First Published on May 11th, 2023 by Bob Ciura for SureDividend
Income investors might be tempted to buy stocks with the highest dividend yields. But this is often a mistake, as extreme high-yielding stocks are often in dubious financial condition. While high yields are important, we believe it is equally important to focus on quality.
One way to measure the quality of a dividend stock is by its dividend history. We believe stocks with established histories of dividend growth, are more likely to continue growing their dividends moving forward. This is why we focus on groups of stocks with long histories of increasing their dividends, such as the Dividend Aristocrats.
Meanwhile, investors should also look over the list of Dividend Contenders, which have raised their dividends for 10-24 years.
With this in mind, we created a downloadable list of 300+ Dividend Contenders. You can download your free copy of the Dividend Contenders list, along with relevant financial metrics like price-to-earnings ratios, dividend yields, and payout ratios, by clicking on the link below:
This article will discuss an overview of Dividend Contenders, and why investors should consider quality dividend growth stocks.
Additional information regarding dividend stocks in our coverage universe can be found in the Sure Analysis Research Database.
In this article
Table of Contents
You can instantly jump to any specific section of the article by clicking on the links below:
- Overview of Dividend Contenders
- Example Of High-Quality Dividend Contenders: Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)
- Final Thoughts
Overview of Dividend Contenders
The requirement to become a Dividend Contender is fairly straightforward: 10-24 consecutive years of dividend growth. While 10-24 years may not seem like the longest track record, and indeed there are stocks with much longer streaks of annual dividend hikes, it is nevertheless a positive indicator.
After all, there are a number of companies that have never paid a dividend. Or, even among companies that do pay dividends, many have not been able to raise their dividends consistently due to a lack of underlying business growth.
Many companies cannot pay dividends, or raise dividend payouts from year to year, because their business models do not generate enough profits or cash flow.
Cyclical companies also have trouble joining lists of long-running dividend growth stocks, because their profits collapse during recessions.
In recessions, corporate profits typically decline, particularly within industries that are closely tied to consumer spending. In 2020-2021, companies across multiple industries suspended or eliminated their dividend payouts due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the global economy.
That said, there were many companies that maintained their dividends over the past two years, and even continued to raise them, despite the pandemic.
The highest-quality dividend growth stocks that continued to increase their dividends, once again proved the staying power and durable competitive advantages of their business models.
This is why income investors looking for safe dividends and reliable dividend growth, should focus on companies with established histories of successfully growing their dividends, even during recessions.
Example Of High-Quality Dividend Contenders: Comcast Corp. (CMCSA)
Comcast is a media, entertainment and communications company. Its business units include Cable Communications (High-Speed Internet, Video, Business Services, Voice, Advertising, Wireless), NBCUniversal (Cable Networks, Theme Parks, Broadcast TV, Filmed Entertainment), and Sky, a leading entertainment company in Europe that provides Video, High-speed internet, Voice, and Wireless Phone Services directly to consumers.
Comcast reported its first-quarter financial results in April.
Source: Investor Presentation
Comcast reported its Q1 2023 results on 4/27/23. For the quarter, the company’s revenues declined by 4.3% to $29.6 billion, adjusted EBITDA (a cash flow proxy) rose 2.9% to 9.4 billion, adjusted earnings-per-share (EPS) climbed 7.0% to $0.92, and it generated free cash flow (FCF) of $3.8 billion.
The revenue decline was due to the Beijing Olympics and the NFL’s Super Bowl in Q1 2022 as well as the negative impact of foreign currency.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on CMCSA (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Investors on the hunt for stocks with a high likelihood of increasing their dividends each year reliably, should focus on stocks with the longest histories of dividend growth.
For a company to raise its dividend for at least 10 years, it must have durable competitive advantages, steady profitability even during times of economic downturns, and a positive future growth outlook.
This will provide them with the ability to raise their dividends going forward. As a result, high-quality Dividend Contenders like Qualcomm are attractive for long-term dividend growth investors.
This article was first published by Bob Ciura for Sure Dividend
Sure dividend helps individual investors build high-quality dividend growth portfolios for the long run. The goal is financial freedom through an investment portfolio that pays rising dividend income over time. To this end, Sure Dividend provides a great deal of free information.