We're launching into a new earnings season and -- like any earnings season -- that means dividend hikes. Companies often declare their latest payouts concurrently with, or close to, their latest quarterly figures.
One monster company doing the dividend dance this spring is not only a regular payer, but has been habitually lifting its payout for decades. And at 5%, this latest lift isn't small. There's still time for investors to capitalize on the move, so read on to find out more about this star dividend stock.
Good for your pantry, good for your portfolio
I won't keep anyone in suspense -- the stock is that ever-mighty consumer goods sector battleship, Procter & Gamble (PG 0.29%). In mid-April, the company's board of directors authorized its latest dividend raise, a 5% hike that will see it pay just over $0.91 per share quarterly.
Even if the name Procter & Gamble itself doesn't exactly ring a bell, the average consumer in the U.S. is certainly familiar with its brands, including Gillette razors and shaving products, Tide detergent, and Pampers diapers, among a great many others.
The Procter & Gamble moniker is perhaps better-known among dividend stock investors. In fact, it's not only a Dividend King, but one with among the longest streaks. With its April declaration, the company has now enacted dividend raises at least once annually for a hard-to-believe 66 years in a row.
That beats the famously long streaks of other dividend stock stars. These relative "laggards" include longtime investor favorites like Coca-Cola and Procter & Gamble's sizable consumer goods peer, Colgate-Palmolive.
A 5% bump is fairly high for Procter & Gamble. The company is coming off a better-than-average period for its business; the coronavirus pandemic made people stay at home more than usual, and as a result they tended to stock up on consumer goods staples. In its most recently reported quarter, the company squeezed out 6% year-over-year net sales growth -- rather good for a large and mature business.
Dividend raise fuel
Procter & Gamble is certainly facing some challenges. Supply-line disruptions are affecting every corner of the economy, and as a huge business, it's certainly being affected. Meanwhile, it seems -- knock on wood -- that the worst of the coronavirus is over despite the spread of the BA.2 variants, meaning that the hoarding behavior we saw from certain consumers in recent times should recede.
But the company has proven adept at adjusting to changing commercial realities, and you can bet it'll do so in the coming months and years. The numerous analysts that track Procter & Gamble are counting on it. For this fiscal year, the consensus is forecasting that revenue growth will top 4% with net earnings rising at nearly that rate. And for fiscal 2023, analysts are expecting 3.6% sales growth and nearly 8% growth in net earnings.
So while Procter & Gamble isn't what anyone would consider a hotly growing business, it is a steady and reliable one that usually manages to improve its fundamentals. This is important in a good and reliable dividend stock, and the company is a model in that respect.
Fortunately for income investors (and others who like years -- or even decades -- of steadily rising payouts), there's still a narrow window of time to take advantage of the 2022 edition of the Procter & Gamble dividend raise. That first $0.91-plus per share quarterly distribution will be paid on or after May 16 to investors of record as of this Friday, April 22.