Dividends can be one of the greatest tools for investors to build long-term wealth, but sadly many of us screening for new ideas overlook strong dividend stocks because their yields aren't eye-popping. That can be a mistake, and if investors can find companies consistently growing their top and bottom lines, as well as consistently increasing their dividend, it can be a huge win over the long term. Here are two stocks that perfectly fit that description.
A Craftsman for your portfolio
One company that is too frequently left off of dividend "buy" lists is Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. (NYSE:SWK). The provider of highly respected power & hand tools, among multiple other lines of products and services, continues to reward long-term investors with consistent dividend increases. The company currently dishes out a quarterly dividend of $0.58 per share for a yield of roughly 1.8%, and the fact that its yield is under 2% is why the dividend stock typically gets overlooked. But Stanley Black & Decker continues to make moves to strengthen its business and reward investors with consistent increases. According to the company, Stanley Black & Decker owns the record for the longest consecutive annual and quarterly dividend payments among industrial companies on the NYSE.
Stanley Black & Decker recently acquired the Craftsman brand from Sears Holdings for $900 million, which will only add to the depth of strong brands the company owns in department stores. It's a move that will be immediately accretive to the company's earnings, and is expected to generate between $0.35 and $0.45 in earnings per share within five years (for context, Stanley's 2016 EPS was $6.51).
Stanley Black & Decker also bought Newell Brands for $1.95 billion, bringing in the Irwin and Lenox hand and power tool brands, which are expected to generate about $0.50 in additional earnings per share by year three. The company also announced in late December that it would sell the majority of its mechanical security business for $725 million in cash.
While 2016 brought organic growth, record earnings per share and working capital turns, 2017 looks poised for a similarly strong year, with EPS guidance for a 7% increase at the midpoint and 4% organic growth. As the company continues to focus on new products within its excellent portfolio of brands, expect this Dividend Aristocrat to keep on dishing out value to its investors.
Spice things up with this stock
McCormick & Co. (NYSE:MKC) is a massive international leader in the spices and seasonings space, with roughly 20% market share of an $11 billion global market, according to Morningstar.com. That puts it at nearly four times the size of the No. 2 player, giving the company a sizable advantage over competitors due to its scale and lengthy relationship with retailers.
The spice company just put the finishing touches on a strong year, with net sales growing 4% during the fourth quarter and adjusted operating income increasing 6%, both in constant currency terms. Adjusted earnings per share jumped 8% during the fourth quarter, and 2016 marked the fifth consecutive year of record cash flow.
Despite already being a global leader with massive scale, McCormick continues to innovate new products to stay on top. New products launched within the last three years generated 9% of 2016 sales. This spring alone McCormick plans on unleashing 17 new products including everything from quick marinades to baking mixes and sauces.
Not only is McCormick doing solid work with innovation, it continues to cut costs to boost results. In fact, the company's "Comprehensive Continuous Improvement" (CCI) program delivered $109 million in cost savings last year and is on pace to achieve its four-year, $400 million goal. The combination of increasing sales, continuous innovation, and cost cuts has management optimistic McCormick can increase earnings per share between 9% and 11% annually long-term, on a constant currency basis.
To top it all off, the board of directors declared an increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.43 to $0.47 per share in November 2016, which marked the 31st consecutive year of dividend increases, but the company doesn't get enough love from investors given a yield just under 2%. As long as McCormick continues to execute and take advantage of its scale and retailer relationships, there's not much that will stop it from continuing to dish out consistent dividend increases.
Ultimately, these are two excellent dividend stocks for any portfolio and despite being overlooked due to offering smaller yields, the consistent dividend and stock price increases have made savvy investors look smart over the long-term -- don't expect that to change anytime soon.