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Dividend Kings List – Companies with Annual Dividend Increases for Over 50 Years!

dividend kings

A reader has prompted me to update this post (originally posted in 2016).

Dividend growth investing may not be for everyone, but I am a fan.  I like the idea of receiving tax efficient payments from long-established companies with a track record of annually increasing their payments to shareholders.  

I’m also a believer in the merits of passive index investing.  I use the passive indexing approach for our family RESP, my wife’s RRSP, and the international portion of my own RRSP.  

I use the dividend strategy for my leveraged portfolio, a significant portion of my RRSP, and our corporate portfolio.  We currently collect a little over $50,000/year in dividends and if you are interested, you can follow my dividend updates here.

In the past, I’ve written a number of articles on dividend growth stocks, I’ve never properly categorized them.

  • A Dividend Achiever is a company that has increased its dividend at least 10 years in a row;
  • A Dividend Aristocrat is a company that has increased its dividend at least 25 years in a row; and,
  • A Dividend King is a company that has increased its dividend at least 50 years in a row.  The true cream of the crop.

Here in Canada, we have a relatively small market and an even smaller list of quality dividend stocks.  In a previous article about the top Canadian dividend growth stocks, you will see a number of dividend achievers, a handful of dividend aristocrats, but no dividend kings in Canada (although FTS and CU are getting close).

As of March 2019

Company Symbol Years of Dividend Growth 10 year avg Dividend Growth Rate Payout Ratio Current Yield
Canadian Utilities CU 47  9% 122.5% 4.77%
Fortis Inc. FTS 45 5.6% 72.45% 3.60%
Toromount Industries Ltd TIH 29  11.3% 35.18% 1.56%
Canadian Western Bank CWB 27  9.0% 37.24% 3.40%
Atco Ltd ACO.X 25  12.4% 90.69% 3.58%
Thomson Reuters TRI 25  2.5% 575.79% 2.65%
Empire Company Ltd EMP.A 24  6.6% 36.47% 1.44%
Imperial Oil IMO 24  6.7% 26.40% 2.14%
Metro Inc MRU 24  16% 31.9% 1.62%
Canadian National Railway CNR 23  14.7% 36.62% 1.89%
Enbridge Inc ENB 23  15.1% 204.77% 5.42%
Saputo Inc SAP 19  12%  33.96% 1.52%
Canadian Natural Resources CNQ 18  21%  43.75% 3.52%
SNC Lavalin SNC 16  14%  60.67% 1.93%
TransCanada Corp TRP 18  6.7%  80.31% 5.05%
Canadian REIT REF.UN 15  3.5%  88.63% 3.98%
CCL Industries CCL.B 17  16.6%  25.92% 1.25%
Finning International FTT 17  6.3%  58.14% 3.21%
Transcontinental Inc. TCL.A 17  10.3%  33.54% 4.36%
Plaza Retail REIT PLZ.UN 16  4.8%  240.3% 6.76%
Ritchie Bros Auctioneers RBA 16  7.5%  52.73% 1.96%
Suncor Energy SU 16  21.8%  83.58% 3.69%
Cogeco Communications Inc. CCA 15  16.6%  29.81% 2.48%
Telus Corporation T 15  8.7%  81.37% 4.63%

So where do we find these elusive dividend kings? You’ll have to look at the biggest market in the world – the US!  In the US, there are 26 dividend kings that have increased their dividend at least 50 years in a row.  

Here is a table supplied by Sure Dividend (sorted by market cap):

Ticker Name Dividend Yield Market Cap ($M)
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 2.96% $339,608
PG Procter & Gamble Co. 2.48% $303,819
KO The Coca-Cola Co. 2.87% $235,652
MMM 3M Co. 3.55% $90,635
LOW Lowe’s Cos., Inc. 1.96% $83,948
CL Colgate-Palmolive Co. 2.32% $63,492
TGT Target Corp. 2.47% $54,406
EMR Emerson Electric Co. 3.29% $35,571
HRL Hormel Foods Corp. 1.97% $22,582
PH Parker-Hannifin Corp. 2.12% $20,458
SWK Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. 2.08% $19,774
CINF Cincinnati Financial Corp. 1.99% $18,147
DOV Dover Corp. 2.09% $13,203
GPC Genuine Parts Co. 3.38% $12,943
FRT Federal Realty Investment Trust 3.25% $9,679
NDSN Nordson Corp. 1.12% $7,657
CBSH Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (Missouri) 1.82% $6,087
LANC Lancaster Colony Corp. 1.78% $3,934
AWR American States Water Co. 1.32% $3,366
CWT California Water Service Group 1.40% $2,686
ABM ABM Industries, Inc. 1.93% $2,427
TR Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. 0.95% $2,400
NWN Northwest Natural Holding Co. 2.66% $2,148
SCL Stepan Co. 1.05% $2,140
SJW SJW Group 1.76% $1,897
FMCB Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (California) 1.81% $600

Sources: bigcharts.com; Sure Dividend; Dividend Growth Investor.

Here is the same table sorted by yield:

Ticker Name Dividend Yield Market Cap ($M)
MMM 3M Co. 3.55% $90,635
GPC Genuine Parts Co. 3.38% $12,943
EMR Emerson Electric Co. 3.29% $35,571
FRT Federal Realty Investment Trust 3.25% $9,679
JNJ Johnson & Johnson 2.96% $339,608
KO The Coca-Cola Co. 2.87% $235,652
NWN Northwest Natural Holding Co. 2.66% $2,148
PG Procter & Gamble Co. 2.48% $303,819
TGT Target Corp. 2.47% $54,406
CL Colgate-Palmolive Co. 2.32% $63,492
PH Parker-Hannifin Corp. 2.12% $20,458
DOV Dover Corp. 2.09% $13,203
SWK Stanley Black & Decker, Inc. 2.08% $19,774
CINF Cincinnati Financial Corp. 1.99% $18,147
HRL Hormel Foods Corp. 1.97% $22,582
LOW Lowe’s Cos., Inc. 1.96% $83,948
ABM ABM Industries, Inc. 1.93% $2,427
CBSH Commerce Bancshares, Inc. (Missouri) 1.82% $6,087
FMCB Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (California) 1.81% $600
LANC Lancaster Colony Corp. 1.78% $3,934
SJW SJW Group 1.76% $1,897
CWT California Water Service Group 1.40% $2,686
AWR American States Water Co. 1.32% $3,366
NDSN Nordson Corp. 1.12% $7,657
SCL Stepan Co. 1.05% $2,140
TR Tootsie Roll Industries, Inc. 0.95% $2,400

As you can see from the list, some of these names are very recognizable with global brand awareness and long term competitive advantage.  Names such as Proctor & Gamble, Coke, Johnson & Johnson, 3M, Colgate, and Lowe’s.  All of these I would purchase if/when their price/valuation is reasonable.

As a disclaimer, I hold the following dividend kings within my RRSP: Proctor & Gamble; 3M; Emerson Electric; Coca-Cola; Target; and, Johnson & Johnson.  Also, this post is not meant to provide recommendations for your portfolio, but a starting point for your research.

If you are interested in dividend investing, here is More Dividend Stock Investing Info:

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).

12 Comments

  1. cannew on August 1, 2016 at 2:52 pm

    Certainly dividend increases is important, very important, but one should not get obsessed with insisting on an increase each and every year. I’m retired and 100% invested in DG stocks. But I found there are three keys:
    1. They must pay a dividend, have paid one for many, many years
    2. They must grow the dividend, say 7 of last 10 or 11 of last 15
    3. The price one pays can greatly increase yield and is often obtained when markets drop and a company does not increase their dividend (as with Cdn banks during 2009/2011).
    4. Hold, hold, hold and add to ones position.

  2. Peter on August 2, 2016 at 3:54 am

    you fail to mentioned anything about DRIPPing the dividend payments. Both broker DRIPS (no partial DRIP or shares) to company DRIP (partial shares allowed but you might have to pay about $50 to do this)

  3. Dividend Earner on August 17, 2016 at 12:43 pm

    The US definitely has bigger companies with stronger history of providing returns to investors.

    Be careful with the Dividend Aristocrats definition as Canada has one defined by Standard & Poor and it’s adjusted to the Canadian market and requires 5 year of dividend increases with some other rules. The iShare Canadian Dividend Aristocrats follows that rule

    Don’t get me wrong, I prefer a 10 year minimum so Dividend Achievers is where I start.

  4. Mr Fundamental on September 5, 2019 at 6:43 pm

    Great article! I do like the idea of investing in companies with histories of increasing dividends. This is why I have invested in MCD, AFL, WMT. McDonald’s has increased its dividend every year since 1976!
    However, I think sometimes people get too enamored with dividend yield/increases, and fail to consider TOTAL RETURN. That is what really matters, and that is why I’ve shifted most of my additional investments over the years into low-cost index investing (VTI is my favourite). I think index investing is the easiest path to maximizing total return over the long run. Do you agree?

    Cheers,
    Mr Fundamental

    • FT on September 7, 2019 at 4:31 pm

      I am on the same page, indexing is much easier, and will give you strong results over the long term. The only except is for early retirees, it’s hard to pass up the temptation of the tax advantages of dividend stocks in a non-registered account.

  5. Jenn on September 6, 2019 at 6:04 pm

    Hello, How do you invest in US Dividend stocks in your canadian investment accounts? When you purchase the US stock, are the canadian funds converted into USD?

  6. GYM on September 8, 2019 at 3:56 am

    Tootsie Rolls! Who would have thought! Thanks for sharing this list :)

    Altria $MO recently might be considered a Dividend King though it might not technically qualify.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/altria-investment-royalty-50th-straight-233100137.html

  7. DivInvestor on September 13, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    This is an interesting list for dividend increases and tells you a lot about the quality of the companies. I invest in dividend paying companies but put more emphasis on how long they have been paying and total return. For an example during the last recession in 2008 the CDN banks didn’t increase but also didn’t cut their dividends. The best thing I did was hold on to all my investments and ride it out and the results have been very good. (see my blog at dividend-café.com)

    • FT on September 16, 2019 at 9:48 am

      Agreed, even during market bear markets, best to hold onto those quality companies and even better, add to them if you have the cash.

  8. Maxwell on September 18, 2019 at 12:35 am

    When looking at the CDN list, I see immediately the top stock CU. The earnings don’t cover the dividend.. That would be a concern going forward and one should research this a little deeper.

    Same goes with the other stocks that don’t cover their dividends with earnings.

    • FT on September 18, 2019 at 9:54 am

      I will need to dig a little deeper into CU. Make sure to look at the dividend as a percentage of cash flow as well, as earnings don’t always show the whole picture.

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