5 Companies Raising Their Dividends for 50 Consecutive Years

Coca-Cola, Colgate, Procter & Gamble, Lowe's, and Lancaster Colony have extraordinary trajectories of dividend growth. Even better, they have what it takes to continue raising their payments for years to come.

Jan 18, 2014 at 10:00AM

Cash does not lie: Sustained dividend growth in the long term is a clear indication of a sound business generating predictable and reliable cash flows for investors over time. Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO), Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL), Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG), Lowe's (NYSE:LOW), and Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC) have increased their dividends over the last 50 consecutive years. Furthermore, they are strong enough to continue growing their payments for many more years.

Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola is the undisputed leader in the global soft drinks business; the company owns a portfolio of 16 brands generating more than $1 billion in sales per year. In addition, Coca-Cola benefits from tremendous scale advantages and a gigantic global distribution network protecting the company from the competition.

Coke has raised its dividends over the last 51 consecutive years, including a 10% hike announced in February 2013. The company pays a dividend yield of 2.8% and has a sustainable payout ratio around 57% of earnings.

Colgate-Palmolive
Colgate-Palmolive is a global powerhouse in oral care thanks to its market leadership in toothpastes, toothbrushes, and mouthwashes. Not only that, the company also has sizable operations in personal care, pet nutrition, and home care. Colgate sells its products in more than 220 countries and makes more than 80% of sales from its international markets.

Colgate has paid uninterrupted dividends since 1895 and has raised those payments over the last 50 years in a row. Its dividend yield is 2.1%, and the company has a safe payout ratio near 51% of earnings.

Procter & Gamble
Procter & Gamble owns a gigantic portfolio of global brands in different household and personal care categories, including 25 brands with sales of more than $1 billion per year. This global juggernaut does business in more than 180 countries and serves 4.8 billion people around the planet.

P&G has paid a dividend since 1890, and the company has increased its distributions over the last 57 consecutive years. The stock pays a 3% dividend yield, and the payout ratio is around 60% of earnings.

Lowe's
Lowe's is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the world. The company owns more than 1,825 home improvement and hardware stores, serving approximately 15 million customers in the United States, Canada, and Mexico.

The fact that Lowe's was able to continue raising its dividends through the housing crisis in 2008 and 2009 speaks wonders about the company's strength and management quality.

Lowe's has paid a dividend since 1961 and has raised payments over the last 51 consecutive years. The payout ratio is comfortably low, in the area of 32%, and the dividend yield is 1.4%.

Lancaster Colony
Lancaster Colony is a manufacturer and marketer of consumer products, primarily focused on specialty foods. The company's brands include names like Marzetti, New York Brands, and Sister Schubert's. With a market capitalization of $2.35 billion, Lancaster Colony is materially smaller than other companies with extraordinarily long track records of growing dividends, but the company has nothing to envy when it comes to dividend growth.

Lancaster Colony has paid consecutive quarterly dividends since 1963, and it has raised payments over the last 51 years in a row, including a 5.2% increase from $0.38 per share to $0.4 per share during 2013. The stock yields 2% in dividends, and the payout ratio is below 40% of earnings.

Bottom line
Building a track record of 50 consecutive years of dividend growth requires much more than time. Growing dividends through all kinds of economic and financial scenarios is a sign of fundamental strength, financial soundness, and management quality. Coca-Cola, Colgate-Palmolive, Procter & Gamble, Lowe's, and Lancaster Colony are part of a select group of companies with an extraordinary history of dividend growth. Even better, they have what it takes to continue raising their dividends for years into the future.

More dividends to give your portfolio the boost it needs
One of the dirty secrets that few finance professionals will openly admit is the fact that dividend stocks as a group handily outperform their non-dividend paying brethren. The reasons for this are too numerous to list here, but you can rest assured that it’s true. However, knowing this is only half the battle. The other half is identifying which dividend stocks in particular are the best. With this in mind, our top analysts put together a free list of nine high-yielding stocks that should be in every income investor’s portfolio. To learn the identity of these stocks instantly and for free, all you have to do is click here now.

Fool contributor Andres Cardenal has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble. The Motley Fool owns shares of Coca-Cola. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of fool.com.

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to www.fool.com/beginners, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at www.fool.com/podcasts.

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.


Compare Brokers