Few dividend stocks have treated their investors better than consumer staples giant Procter and Gamble (PG 0.01%). P&G's dividend has grown every year since 1957, which is a remarkable achievement. Shares even offer up a yield of 3% today, which is highly attractive.
Despite these facts, we Fools believe there are better dividend stocks out there than P&G. Which ones in particular? We asked a team of investors to weigh in, and they picked Dominion Energy (D -1.13%), Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P. (MMP -0.71%), and Retail Opportunity Investment Corp (ROIC 1.16%).
Appetizing yield and attractive dividend growth
Neha Chamaria (Dominion Energy): Beating Procter & Gamble in the dividend game is no cakewalk given the company's incredible dividend history and a strong 3%-plus dividend yield. Yet, there are some stocks that not only offer higher yields, but also provide shareholders greater visibility into their potential dividend growth, which can make a big difference to an income investor. Consider Dominion Energy, a utility giant that's currently offering 4.1% in yield and is committed to growing its dividend annually by 10% through 2020.
Frankly, it's hard to expect such robust dividend increases from Procter & Gamble. After all, the consumer giant raised its annual dividend by only 3% and 1% in 2017 and 2016, respectively. Comparatively, Dominion treated its shareholders to 8% annual dividend growth between 2014 and 2017.
Underpinning Dominion's dividend goals is its confidence in unlocking value from its recent investments in some big projects. Combined with the consistent growth in its top line and cash flow that's an inherent characteristic of most utilities, Dominion expects to grow its earnings per share at a compounded rate of 6% to 8% through 2020 and at least 5% beyond 2020.
Dominion has increased its dividend every year for only 14 years, compared with Procter & Gamble's 60-year-plus history of consecutive dividend increases. However, income investors can expect Dominion to cut bigger dividend checks than Procter & Gamble as it continues to support its dividend yield with strong growth in underlying earnings.
A pay raise every quarter since the IPO...
Reuben Gregg Brewer (Magellan Midstream Partners, L.P.): Oil and natural gas midstream partnership Magellan Midstream Partners' distribution yield is 4.8%. That's a full 1.8 percentage points better than what you can get from Procter & Gamble. But that's not the only thing to like about Magellan.
For example, the midstream partnership's string of 17 consecutive years of annual distribution increases pales in comparison to P&G's 61 years. However, Magellan has upped its disbursement every single quarter since its IPO in 2001 -- it's hard to fault the partnership for having a shorter history when it boasts a quarterly record like that. The distribution's compound annualized rate of growth over the last decade, meanwhile, was around 11%. P&G's dividend grew at a roughly 7% clip over that same span.
Going forward, Magellan expects to grow the distribution roughly 8% in 2018 and 2019. That's backed by $1.15 billion of spending that's on the books, with an additional $500 million that could be added to the total. The vast majority of its projects have customers lined up or are expansions at facilities where current demand justifies the spending. And all of that is backed by one of the most conservatively run midstream companies in the country, with a focus on a moderate use of leverage and self-funding.
Higher yield, faster disbursement growth, a visible pipeline of growth projects, and a conservatively run business...that sounds like it's worth a deep dive to me.
Positioned to thrive
Brian Feroldi (Retail Opportunity Investments): Given all of the recent retail doom and gloom, it is understandable why Retail Opportunity Investments -- a REIT focused on shopping centers -- has been left out of the recent market rally. Consumers have been shifting their buying behavior toward e-commerce channels, so it is understandable why Wall Street has grown weary of the entire sector. However, I think that pessimism is giving investors a chance to buy a dividend gem at a great price.
My conviction in Retail Opportunity Investments stems from its unique business model. The company doesn't plunk down money on just any shopping center. Instead, it only buys grocery-anchored shopping centers on the west coast that are surrounded by wealthy communities. This focus on quality has helped the company keep traffic coming in even as e-commerce sales continue to grow.
A glance at the company's recent results helps prove that this business model is a stroke of genius. Revenue and funds from operations (FFO) -- which is a REIT proxy for earnings -- grew by double-digits. What's more, the company maintained a portfolio lease rate of 97.3%, which is telling about how much demand there is for space in high-quality shopping centers.
Despite boasting a rock-solid business model and offering up a dividend yield of 4%, the company's stock can currently be purchased for about 17 times trailing FFO. I think that's a bargain price for such a high-quality business.