The number of S&P 500 companies paying a dividend just hit a new all-time high. As of July 1, 84% (424) of the S&P 500 companies paid a dividend -- up from 74% 10 years ago.
That's an extra 54 dividend payers to choose from in just the S&P. It means that, on average, you've had five new choices each year.
On one hand it's great. These companies are building reputations as solid dividend payers. And investors have more options than ever.
But on the other hand, not all dividends are created equally. On the surface two stocks with a current yield of 2.6% may look similar, but underneath the hood they can be very different.
The newest dividend payers don't have the history to demonstrate they can sustain a dividend through a recession, a depression, or a stock market crash, and certainly not through a couple of world wars.
If you want a dividend payer with that kind of resume, you need to zero in on the most reliable dividend payers on earth, companies that are in one of the most exclusive clubs in the entire global stock market.
Companies That Have Been Paying A Dividend For At Least 100 Years
This is one of the most exclusive clubs in the entire global stock market. It's rare for any company to even reach 100 years of age, much less to pay a dividend for that entire time.
The age of publicly traded companies continues to fall. Last year, the average age of a company in the S&P 500 was just 20 years. That's why these 100-year dividend payers are so unique.
A company can't thrive for 100 years without a sustainable competitive advantage in a stable industry. These global leaders have proven their dividend payments can stand the test of time and keep stuffing shareholders pockets with cash.
For investors looking for reliable dividend payers, this is the place to look. Check out the list below.
|Company||Ticker||Paid Since||Current Yield|
|Procter & Gamble||PG||1891||3.04%|
From this list I have chosen to highlight Pfizer and General Mills because of their high current yields and impressive dividend growth.
Pfizer (NYSE: PFE), founded all the way back in 1850, is today one of the largest and most successful pharmaceutical companies in the world. Pfizer has evolved into one of the most reliable dividend payers the stock market has ever seen. The company has been paying a dividend since 1901, giving it a whopping 116-year dividend streak that makes it one of the most reliable dividend payers in the world.
Not only is Pfizer's dividend reliable, it also offers one of the fastest growing and best yields in the S&P 500. Pfizer has raised its dividend payment by 41% in the last five years alone.
Pfizer's current yield of 3.9% is a 95% premium to the S&P 500's 2.0% average. Looking forward, Pfizer should have plenty of earnings growth to support more dividend payments and growth. Earnings are on pace to expand in 6.4% in 2017 and another 7.6% in 2018.
General Mills (NYSE: GIS) was founded in 1856 and is one of the largest food companies in the world. This is another world-class dividend payer. The company has been paying a dividend since 1898, giving it a mind-blowing 119-year dividend streak.
General Mills has been pumping up its dividend lately. In the last five years its dividend payment has increased 54%. That has shares offering a 3.5% dividend, a 75% premium to the S&P 500's 2.0% yield. Earnings are a little slow this year, expected to grow about 1.5%. But this is just a temporary issue -- earnings growth is expected to accelerate next year to 4.3%.
Risks To Consider: The average age of S&P 500 companies continues to fall. That shows how fast the economy is evolving. These are all global leaders but they need to continue to adjust to a fast-moving economy that is driven by technology.
Action To Take: If you're looking for the most reliable dividend payers in the world this list is a great place to start. Every single company on this list has been paying a dividend for at least 100 years. From the group, Pfizer and General Mills offer two of the best dividend growth rates and yields.