Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

The 3 Most Reliable – and Profitable – Dividend Growers

Covid-19 hit the market (and dividend payers) hard. Most have bounced back, but these companies did even more than that.


During normal economic times, companies desperately try to avoid cutting dividends. It signals sagging earnings or growing debt, disappoints shareholders and can spook other investors.

Companies sometimes suspend dividends for one-off transactions, large share buybacks, acquisitions or other events that have little to do with the health of the company’s balance sheet. But, generally, dividend cuts are signs of struggle.

When Covid-19 hit it brought a lot of uncertainty to the market. Businesses, just like investors, had no idea how the next year (or three) would look or impact them. And investors who relied on their steady dividends got a huge shock, as the pandemic spurred dividend cuts of $1.26 trillion in 2020—a 12.2% decline.

The good news, according to Bloomberg, is that half of the 36 members of the S&P 500 Index that suspended payouts in 2020 have now restored them, as you can see in the following graph.


However, Bloomberg—earlier this year—published the following table of large U.S. companies whose dividends remain suspended in 2022.

Zero Yielders

Company / TickerMonth/Year of Dividend Suspension
Alaska Air Group /ALKMar-20
American Airlines Group / AALApr-20
Boeing / BAMar-20
Delta Air Lines / DALMar-20
Expedia Group / EXPEApr-20
General Motors / GMApr-20
Hilton Worldwide Holdings / HLTMar-20
Las Vegas Sands / LVSApr-20
Marriott International / MARMar-20
Nordstrom / JWNMar-20
Royal Caribbean Group / RCLMay-20
Southwest Airlines / LUVApr-20
Walt Disney / DISMay-20

Sources: FactSet; Bloomberg

You’ll notice that one company—Nordstrom (JWN)—is in bold type in the table. That’s because the department store reinstated its dividend last month, paying $0.19 per share on March 25. The rest of the companies have not yet done so.

Dividends are on the Rise

The other good news is that dividends—on the whole—are on the rise. According to S&P Dow Jones Indices, during the first quarter of 2022, 963 companies boosted their dividends, a 6.3% rise over last year. Total dividends increases were $27.7 billion for the period, up from $20.3 billion for Q1 2021.

You’ve probably heard of the Dividend Aristocrats—those companies in the S&P 500 Index that have boosted their dividends for the past 25 years. But do you know there are also 39 companies in that index that have increased their dividends for the past 50 (or more) years? They’re called dividend kings. Here’s the list:

Dividend Kings

CompanySectorConsecutive Years of Dividend Increases
American States Water (AWR)Utilities67
Dover Corporation (DOV)Industrials66
Northwest Natural Holding (NWN)Utilities66
Genuine Parts (GPC)Consumer cyclical66
Emerson Electric (EMR)Industrials65
Procter & Gamble (PG)Consumer defensive65
Parker Hannifin (PH)Industrials65
3M (MMM)Industrials64
Cincinnati Financial (CINF)Financial services62
Coca-Cola (KO)Consumer defensive60
Colgate-Palmolive (CL)Consumer defensive60
Johnson & Johnson (JNJ)Healthcare59
Lowe’s (LOW)Consumer cyclical59
Lancaster Colony (LANC)Consumer defensive59
Nordson (NDSN)Industrials58
Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (FMCB)Financial services58
Hormel Foods (HRL)Consumer defensive56
California Water Service Group (CWT)Utilities55
Stepan (SCL)Basic materials55
Stanley Black & Decker (SWK)Industrials54
Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT)Real estate54
SJW Group (SJW)Utilities54
Commerce Bancshares (CBSH)Financial services54
ABM Industries (ABM)Industrials54
Sysco (SYY)Consumer defensive52
H.B. Fuller (FUL)Basic materials52
Altria Group (MO)Consumer defensive52
Black Hills Corp. (BKH)Utilities51
National Fuel Gas (NFG)Energy51
Universal Corporation (UVV)Consumer defensive51
W.W. Grainger (GWW)Industrials50
PPG Industries (PPG)Materials50
Target (TGT)Consumer defensive50
Abbott Labs (ABT)Healthcare50
AbbVie (ABBV)Healthcare50
Becton, Dickinson & Co. (BDX)Healthcare50
Kimberly-Clark (KMB)Consumer staples50
MSA Safety (MSA)Industrials50
Tennant (TNC)Industrials50


For investors who depend on their dividends for cash flow, that is indeed promising! As you can see, most of these companies are fairly conservative, steadily grow their earnings, and share the wealth with their stockholders.

I ran each of these dividend kings through my analysis, and found three of them that look very promising.

CompanySymbolIndustryP/EDividend Yield (%)Analyst RankPrice ($)
Black Hills Corp.BKHUtilities213.031.778.44
National Fuel GasNFGEnergy16.12.492.573.21

Two of these companies operate in the Energy and Utilities sectors, which are two of the three sectors that have shown gains so far this year, up 44% and 6%, respectively.

As always, these are just ideas, to get you started on your own research. But if you are looking for some steady and growing cash flow, these stocks may just help you reach your goals.

Do you own any dividend kings? Any Dividend Aristocrats? Tell us about how they’ve performed in the comments below.