Dividend enthusiasts understand the value of receiving those quarterly payments, which really add up over time. For investors who’d rather not have to keep their eyes glued to every market headline, pinning their retirement hopes and dreams on the daily prices of their stocks, dividends are a reliable source of returns. Dividends allow you to sleep well at night, knowing that those checks will arrive, regardless of the prevailing economic climate.
In addition, one of the best ways to infer how a company’s management team perceives its future outlook is by analyzing two key factors: how long a company has paid dividends to investors and the level of a company’s dividend growth rate.
In that vein, the following blue chip stocks all hold impressive dividend track records and they all recently announced yet another dividend increase.
First up, two of the world’s integrated energy majors
Oil juggernaut Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) very recently provided investors with a 10.5% dividend increase, bringing its payout to nearly 3% at recent prices.
Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM), the $400 billion mega-cap stock, has a tremendous dividend track record. The company has rewarded its investors for more than a century with generous dividends, and has increased its distribution for 31 consecutive years. What’s more, Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) has a remarkably consistent dividend growth pattern, increasing its payout by an average annual rate of 6% over the past 30 years.
Fellow energy competitor Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX) recently offered its investors a dividend bump ahead of its first-quarter earnings results. The company increased its quarterly payout to $1.00 per share, up from the previous level of $0.90 per share. This represents a very solid 11% dividend increase, exactly identical to the 11% dividend increase last year. Impressively, the company has paid uninterrupted dividends for the last century, and the recent raise represents the 26th consecutive year of dividend growth.
Clean up with this consumer products company
Like Exxon Mobil Corporation (NYSE:XOM) and Chevron Corporation (NYSE:CVX), consumer staples giant The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has a tremendous history of rewarding shareholders.
In fiscal 2012 The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) returned $10 billion to shareholders through dividends and buybacks. Very recently, the company increased its dividend by 7% year-over-year. The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) represents the gold standard of dividend-paying stocks: this year marks the 123rd in a row of consecutive dividend payments, since the company’s incorporation in 1890. Furthermore, The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG) has increased its dividend for 57 years in a row.