What a month it has been for dividend increases! Each month, I highlight the companies that are expected to announce a dividend increase in the coming month. For the first time, I am speechless. In January, I highlighted three companies that were expected to increase their dividend in the coming month. But man was I blown out of the water with all of the dividend increases that were announced. February will have some tough shoes to follow! Enough talk, let’s dive right in and summarize the companies that increased their dividend in January and which companies are expected to announce a dividend increase in February.
Recently, we saw the ugly side of debt. As we all watched Kinder Morgan’s stock fall and wait for the final, inevitable sword of a dividend increase, there was one thing that became evident…KMI’s debt level was too high and the results were unsustainable in the current market environment (See Lanny’s awesome write up/analysis about KMI from earlier in the week). The pressures mounted and management plus the Board of Directors decided to slash their dividend to preserve cash flow for capital expenditures and cover interest/dividend payments. While debt isn’t a bad thing, I don’t want you leaving this intro thinking that’s my conclusion, runaway/uncontrolled debt can present many problems. The name of our game on this website is investing in stocks with a growing dividend income stream, so we try to avoid companies and stocks that take us off of this course. Which is very ironic considering that Lanny and I purchased shares in KMI just under a month ago (here and here) With the wound from KMI still fresh, I wanted to run a stock screener and identify several Dividend Aristocrats with low debt levels. Check out our newest installment of our Top 5 list series (foundation stocks and low dividend yield/high dividend growth rate stocks)….the Top 5 Dividend Aristocrats with Low Debt to Equity Levels.
Throughout the life of our blog, Lanny and I have searched and slashed our way to save as much as possible to invest in the market NOW. Even though we have tried to identify ways to save through battling with our phone/internet provider (nice job Lanny!), tried to make our football season more enjoyable at a cheaper price (Can a football season be enjoyable as a Browns fan?), or just finding random savings “life hacks,” there is one expense that we have flagged as a major liability…I mean…money pit… our cars. A car is a necessary evil in the Midwest that does nothing but lose value and cost you money. Sadly I am writing this article, so that must mean something happened to my car. Let’s see how my car took a little extra money out of my savings account this month.
The Dividend Diplomats were at it again! We both had bought the same company on Tuesday June 16th and we couldn’t be any more happier/excited with the purchase. The best part about it, neither of us had any idea we purchased the stock. We just sent each other a message discussing the purchase and it just so happened we set up the same automatic on Sharebuilder. The stock was back down a handful of dollars per share and in this volatile stock market environment, the company was too good to pass up on the price point and with the “legendary” status it has. We bought had made the purchase – an additional allocation and one a whole new stock. We purchased Johnson and Johnson (JNJ). Let’s see why we bought them!
One month down in 2015! Hopefully everyone started out 2015 with a strong dividend month to really set the tone for the rest of the year. As most of you know by now, each month, we project which Dividend Aristocrats are expected to announce a dividend increase during the upcoming month. Why? Because as dividend growth investors, we love seeing our dividend income streams increase! With that being said, let’s see which Aristocrats are expected to announce dividend increases in February.