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Dividend Kings of 2022

Get a list of current -- and potential future -- Dividend Kings and also learn how to leverage these strong companies to build wealth.

By Keith Speights – Updated Jul 12, 2022 at 1:52PM

What's the most exclusive group of dividend stocks? It might not be what first comes to mind.

Many investors are familiar with Dividend Aristocrats. These stocks are members of the S&P 500 that have increased their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years.

But there's an even more elite group of dividend stocks that doesn't receive as much attention. Dividend Kings are members of the S&P 500 that have increased their dividends for at least 50 consecutive years.

Here's what you need to know about the current Dividend Kings and how they can fit into your investment portfolio.

Dividend aristocrats vs dividend kings is a matter of 25 years versus 50 years of increased dividend payments to investors.
Image source: The Motley Fool.

2022 Dividend Kings

Only 44 stocks qualified as Dividend Kings as of June 1, 2022:

Data sources: Company press releases, Yahoo! Finance.
Company Sector Consecutive Years of Dividend Increases
American States Water (NYSE:AWR) Utilities 67
Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV) Industrials 66
Northwest Natural Holding (NYSE:NWN) Utilities 66
Genuine Parts (NYSE:GPC) Consumer cyclical 66
Emerson Electric (NYSE:EMR) Industrials 65
Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) Consumer defensive 65
Parker Hannifin (NYSE:PH) Industrials 65
3M (NYSE:MMM) Industrials 64
Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) Financial services 62
Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) Consumer defensive 60
Colgate-Palmolive (NYSE:CL) Consumer defensive 60
Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) Healthcare 59
Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) Consumer cyclical 59
Lancaster Colony (NASDAQ:LANC) Consumer defensive 59
Nordson (NASDAQ:NDSN) Industrials 58
Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (OTC:FMCB) Financial services 58
Hormel Foods (NYSE:HRL) Consumer defensive 56
California Water Service Group (NYSE:CWT) Utilities 55
Stepan (NYSE:SCL) Basic materials 55
Stanley Black & Decker (NYSE:SWK) Industrials 54
Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT) Real estate 54
SJW Group (NYSE:SJW) Utilities 54
Commerce Bancshares (NASDAQ:CBSH) Financial services 54
ABM Industries (NYSE:ABM) Industrials 54
Sysco (NYSE:SYY) Consumer defensive 52
H.B. Fuller (NYSE:FUL) Basic materials 52
Altria Group (NYSE:MO) Consumer defensive 52
Black Hills Corp. (NYSE:BKH) Utilities 51
National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) Energy 51
Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV) Consumer defensive 51
W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW) Industrials 50
PPG Industries (NYSE:PPG) Materials 50
Target (NYSE:TGT) Consumer defensive 50
Abbott Labs (NYSE:ABT) Healthcare 50
AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) Healthcare 50
Becton, Dickinson & Co. (NYSE:BDX) Healthcare 50
Kimberly Clark (NYSE:KMB) Consumer staples 50
MSA Safety (NYSE:MSA) Industrials 50
Tennant (NYSE:TNC) Industrials 50
Nucor (NYSE:NUE) Basic materials 50
PepsiCo (NASDAQ:PEP) Consumer staples 50

Two sectors -- consumer defensive and industrials -- have 10 stocks on the 2021 Dividend Kings list. There were also four healthcare stocks and four utility stocks in the group. This shouldn't be a surprise. Companies in these sectors tend to pay dividends. Many have also been in operation for a long time.

There aren't any exchange-traded funds (ETFs) that focus exclusively on Dividend Kings. However, the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NYSEMKT:NOBL) owns shares of all Dividend Aristocrats. Since Dividend Kings are also Dividend Aristocrats, investing in the ETF would allow you to buy most of the Dividend Kings in one fell swoop (plus a lot of other stocks with great track records of dividend increases.)

Changes in 2022

It's likely that most of these Dividend Kings will remain on the list throughout 2022. Why? There's a tremendous amount of pressure on companies that have increased their dividends for 50-plus years to keep their streak going. No CEO wants to be known as the leader who messed up an impressive dividend track record.

However, some companies fall off the list even while increasing their dividends. For example, Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) was kicked out of the S&P 500 in December 2021. And there will most likely be new companies joining the Dividend Kings list.

Of course, there's no guarantee that these companies will join the ranks of the Dividend Kings. However, the same factors incentivizing the current Dividend Kings to continue increasing their dividends are incentivizing the companies close to making the cut.

Likely winners in 2022

There are two key factors that should affect many stocks in 2022, including several of the Dividend Kings:

  • Turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic
  • Interest rates

These factors could benefit some stocks but hurt others. Here are five Dividend Kings that should be winners in 2022:

Johnson & Johnson

Johnson & Johnson might not just benefit from the world turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic; the healthcare giant could be key to making it happen. J&J ranks among the leaders in the coronavirus vaccine market and is the biggest of all of the vaccine stocks.

The company committed to selling its COVID-19 vaccine at cost during the pandemic. However, J&J has several other pharmaceutical products on the market that are driving its profits higher. Autoimmune disease drugs Stelara and Tremfya and blood cancer drugs Darzalex and Imbruvica continue to be especially big winners. 

Johnson & Johnson plans to spin off its consumer health unit in 2023. This move will leave the company with its faster-growing medical device and pharmaceutical businesses. 

Federal Realty Investment Trust

Federal Realty Investment Trust seems like a surefire winner if COVID-19 cases significantly fall in 2022. The real estate investment trust (REIT) owns more than 100 retail properties.

The company's tenants should be stronger financially as coronavirus concerns fade. That will improve the prospects for Federal Realty to collect a higher percentage of the recurring rents that it's owed.

Federal Realty should also benefit if interest rates remain relatively low. REITs usually have to borrow money to pay for new properties. When interest rates are low, it reduces the interest expenses these companies must pay. Even with anticipated rate hikes, levels should still remain relatively low.

Sysco

Sysco was the kind of stock many investors wanted to avoid during the worst part of the COVID-19 pandemic. Many of Sysco's restaurant customers have been hit hard by the pandemic, resulting in the company's sales declining in 2020 and 2021.

However, a stock to avoid during a pandemic could be a stock that soars when the coronavirus crisis subsides. Sysco should be poised for a solid recovery if Americans return to past levels of dining out in 2022.

The company just might find that its customer base is more loyal than ever before when the pandemic is over. Sysco has worked hard to help its restaurant customers navigate the coronavirus challenge, including helping them extend their outdoor dining season and revise their menus to boost profitability.

Lowe's

Home-improvement retail giant Lowe's performed quite well during the worst of the pandemic in 2020. The company's sales and profits soared as many U.S. residents embarked on home-improvement projects.

Lowe's kept the momentum going in 2021. It expects to boost sales in 2022 with its transition to a delivery model where large, bulky products are shipped directly to customers' homes from distribution centers, bypassing the company's stores altogether.

As long as rates remain relatively low, home sales should be strong. People who buy new homes often have to fix up their old homes first, which could translate to more business for Lowe's.

Stanley Black & Decker

The same trends that are helping Lowe's are also working to the advantage of Stanley Black & Decker. The company's sales of tools used in do-it-yourself (DIY) projects skyrocketed during the pandemic.

Also like Lowe's, Stanley Black & Decker's tool sales for the DIY market should continue to grow as long as interest rates remain low. Many people who start to make repairs to their existing homes in anticipation of buying new ones will need tools for these efforts.

Stanley Black & Decker's other businesses have also bounced back after being hit hard by lockdowns during the pandemic. The company should experience increased growth with its acquisition of MTD Holdings, which makes outdoor power equipment.

Why invest in Dividend Kings?

Dividend Kings aren't necessarily a good fit for every investor. Many of these stocks frequently deliver relatively low growth. For example, four of the five Dividend Kings with the longest records of dividend increases have underperformed the S&P 500 over the past 10 years.

However, Dividend Kings can be a great component of retirement portfolios. Most of these stocks offer dividend yields that are higher than the average dividend yield of S&P 500 members. Their consistency in paying and increasing dividend payouts also can provide a measure of confidence for retirees who are depending on income generated by the dividend stocks they own.

Related dividend stocks topics

Keith Speights has positions in AbbVie and PepsiCo Inc. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends ProShares S&P 500 Aristocrats ETF and Target. The Motley Fool recommends 3M, Becton, Dickinson, Johnson & Johnson, Lowe's, and Tennant Company and recommends the following options: long January 2023 $50 calls on Sysco, long January 2024 $47.50 calls on Coca-Cola, and short August 2022 $90 calls on Sysco. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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