Investing in dividend stocks can be a wonderful way to power up your returns and boost the amount of cash in your portfolio in a wide variety of market environments. However, with so many to pick from, finding the right dividend stocks for your portfolio that can produce sustained income and growth can be a challenge.
Here's a look at two top dividend stocks with some of the most illustrious histories of paying and raising their dividends on record.
1. Abbott Laboratories
With a company history spanning 130 years and counting, Abbott Laboratories (ABT 0.98%) is also one of a handful of stocks on the list of Dividend Kings. The company has not only paid out but also increased its dividend every single year for 50 years and counting.
And with a current yield of about 1.8%, its dividend falls right in line with that of the average stock trading on the S&P 500. Over the trailing decade alone, the company's dividend has risen by a whopping 236% and helped the stock deliver a total return of nearly 100% to investors in that same time frame.
The reason for Abbott's continued growth against a wide variety of economic backdrops comes down to its diverse portfolio of successful products and the general non-cyclical nature of its business. From continuous glucose monitoring devices (the company just completed the U.S. launch of its new FreeStyle Libre 3 system, featuring one of the smallest, thinnest wearable sensors on the market) to baby formula to nutritional formulas, these are the types of products that consumers require in any macro environment.
Although Abbott's top and bottom lines fell slightly in the most recent quarter -- primarily due to the impact of the strong U.S. dollar -- it still reported respective net sales and earnings of $10.4 billion and $1.4 billion for the three-month period, while also raising its full-year EPS guidance.
Looking back over the past decade, the company has grown its annual revenue by 126%, while its net income has risen by roughly 20% in that period. Income investors seeking a value-oriented business that can deliver stable returns to their portfolio through the years may want to consider a second look at Abbott Labs.
Hormel (HRL 1.82%) also has a dividend history that rivals many of the most well-known income stocks, and a strong track record of profitability to boot. With a yield of 2.4%, Hormel beats out the average stock trading on the S&P 500. The company is also a Dividend King, having just announced its 57th consecutive annual dividend increase. Over the past decade, its dividend has increased by an incredible 224%, and the stock has delivered a total return of 268%.
Hormel Foods' family of brands -- which include names like Applegate, Skippy Peanut Butter, Planters, and Spam -- are sold in more than 80 countries globally. The company also controls the first or second market share spot in more than 40 categories across the diverse assortment of food products it sells.
In the company's fiscal 2022, it reported net sales of $12.5 billion and net income of about $1 billion, representing increases of 9% and 10% from fiscal 2021. It also generated cash flow from operations to the tune of $1.1 billion in the fiscal year, a 13% increase year over year. Over the trailing decade, Hormel Foods has delivered increases to its annual revenue and net income in the amount of 42% and 90%.
Even as investors tighten their belts with fears of a looming recession, they will still continue to buy necessary food staples, such as the ones that Hormel sells. Its leading market share across a wide range of food categories, combined with a robust track record of returns and dividend growth, create a compelling buying proposition for this stock.