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S&P Dividend Aristocrats: Which Stocks Make the List?

By Dan Caplinger - May 5, 2017 at 7:20AM

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These stocks have long track records of dividend success. Find out which stocks qualify.

Income investors love stocks that pay healthy dividends, and one of the biggest achievements a dividend stock can reach is to become a Dividend Aristocrat. The S&P Dividend Aristocrats include those stocks that meet the requirements that S&P Dow Jones Indices imposes.

To qualify, a stock must have raised its annual dividend payment for at least 25 consecutive years, and it must be a member of the S&P 500 Index (^GSPC -4.04%). Below, you'll see a complete list of current S&P Dividend Aristocrats, along with their current dividend yields.

S&P Dividend Aristocrats in 2017

Stock

Years of Consecutive Dividend Increases

Current Dividend Yield

3M (MMM -2.24%)

59

2.4%

Aflac (AFL -1.61%)

34

2.3%

AbbVie (ABBV -1.52%)

45*

4%

Abbott Labs (ABT -1.57%)

45*

2.4%

Air Products & Chemicals (APD -2.13%)

35

2.7%

Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM -4.62%)

42

2.8%

AT&T (T -1.65%)

33

5%

Automatic Data Processing (ADP -3.00%)

42

2.2%

C.R. Bard (BCR)

45

0.3%

Becton, Dickinson (BDX -2.01%)

45

1.6%

Brown-Forman (BF.B -7.16%)

33

1.5%

Cardinal Health (CAH -1.80%)

31

2.5%

Chevron (CVX -3.43%)

29

4.1%

Cincinnati Financial (CINF -1.70%)

57

2.8%

Cintas (CTAS -6.04%)

34

1.1%

Clorox (CLX -6.97%)

39

2.4%

Coca-Cola (KO -6.96%)

55

3.4%

Colgate-Palmolive (CL -3.88%)

54

2.2%

Consolidated Edison (ED -0.29%)

43

3.5%

Dover (DOV -4.79%)

61

2.2%

Ecolab (ECL -4.13%)

25

1.2%

Emerson Electric (EMR -3.28%)

60

3.2%

ExxonMobil (XOM -1.58%)

35

3.8%

Federal REIT (FRT)

49

3%

Franklin Resources (BEN -2.36%)

37

1.9%

General Dynamics (GD -2.44%)

26

1.7%

Genuine Parts (GPC -4.46%)

61

2.9%

Hormel Foods (HRL -8.76%)

51

1.9%

Illinois Tool Works (ITW -4.17%)

42

1.9%

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ -1.86%)

55

2.7%

Kimberly-Clark (KMB -4.43%)

45

3%

Leggett & Platt (LEG -2.18%)

45

2.6%

Lowe's (LOW -5.26%)

54

1.7%

McCormick (MKC -9.27%)

31

1.9%

McDonald's (MCD -4.38%)

41

2.7%

Medtronic (MDT -2.53%)

39

2.1%

Nucor (NUE -4.71%)

44

2.5%

Pentair (PNR -4.90%)

41

2.1%

PepsiCo (PEP -6.20%)

45

2.8%

PPG Industries (PPG -3.84%)

45

1.5%

Procter & Gamble (PG -6.23%)

61

3.2%

S&P Global (SPGI -2.70%)

44

1.2%

Sherwin-Williams (SHW -3.56%)

39

1%

Sysco (SYY -6.06%)

47

2.5%

T. Rowe Price (TROW -3.47%)

31

3.2%

Target (TGT -24.93%)

49

4.3%

VF Corp. (VFC -4.69%)

44

3.1%

W.W. Grainger (GWW -3.40%)

46

2.7%

Wal-Mart (WMT -6.79%)

44

2.7%

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA -8.39%)

41

1.7%

Data source: S&P Dow Jones Indices, Investor Relations websites, Yahoo! Finance. * Abbott Labs spun off AbbVie; AbbVie's inclusion assumes carry-forward of Abbott's dividend streak, while Abbott's continuing inclusion accounts for spinoff.

What to notice about the S&P Dividend Aristocrats

There are a few things that investors need to keep in mind about the list of S&P Dividend Aristocrats. First of all, there's a little bit of controversy about whether every stock on this list should be included. For instance, both Abbott Labs and AbbVie appear on the list, because the methodology for the index assumes that the spun-off AbbVie should inherit the original dividend streak of former parent Abbott Labs. But one could just as easily disqualify either, or both, on the basis of the spinoff.

Dividends with sector symbols.

Image source: Getty Images.

On the flip side, some stocks that arguably could appear on the list don't. Altria Group (MO -1.92%) is a good example, with 50 dividend increases over the past 47 years. The problem, though, is that Altria did spinoffs of various business units, including its Kraft food unit and its international tobacco business, Philip Morris International. Because of those moves, Altria doesn't appear on the list despite it being one of the most important dividend stocks of the past half-century.

Finally, notice that, just because a stock is a Dividend Aristocrat, it doesn't mean that it has a particularly high yield. Several stocks on the list have yields of 1.5% or less, which is considerably below the market average.

Moreover, there's no minimum amount by which a company must raise the dividend in order to qualify as an increase. That leads some companies to do token increases to extend a streak, and while small boosts are better than nothing, it's unclear whether such moves are really consistent with the spirit of S&P Dividend Aristocrat membership.

Look closely at great dividend stocks

Even with these caveats, the stocks that are part of the S&P Dividend Aristocrats have proven themselves to be able to boost their dividend payouts in strong economies and in recessionary conditions. With that kind of resilience, Dividend Aristocrats deserve the reputation they have, and also are worth a closer look from dividend investors, generally.

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Stocks Mentioned

Altria Group, Inc. Stock Quote
Altria Group, Inc.
MO
$53.20 (-1.92%) $-1.04
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD) Stock Quote
S&P 500 Index - Price Return (USD)
^GSPC
$3,923.68 (-4.04%) $-165.17
Aflac Incorporated Stock Quote
Aflac Incorporated
AFL
$56.32 (-1.61%) $0.92
AT&T Inc. Stock Quote
AT&T Inc.
T
$20.23 (-1.65%) $0.34
The Coca-Cola Company Stock Quote
The Coca-Cola Company
KO
$61.20 (-6.96%) $-4.58
McDonald's Corporation Stock Quote
McDonald's Corporation
MCD
$231.05 (-4.38%) $-10.58
Genuine Parts Company Stock Quote
Genuine Parts Company
GPC
$131.48 (-4.46%) $-6.13
Johnson & Johnson Stock Quote
Johnson & Johnson
JNJ
$175.50 (-1.86%) $-3.32
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Stock Quote
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
WMT
$122.43 (-6.79%) $-8.92
Exxon Mobil Corporation Stock Quote
Exxon Mobil Corporation
XOM
$90.65 (-1.58%) $-1.46
Chevron Corporation Stock Quote
Chevron Corporation
CVX
$168.06 (-3.43%) $-5.97
Consolidated Edison, Inc. Stock Quote
Consolidated Edison, Inc.
ED
$95.22 (-0.29%) $0.28
The Clorox Company Stock Quote
The Clorox Company
CLX
$145.83 (-6.97%) $-10.92
The Procter & Gamble Company Stock Quote
The Procter & Gamble Company
PG
$145.04 (-6.23%) $-9.64
Abbott Laboratories Stock Quote
Abbott Laboratories
ABT
$112.74 (-1.57%) $-1.80
Emerson Electric Co. Stock Quote
Emerson Electric Co.
EMR
$83.56 (-3.28%) $-2.83
Becton, Dickinson and Company Stock Quote
Becton, Dickinson and Company
BDX
$251.10 (-2.01%) $-5.16
Target Corporation Stock Quote
Target Corporation
TGT
$161.61 (-24.93%) $-53.67
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc. Stock Quote
Walgreens Boots Alliance, Inc.
WBA
$41.17 (-8.39%) $-3.77
Pepsico, Inc. Stock Quote
Pepsico, Inc.
PEP
$163.65 (-6.20%) $-10.81
3M Company Stock Quote
3M Company
MMM
$148.93 (-2.24%) $-3.41
The Sherwin-Williams Company Stock Quote
The Sherwin-Williams Company
SHW
$259.66 (-3.56%) $-9.60
Sysco Corporation Stock Quote
Sysco Corporation
SYY
$80.71 (-6.06%) $-5.21
Archer-Daniels-Midland Company Stock Quote
Archer-Daniels-Midland Company
ADM
$84.54 (-4.62%) $-4.09
Lowe's Companies, Inc. Stock Quote
Lowe's Companies, Inc.
LOW
$183.82 (-5.26%) $-10.21
PPG Industries, Inc. Stock Quote
PPG Industries, Inc.
PPG
$119.56 (-3.84%) $-4.77
W.W. Grainger, Inc. Stock Quote
W.W. Grainger, Inc.
GWW
$465.78 (-3.40%) $-16.41
Cardinal Health, Inc. Stock Quote
Cardinal Health, Inc.
CAH
$55.68 (-1.80%) $-1.02
Medtronic plc Stock Quote
Medtronic plc
MDT
$103.57 (-2.53%) $-2.69
Kimberly-Clark Corporation Stock Quote
Kimberly-Clark Corporation
KMB
$132.51 (-4.43%) $-6.15
Brown-Forman Corporation Stock Quote
Brown-Forman Corporation
BF.B
$62.47 (-7.16%) $-4.82
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. Stock Quote
Automatic Data Processing, Inc.
ADP
$208.50 (-3.00%) $-6.46
V.F. Corporation Stock Quote
V.F. Corporation
VFC
$45.97 (-4.69%) $-2.26
Nucor Corporation Stock Quote
Nucor Corporation
NUE
$119.18 (-4.71%) $-5.89
McCormick & Company, Incorporated Stock Quote
McCormick & Company, Incorporated
MKC
$91.65 (-9.27%) $-9.36
Ecolab Inc. Stock Quote
Ecolab Inc.
ECL
$156.21 (-4.13%) $-6.73
Illinois Tool Works Inc. Stock Quote
Illinois Tool Works Inc.
ITW
$203.39 (-4.17%) $-8.85
T. Rowe Price Group, Inc. Stock Quote
T. Rowe Price Group, Inc.
TROW
$121.31 (-3.47%) $-4.36
Colgate-Palmolive Company Stock Quote
Colgate-Palmolive Company
CL
$75.71 (-3.88%) $-3.06
Hormel Foods Corporation Stock Quote
Hormel Foods Corporation
HRL
$48.23 (-8.76%) $-4.63
Pentair plc Stock Quote
Pentair plc
PNR
$48.09 (-4.90%) $-2.48
S&P Global Inc. Stock Quote
S&P Global Inc.
SPGI
$330.12 (-2.70%) $-9.16
General Dynamics Corporation Stock Quote
General Dynamics Corporation
GD
$225.98 (-2.44%) $-5.64
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. Stock Quote
Air Products and Chemicals, Inc.
APD
$234.47 (-2.13%) $-5.11
Cintas Corporation Stock Quote
Cintas Corporation
CTAS
$358.26 (-6.04%) $-23.05
C. R. Bard, Inc. Stock Quote
C. R. Bard, Inc.
BCR
Leggett & Platt, Incorporated Stock Quote
Leggett & Platt, Incorporated
LEG
$37.22 (-2.18%) $0.83
Franklin Resources, Inc. Stock Quote
Franklin Resources, Inc.
BEN
$25.23 (-2.36%) $0.61
Dover Corporation Stock Quote
Dover Corporation
DOV
$129.39 (-4.79%) $-6.51
Cincinnati Financial Corporation Stock Quote
Cincinnati Financial Corporation
CINF
$124.81 (-1.70%) $-2.16
AbbVie Inc. Stock Quote
AbbVie Inc.
ABBV
$152.43 (-1.52%) $-2.35
Federal Realty Investment Trust Stock Quote
Federal Realty Investment Trust
FRT

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

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