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The Fastest-Growing Dividend Aristocrats

http://www.fool.com/investing/dividends-income/2011/08/15/the-fastest-growing-dividend-aristocrats.aspx

Jim Royal
August 15, 2011

Dividend-paying companies are an oasis in the desert of underperforming stocks. They offer solid payouts today and the promise of capital gains tomorrow. According to a study by Ibbotson, reinvested dividends made up about 40% of total stock returns from 1926 to 2006. In fact, dividend investing is so appealing that superinvestor Warren Buffett has made it a significant component of his portfolio.

When searching for great dividend stocks, it makes a lot of sense to start with companies that have been playing the dividend game the longest. Standard & Poor's has culled the dividend winners from the also-rans in a list it calls the "dividend aristocrats."

Let's examine the top 25 fastest-growing yields among these dividend aristocrats. For context, I've also included their trailing yield.

Company

5-Year Average Annual Dividend Growth Rate

Yield

CenturyLink (NYSE: CTL  ) 63.9% 8.4%
Lowe's (NYSE: LOW  ) 29.7% 2.9%
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD  ) 28.9% 2.8%
Walgreen (NYSE: WAG  ) 21.9% 2.6%
Target (NYSE: TGT  ) 20.1% 2.5%
AFLAC (NYSE: AFL  ) 19.7% 3.2%
W.W. Grainger (NYSE: GWW  ) 17.7% 1.9%
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT  ) 15.6% 2.9%
Automatic Data Processing (Nasdaq: ADP  ) 14.9% 3%
Clorox (NYSE: CLX  ) 14.4% 3.5%
Becton, Dickinson (NYSE: BDX  ) 14.2% 2%
PepsiCo (NYSE: PEP  ) 12.6% 3.3%
VF Corp (NYSE: VFC  ) 12.2% 2.3%
Ecolab (NYSE: ECL  ) 11.9% 1.5%
Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL  ) 11.5% 1.8%
Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG  ) 11.4% 3.4%
Sigma-Aldrich (Nasdaq: SIAL  ) 11.2% 1.1%
Archer-Daniels-Midland (NYSE: ADM  ) 10.9% 2.3%
Family Dollar Stores (NYSE: FDO  ) 10.9% 1.5%
Leggett & Platt (