4 Dividend Growth Stocks Raising The Bar for Investors (TJX, UL, EPD, SKT)

These stocks raised payouts over the past week

As part of my monitoring process, I review the list of dividend increases every week. I usually focus my attention to companies that have raised dividends for at least a decade.

It is helpful to see companies I own that keep growing their dividends, years after they have been purchased by me. I also find it helpful to review this list for hidden dividend gems.

From there, I review the basic fundamental performance over the preceding decade. I like to see dividend growth which is supported by growth in earnings per share.

Over the past week, there were four companies which raised dividends and also had at least a ten year record of annual dividend increases.

The companies include:

TJX Companies Inc (NYSE:TJX) operates as an off-price apparel and home fashions retailer in the United States and internationally. It operates through four segments: Marmaxx, HomeGoods, TJX Canada, and TJX International. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 20.20% to 31.25 cents per share. This marked the 22nd consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. The ten year dividend growth rate is 22% per year. Earnings per share increased from 83 cents per share in 2008 to $3.46 per share in 2017. The company is expected to earn 3.91 per share over the next fiscal year.

Currently the stock is selling for 19.50 times forward earnings and yields 1.70%. Check my analysis of TJX Companies for more information about the company.

Unilever plc (ADR) (NYSE:UL) operates in the fast-moving consumer goods market. The company operates through Personal Care, Foods, Home Care, and Refreshment segments. Unilever announced its plans to raise dividend by 12%, reflecting increased confidence in the outlook for profit growth and cash generation. The amount of the next quarterly dividend will be announced in our Q1 trading statement on 20th April.

A share buy-back programme of €5 billion will be launched over the remainder of this year. Using the latest quarterly payment of 32 eurocents per share, I would expect the new payment to be in the 35 – 36 eurocent per quarter range. This marks the 22nd consecutive annual dividend increase for this international dividend achiever. The company earned 1.82 euro/share in 2016, and is expecting to earn 2.07 euro per share in 2017. This is up from 1.23 euro per share that Unilever earned in 2007.

Currently, the stock is overvalued at 23 times forward earnings and has a forward yield of 2.90%. I would consider the company to be attractively valued in the 36.50 – 40 euro range (equivalent to 20 times earnings for 2016 – 2017). At the current exchange rates, this is equivalent to $39 – $42 per share.

Check my analysis of Unilever for more information about the company.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD) provides midstream energy services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, petrochemicals, and refined products. The company operates through NGL Pipelines & Services, Crude Oil Pipelines & Services, Natural Gas Pipelines & Services, and Petrochemical & Refined Products Services segments. This master limited partnership raised its quarterly distribution to 41 cents per unit. The ten year distribution growth rate is 5.90% per year. Enterprise Product Partners is one of the best master limited partnerships out there and has raised distributions to unitholders for 20 years in a row.

This MLP yields 6%. Slow and steady wins the race in the long run.

Tanger Factory Outlet Centers Inc. (NYSE:SKT) is a real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets in United States. It focuses on developing, acquiring, owning, operating, and managing outlet shopping centers. The REIT raised its quarterly dividend by 5.40% to 34.25 cents per share. This marked the 24th consecutive annual increase for this dividend achiever. The ten year dividend growth rate is 6.50% per year. The company grew FFO per share from $1.12 in 2006 to $2.37 by 2016.

Currently the REIT sells for 13.7 times FFO and yields 4.20%.

Full Disclosure: Long UL, TJX

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