While Procter & Gamble (NYSE: PG) may set the golden standard for dividend aristocracy, there are good reasons to hold off on this company today. Despite 56 years of dividend hikes, P&G's earnings haven't been able to keep pace in recent quarters, and the company may have a more difficult time meaningfully hiking their payouts each quarter. The company is in need of some earnings adrenaline, but they're looking in the wrong places: internal cost-cutting. 

Like any mega-cap company, P&G probably has a lot of fat that they could trim to grow earnings a bit, but you can only go so far with a strategy like that. Instead, the company should be focusing on growing their top line with new high-margin personal care products. It won't be easy, but it may be one of the best ways to sustain their sterling reputation.

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This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.