Air Products & Chemicals, Inc. (NYSE:APD) is an industrial gases firm. It has been in operation for 75 years. It now has annual sales nearing $10 billion and has 17,000 employees in 50 countries around the world. The company is the largest supplier of Hydrogen & Helium gas in the world.
Air Products is a Dividend Aristocrat. It has raised its dividend for 34 years in a row. Being a Dividend Aristocrat is not arbitrary. Only stocks with 25+ consecutive years of dividend increases in the S&P 500 are eligible. Dividend Aristocrats are high quality stocks…
Not surprisingly, the Dividend Aristocrats Index has significantly outperformed the market over the last decade.
Source: S&P Fact Sheet
You can see the full list of all 50 Dividend Aristocrats here (along with metrics that matter for each).
Air Products stock offers a nice combination of a slightly above-average dividend yield as well as annual dividend growth rates that exceed inflation. The company currently has a dividend yield of 2.6%.
The most recent dividend increase was 6%. Over the past five years, Air Products has averaged 8.2% compound annual dividend growth. In the past decade, the stock has delivered a 177% total return to shareholders.
Air Products is a diversified industrial firm.
Source: 2015 Annual Report, page 2
It provides atmospheric and process gases, along with the equipment used to handle these gases, to customers in a wide range of industries. Air Products’ major customers are spread across the industrial, materials, and energy sectors. It also supplies the food and beverage and electronics industries. The company has a global reach, with operations in 50 countries.