Life is full of unpredictability. That is why people naturally tend to gravitate toward leaders, who are consistent at winning. Dividend investors are no different. They look for proven winners that can be relied upon to deliver results. Once a consistent winner is selected, dividend growth investors simply hang on to it and get paid a rising stream of income for holding the investment. A rising dividend payment results in higher profits for the shareholders, making the dividend stock that produces the income more valuable over time.
The following dividend winners have been able to increase distributions for more than five years in a row. In addition, they also have announced a distribution hike over the past week:
Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADP) provides business outsourcing solutions. The company operates in three segments: Employer Services, Professional Employer Organization Services and Dealer Services. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 9.7% to 39.5 cents per share. This marked the 37th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend aristocrat. Yield: 3.1% (analysis)
Universal Corporation (NYSE:UVV), through its subsidiaries, operates as a leaf tobacco merchant and processor primarily in North America, South America, Africa, Europe and Asia. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 2.1% to 49 cents per share. This marked the 41st consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend champion. Yield: 4.5% (analysis)
Vectren Corporation (NYSE:VVC), through its subsidiaries, provides energy delivery services to residential, commercial and industrial and other contract customers in Indiana and west central Ohio. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 1.4% to 34 cents per share. This marked the 52nd consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend champion. Yield: 4.9%
Buckeye Partners, L.P. (NYSE:BPL) owns and operates refined petroleum products pipeline systems in the United States. This master limited partnership increased its quarterly distributions to $1.025 per unit. This dividend achiever has raised distributions for 16 consecutive years. Yield: 6.2%
Atmos Energy Corporation (NYSE:ATO), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the natural gas distribution, transmission and storage businesses in the United States. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 1.5% to 34.5 cents per share. This marked the 23rd consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. Yield: 4%
AmerisourceBergen Corporation (NYSE:ABC), a pharmaceutical services company, provides drug distribution and related services to health care providers and pharmaceutical manufacturers in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 13% to 13 cents per share. This was the second increase in 2011 for this dividend stock, which has raised distributions for seven years in a row. Yield: 1.3%
Full Disclosure: Long ADP and UVV.
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