Companies make many claims, but according to uniform management and services company Cintas (NASDAQ:CTAS), only Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) can boast a longer streak of annual growth in sales and profits. For the record, Cintas checks in with 36 straight years of growth, which is understandable given it's the top dog in a fragmented industry.

In the first quarter, Cintas, the uniform supply company, provided more of the same for investors with sales up a little more than 10%, a 9.5% increase in net income, and because of share repurchases an 11.9% increase in diluted earnings per share. A portion of the growth is from acquisitions in the last year, but there was a healthy 8.4% rate of growth in Cintas' organic operations, which includes 8% growth in the core business of uniform rentals. The remaining growth came from the company's smaller, but rapidly growing, offering of other services such as document management, fire protection products, and other supplies.

For a company that has endured, actually thrived, for so long it's not surprising to find a healthy balance sheet. Cintas does have a fair amount of debt, but it's only about a quarter of equity, and with solid cash flow and about half its debt balance in cash, there is little reason for concern.

As is usually the case, the market has already priced the strength of Cintas' earning power into its stock price. But at slightly lower prices, Cintas would become intriguing because it regularly repurchases shares and pays a dividend that clocks in at just under 1%. The dividend is smaller than the 3% hurdle cleared by each of the recommendations in our Motley FoolIncome Investor service. However, like the rest of the business, the dividend is growing each year. So for investors who are looking for a bit more of a growth story that also pays a dividend, Cintas is worth a look.

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Nathan Parmelee has no financial interest in any of the other companies mentioned. The Motley Fool has an ironclad disclosure policy.