Dividends offer investors many benefits, including steady income and the ability to amplify returns and reduce costs by automatically reinvesting the proceeds. But a similarly valuable aspect of the companies that offer these dividend-paying stocks is their promise of increasing payouts over time.
With that in mind, let's look at two dividends that will be climbing higher in July. The increase is just part of why you'll want to keep Dollar General (DG -1.15%) and Clorox (CLX -1.20%) stocks on your watch list this summer.
1. Dollar General's 17% payout boost
Dollar General is relatively new to the dividend party, having paid steady income to shareholders since 2015. But the discount retailer is making up for that short track record by raising its payout at a quicker pace than its peers.
The dividend in July is slated to rise 17% to $0.42 per share. Five years ago, the quarterly payout stood at just $0.25 a share.
Management announced the latest hike after the company closed a banner fiscal 2020, with sales surging 22% as consumers prioritized spending on essentials like groceries and home cleaning supplies. Profitability increased, too, as higher prices more than offset the company's rising labor and transportation costs. "We continue to operate from a position of strength," CEO Todd Vasos told investors back in March.
With the pressures of the pandemic on the economy easing and more people getting vaccinated, Dollar General's growth has slowed in early 2021, as expected. But Dollar General still raised its outlook in late May and is expecting strong sales gains on a two-year basis. The retailer is aggressively expanding its store base, having opened 260 new stores in fiscal Q1. These projects should help keep sales and dividend payments rising for this value-focused, consumer staples giant.
2. Clorox's 5% dividend hike
Clorox became even more of a household name during the pandemic, with consumers around the world putting its cleaning and disinfecting supplies in high demand. Organic sales are on track to rise by between 10% and 13% in fiscal 2021, which runs through late June, compared to 10% in the year-ago period. That result, CEO Linda Rendle pointed out in April, would be "our best full-year top-line growth in more than 20 years."
Don't be fooled by Clorox's seemingly modest 5% dividend hike that is set to impact investors' accounts in July, either. This Dividend Aristocrat has been boosting its payout annually for over 40 years running. In just the past decade the dividend has increased from $2.30 per share each year to $4.64 per share. That works out to a compound annual growth rate of over 7%. Shareholders have enjoyed strong stock price appreciation over that time, too.
Investors have left Clorox stock out of the 2021 market rally on worries that there might be a growth pullback ahead as the COVID-19 threat fades. But Clorox has a proven track record of succeeding through a wide range of selling environments. Meanwhile, the stock price decline has pushed the dividend yield up above 2.5% as of late June.
It's been over a year since income investors were offered such a high yield for owning Clorox shares. And there are likely many more years of payout hikes on the way.