Any earnings season witnesses a small number of dividend raises, and this current one is no different. On Tuesday, J.M. Smucker (NYSE:SJM) announced its board of directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.90 per share. This is a slight (2%) improvement over the $0.88 it previously paid.
The company pointed out that this is the 19th year in a row it has upped its distribution. Assuming that it can both continue to make yearly raises and remain a component of the S&P 500 index, it will become a Dividend Aristocrat in 2026.
The human and pet food purveyor is one of the rare companies that has actually benefited from the societal and economic changes wrought by the coronavirus pandemic. Consumers are staying inside much more than they were before, and at the same time reaching for the type of familiar comfort food brands Smucker's specializes in.
As a result, the company's net sales rose a sturdy 10% year over year in its most recently reported quarter, while non-GAAP (adjusted) net income per share leaped 24% higher. However, the company believes that coronavirus "benefit" will fade in the coming quarters.
As for Smucker's new dividend, it would yield 3.4% at the most recent closing stock price. It is payable on Sept. 1 to investors of record as of Aug. 14.
It's hard to find any investor who doesn't appreciate a dividend raise. Investors showed their appreciation for this one for pushing up Smucker's price on Tuesday; it rose by 1.2%, exceeding the gains of the top equity indexes on the day, plus numerous consumer goods peers.