The Top Dividend Achievers in the Banking Industry

Dividend-paying companies are the oasis in the desert of underperforming stocks. They offer solid payouts today and the promise of gains tomorrow. In fact, dividend investing is such an attractive alternative that super-investor Warren Buffett has made it a significant component of his portfolio.

A great way to find outperforming dividend-paying companies is to examine the list of "Dividend Achievers," a select group of companies that have raised their dividends annually over at least the past 10 years. The list was created by Mergent and is now overseen by Indxis. It features about 140 stocks for 2010.

In case you need further convincing that dividend investing is profitable: According to a study by Ibbotson, reinvested dividends made up about 40% of total stock returns from 1926 to 2006. And as I've argued elsewhere, dividends are the most secure way to build a cash-flow powerhouse.

So let's take a look at the top dividend achievers by yield in the banking industry. For context, I've also included their five-year annualized dividend growth rate.

Company

Trailing Yield

5-Year Dividend Growth Rate

Republic Bancorp (Nasdaq: RBCAA  )

2.9%

14.0%

BancFirst (Nasdaq: BANF  )

2.3%

10.0%

Bank of the Ozarks (Nasdaq: OZRK  )

1.7%

10.8%

Commerce Bancshares (Nasdaq: CBSH  )

2.5%

5.2%

Cullen/Frost Bankers (NYSE: CFR  )

3.3%

9.7%

First Financial Bankshares (Nasdaq: FFIN  )

2.9%

5.1%

First Financial (Nasdaq: THFF  )

3.1%

2.6%

Prosperity Bancshares (Nasdaq: PRSP  )

1.9%

13.3%

SY Bancorp (Nasdaq: SYBT  )

2.8%

10.7%

Southside Bancshares (Nasdaq: SBSI  )

3.6%

12.5%

Tompkins Financial (AMEX: TMP  )

3.4%

6.7%

UMB Financial (Nasdaq: UMBF  )

2.1%

10.9%

Westamerica Bancorp (Nasdaq: WABC  )

2.7%

4.1%

WSFS Financial (Nasdaq: WSFS  )

1.3%

13.9%

Source: Indxis.com and Capital IQ.

These are a handful of the thousands of public companies that can help you secure a third income for life. If you'd like to see which others make the cut, try Motley Fool Income Investor free for the next 30 days.

Interested in reading more about Commerce Bancshares? Add it to My Watchlist, which will find all of our Foolish analysis on this stock.

Jim Royal, Ph.D., owns none of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. True to its name, The Motley Fool is made up of a motley assortment of writers and analysts, each with a unique perspective; sometimes we agree, sometimes we disagree, but we all believe in the power of learning from each other through our Foolish community. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


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