings Today
The following 5 stocks are our top-ranked Dividend Kings today, based on expected annual returns over the next 5 years. Stocks are ranked in order of lowest to highest expected annual returns.
Total returns include a combination of future earnings-per-share growth, dividends, and any changes in the P/E multiple.
Dividend King #5: Sysco Corporation (SYY)
5-Year Annual Expected Returns: 14.8%
Sysco Corporation is the largest wholesale food distributor in the United States. The company serves 600,000 locations with food delivery, including restaurants, hospitals, schools, hotels, and other facilities. According to estimates, the company has a 16% market share of total food delivery within the United States.
On August 1st, 2023, Sysco reported fourth-quarter results for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. In the fourth quarter, Sysco achieved a 4.1% sales increase compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year, with U.S. Foodservice volume rising by 2.3%. Adjusted EPS rose by 16.5% to $1.34, compared to the previous fiscal year.
For the entire fiscal year 2023, Sysco grew revenue by 11% with a 5.2% rise in U.S. Foodservice volume. Adjusted earnings-per-share increased 23% to $4.01.
Target is a discount retail operations solely in the U.S. market. Its business consists of about 2,000 big box stores offering general merchandise and food and serving as distribution points for its burgeoning e-commerce business.
Target has invested heavily in e-commerce. The rise in e-commerce initially caught many retail companies flat-footed. Target has really revamped its online offerings and has seen incredible growth rates.
Target posted second quarter earnings on August 16th, 2023, and results were somewhat mixed. Adjusted earnings-per-share came in well ahead of estimates at $1.80, which was 38 cents better than expected.
Revenue was $24.8 billion, down 4.9% year-over-year, and missing estimates by $460 million. The company also lowered its full-year sales and profit expectations due to weakening sales, but rising margins.
Black Hills Corporation is an electric utility that provides electricity and natural gas to customers in Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, and Wyoming.
The company has 1.33 million utility customers in eight states. Its natural gas assets include 47,000 miles of natural gas lines. Separately, it has ~9,000 miles of electric lines and 1.4 gigawatts of electric generation capacity.
In the 2023 second quarter, revenues of $410 million declined 13% year-over-year and missed the consensus estimate by $50 million. Earnings-per-share of $0.35 was slightly below the consensus analyst estimate. The utility forecasts earnings-per-share of $3.65 to $3.85 for the current fiscal year.
Utilities like Black Hills are resistant to recessions as demand for electricity and gas is not very cyclical. Black Hills should remain profitable under most circumstances. The fact that customers tend to stick with their provider means that Black Hills operates a relatively stable business model.
Lowe’s Companies is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the US (after Home Depot). Lowe’s operates or services more than 1,700 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S.
Lowe’s reported second quarter 2023 results on August 22nd, 2023. Total sales for the second quarter came in at $25 billion compared to $27.5 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Comparable sales decreased 1.6% and net earnings declined 2.4% year-over-year to $4.56 per share.
The company repurchased 10.1 million shares in the second quarter for $2.2 billion. Additionally, it paid out $624 million in dividends. Lowe’s launched same-day delivery nationwide, and expanded its rural merchandising framework to 300 stores.
The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2023 outlook and believes it can achieve adjusted diluted EPS in the range of $13.20 to $13.60 on total sales of roughly $88 billion.
On October 25th, 2022, 3M reported third-quarter earnings results. Revenue decreased by 3.8% to $8.6 billion and was $100 million less than analyst expectations. Adjusted earnings-per-share of $2.69 compared to $2.45 in the prior year and beat estimates by $0.10.
3M’s innovation is one of the company’s greatest competitive advantages. The company targets R&D spending equivalent to 6% of sales (or roughly $2 billion annually) in order to create new products to meet consumer demand.
The Dividend Kings out-performed the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) in October 2023. Return data for the month is shown below:
Dividend Kings October 2023 total return: -1.5%
SPY October 2023 total return: -2.2%
Stable dividend growers like the Dividend Kings tend to underperform in bull markets and outperform on a relative basis during bear markets.
The Dividend Kings are not officially regulated and monitored by any one company. There’s no Dividend King ETF. This means that tracking the historical performance of the Dividend Kings can be difficult. More specifically, performance tracking of the Dividend Kings often introduces significant survivorship bias.
Survivorship bias occurs when one looks at only the companies that ‘survived’ the time period in question. In the case of Dividend Kings, this means that the performance study does not include ex-Kings that reduced their dividend, were acquired, etc.
But with that said, there is something to be gained from investigating the historical performance of the Dividend Kings. Specifically, the performance of the Dividend Kings shows that ‘boring’ established blue-chip stocks that increase their dividend year-after-year can significantly outperform over long periods of time.
Notes: S&P 500 performance is measured using the S&P 500 ETF (SPY). The Dividend Kings performance is calculated using an equal weighted portfolio of today’s Dividend Kings, rebalanced annually. Due to insufficient data, Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (FMCB) returns are from 2000 onward. Performance excludes previous Dividend Kings that ended their streak of dividend increases which creates notable lookback/survivorship bias. The data for this study is from Ycharts.
In the next section of this article, we will provide an overview of the sector and market capitalization characteristics of the Dividend Kings.
Sector & Market Capitalization Overview
The sector and market capitalization characteristics of the Dividend Kings are very different from the characteristics of the broader stock market.
The following bullet points show the number of Dividend Kings in each sector of the stock market.
Consumer Staples: 14
Consumer Discretionary: 3
Health Care: 4
Real Estate: 1
The Dividend Kings are overweight in the Industrials, Consumer Staples, and Utilities sectors. Interestingly, The Dividend Kings have just one stock from the Information Technology sector, which is the largest component of the S&P 500 index.
The Dividend Kings also have some interesting characteristics with respect to market capitalization. These trends are illustrated below.