What do United Parcel Service (NYSE:UPS), AbbVie Inc. (NYSE:ABBV), and Walt Disney Co. (NYSE:DIS) have in common? They're all dividend-friendly companies that Motley Fool investors think should be included in income portfolios. Are these stocks a perfect fit for your portfolio? Here's how these dividend stalwarts could be perfectly positioned to increase their dividends in the coming years.

Brown could make you some green

Rich Smith (UPS): This may sound crazy coming less than two weeks after Amazon.com (NASDAQ:AMZN) announced a direct challenge to its business model and a plan to steal away UPS customers with a new "Shipping With Amazon" service -- but I find myself kind of intrigued by UPS stock right now.

A miniature grocery cart filled with delivery boxes is sitting on a laptop.


As a dividend play, UPS' virtues should be obvious to all. UPS pays its shareholders a hefty 3.4% dividend yield, which is nearly twice the 1.8% average payout among S&P 500 companies. UPS also devotes only 80% of its profits to maintaining that dividend, which puts at least a couple of layers of safety around that dividend payout. In fact, assuming UPS' business grows with the growth of the global economy (as I think it will), its dividend could even grow over time -- Amazon's best efforts notwithstanding.

Nor am I alone in thinking growth is in the cards. Amazon or no Amazon, analysts who follow UPS on average predict UPS will grow earnings at better than 14% annually over the next three years. That's not quite enough to bring UPS' PEG ratio down below 1.0. But if you add the stock's 3.4% dividend yield to the three-year projected growth rate of 14.4%, you end up with a 17.8% projected annual total return on UPS stock, which is very close to its 18.7 P/E ratio -- and not a bad price to pay for one-half of the world's package delivery duopoly.

How do you feel about 140% dividend growth?

Todd Campbell (AbbVie): If you like stocks with double-digit growth on their top and bottom lines and are increasing their dividends at an eye-popping rate, then you ought to love AbbVie.

The company markets the world's best-selling drug, Humira, an autoimmune disease drug that might not have to contend with generic interlopers until 2023 following a key patent verdict last fall.

The clarity into Humira's $18.4 billion in annual sales is encouraging because it means AbbVie's got years to launch new drugs that can offset any eventual sales decline. In the coming year, it could win blockbuster approvals for its endometriosis drug, Elagolix, and its leukemia drug, Venclexta. It also plans to file three potential blockbuster drugs for approval in the next year: Rova-T, upadacitinib, and risankizumab.

Overall, AbbVie's management thinks its non-Humira revenue has a shot at growing from less than $10 billion to over $35 billion in 2025. If it can hit anywhere near that target, then it should have plenty of money to keep rewarding investors via dividends.

The company believes so much in its strategy that it increased its quarterly dividend by 35% last week. That brought its total dividend increase to 140% since its IPO in 2013. With an outlook for 13% sales growth this year and a dividend yield of 3.2%, there's a lot to love about adding this company to income portfolios.

A bronze statue of Walt Disney holding hands with Mickey Mouse.


Buy Disney while it's still down

Steve Symington (Disney): Despite Disney starting its fiscal year with a return to growth on the strength of its thriving parks and resorts segment, its stock has fallen modestly since its most recent report last month. But keeping in mind that the company also aims to return at least 20% of the cash it generates to shareholders through dividends and stock repurchases  -- call it a reward for your patience -- I think the decline offers a perfect opportunity for long-term investors to open or add to their positions.

For one, in its studio segment, the entertainment conglomerate can look forward to soon reporting the fruits of Black Panther, which has set a slew of records and collected gross ticket sales of nearly $800 million worldwide since it hit the big screen two weeks ago.

And that's not to mention the impending box office debuts of Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War next month, Lucasfilm's Solo: A Star Wars Story in May, Pixar's The Incredibles 2 in June, Marvel's Ant Man and the Wasp in July, and Pixar's Wreck-It Ralph 2 this November.

Of course, the running worry is that cord-cutters will continue to eat into the profits of Disney's core media networks business -- and they likely will. But remember that Disney is also launching a new multisport streaming service called ESPN Plus this spring, to be priced at an affordable $4.99 per month. Then next year, it will introduce a broader video streaming service featuring both new releases and its massive catalog of entertainment titles.

Finally, we can't forget Disney's pending $52 billion acquisition of most of the entertainment assets of Twenty-First Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOXA). Assuming the deal passes regulatory muster and closes by mid-2018 as planned, it will give Disney control of properties including Avatar, X-Men, Fantastic Four, and Deadpool, as well as National Geographic, FX Networks, Fox Sports Regional Networks, a controlling stake in Hulu, a 39% stake in Europe's Sky, and Star TV in India.

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.