Winter is here. I’ll tell you what, we are tired of shoveling snow and the frigid cold temperatures here in Cleveland. But even while it is cold, the dividends and dividend increases continue to heat up! Sorry for the bad play on words, couldn’t resist it right there. With a new month looming, it is time for the next installment of our monthly series projecting all the Dividend Aristocrats and dividend growth stocks that are expected to announce a dividend increase in the coming month. Here is the February 2019 edition of the Expected Dividend Increases series!
Actual Dividend Increases in January 2019
Hopefully you all are starting to get the hang of how this article works by now. Before looking ahead to the next months increases, we always review the previous month to see which companies increased their dividend (like they were supposed to) and by how much. Let’s dive right in and check the results!
- Company #1: Consolidated Edison (ED) – Let’s start this party off with a Dividend Aristocrat and one of our Top 5 Foundation Dividend Growth Stocks. ED’s dividend increase of 3.5% was in line with their recent average. Their new quarterly dividend is $.74/share, and increase from $.715/share. Spectacular? No, but I’m excited to have my payout increase each quarter!
- Company #2: Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) – Kimberly-Clark didn’t have the best quarter. Their results were lower than expected, the company lowered their forward guidance, and their stock price has fallen subsequent to their earnings release. However, in that earnings release, the company did announce a $.03/share increase in their quarterly dividend. This equated to 3% and was slightly lower than their 5-year average dividend growth rate. With their price falling, their dividend is over 3.5% now and is heading towards 4%. Still, I’ll wait and see before initiating a position there.
- Company #3: Air Products and Chemicals, Inc (APD) – This is the largest dividend increase in the article so far. Exciting? You bet. As this Dividend Aristocrat increased their quarterly dividend by 5.45%. An interesting trend that is starting to surface is that dividend increases this year are lower than the previous year, and even below their 5-year average dividend growth rate. APD also falls into this category and hopefully this trend reverses as I write this article and definitely by the time I write the next month’s installment of the article.
- Company #4: AO Smith Corp (AOS) – As it turns out, AOS increased their dividend in October…Whoops! Sorry for accidentally including them in the previous month’s article. No wonder they didn’t announce a dividend increase in January.
- Company #5: 3M Corp (MMM) – Last, but not least, one of my favorite dividend stocks. MMM is one of my 5 “Always Buy” stocks for a reason and I love that I initiated a position a few years ago. I mentioned last month that they will increase their dividend either at the end of January or the beginning of February. Well, as of the time of this article, they had not made an announcement yet. I will make sure to update this article after the fact if they do announce that dividend increase at the end of the month. If not, I’ll include it in the subsequent month’s article.
- Companies #6 – The Banking Industry – I left a generic statement about how many banks were set to increase their dividend this month. And man did they deliver. If you own a bank stock…CHECK THAT DIVIDEND. Chances are, you may have received a dividend increase or even a special dividend announcement. I’ll highlight one here. Lanny and I are shareholders of a community bank called Citizens & Northern Corporation (CZNC). CZNC did not increase their dividend. They declared their regular $.27/share dividend. However, in their earnings release, they announced a huge $.10/share special dividend. BOOM!
- Bonus Company #1 – Norfolk-Southern Corporation (NSC) – This is about as close to a real-time, instant update as you are going to get. I was sipping on a glass of wine, writing this article. Out of the blue, Lanny texted me a picture of an earnings release announcement. It showed that Norfolk-Southern increased their quarterly dividend by 8%! Their dividend keeps chugging along (sorry for the bad pun). NSC increased their dividend twice last year, after taking a couple of years off. Hopefully they will follow a similar pattern this year.
- Bonus Company #2: Intel Corporation (INTC) – Lanny owns a lot of dividend stocks. If you don’t believe me, check out our Dividend Stock Portfolios page on our website. I can’t believe I forgot to include one of his original dividend growth stock holdings. I met Lanny in 2012 and he has owned this company since before we met. That’s a long freaking time. Intel announced a 5% increase in their quarterly earnings. Despite the good news, and management’s strong language about future dividend increases, the stock price fell after their earnings release. This is a company I will continue to watch going forward.
Expected Dividend Increases in February 2019
What a laundry list of companies that announced a dividend increase in January. I mentioned it above; however, I want to emphasize this again. Hopefully this trend of lower dividend increases reverses course in January. The economic environment is different from January 2018, no doubt. But hopefully some of the economic and political factors that have caused some turbulence over the last several months start to settle down. But that’s a story for a different article. All I want to see right now are some strong dividend increases! This is a strong list of companies that are set to announce an increase this month. So let’s dive right in and look at the companies that are expected to announce dividend increases in February!
- Company #1: Archer-Daniels Midland (ADM) – ADM is a solid Dividend Aristocrat and I’m kind of kicking myself for not picking up shares when the company was trading below $40/share at the end of December. Oh well, there will be other opportunities. ADM will announce their dividend increase at the beginning of the month and I’ll be watching this one closely. Hopefully they can kick off the month with a strong dividend increase!
- Company #2: Coca-Cola Co. (KO) – We all know that KO is A Dividend Aristocrat and possesses one of the most iconic brands. While I own shares of their competitor, Pepsi, rather thank Coca-Cola, that doesn’t mean I don’t watch the news and happenings for the company. The company’s last three dividend increases have each been a $.02/share increase in their quarterly dividend. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues this year. Maybe a surprise is looming? One can hope!
- Company #3: Genuine Parts Company (GPC) – GPC has to have one of the longest annual dividend increase streaks out there. GPC has increased their dividend for over 60+ consecutive years. You read that right, over 60 years! GPC has appeared on my dividend stock watch list periodically over the years, but I’ve never actually purchased shares in the company. IF the company tops their 5-year average dividend growth rate of 6.03%, which would easily push their yield over 3%, I would have to add them back to my watch list.
- Company #4: T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) – I included this line in the 2018 version of this article, and it still holds true. So I decided to carry it forward: “Lanny and I established large positions in the debt-free, Dividend Aristocrat several years ago and the company has performed extremely well since our purchase.” Last year’s 22% dividend increase was phenomenal. While I’m not expecting an increase of that magnitude, I am still expecting a strong one in 2019.
- Company #5: Walmart (WMT) – Last, but definitely not least….Walmart. Target and Walmart have been battling Amazon relentlessly over the last few years. They each do one thing that Amazon doesn’t do….pay a dividend. Each February, WMT announces their four quarterly dividend payments for the coming year. Since 2014, the company has increased their quarterly dividend by only $.01/share. I thought that would have changed last year, but it didn’t. So my expectation is that WMT will announced another $.01/share increase in 2019. Hopefully I am wrong.
I told you the list consisted of some heavy-weights! Man I can’t wait to see what these companies do. Hopefully you are as excited as I am and sitting at the edge of your seat as well. Everyone, stay warm and let me know in the comment section if there are any companies you are expecting dividend increases from in February that were not included. Can’t wait to see your comments!