Becton, Dickinson and Co. (BDX), Diageo plc (ADR) (DEO), Spectra Energy Corp. (SE): Rock-Solid Stocks Growing Their Dividends Well Above Inflation

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Dividend investors would be wise to focus not just on a stock’s current yield, but also on the long-term growth potential of its dividends. That’s because strong businesses that consistently raise their dividend payouts reward shareholders with a steadily rising income stream that essentially equates to a raise every year. And, well, who doesn’t like a raise?

But there are other reasons to value dividend growth so highly, and they’re well supported by research. For instance, a study by C. Thomas Howard  published in Advisor Perspectives found that for every percentage point a stock’s yield rises, its annual return increases by 0.22 percentage points if it’s a large cap, 0.25 if it’s a mid cap, and 0.46 if it’s a small cap. Even better, Howard found that dividend-growing stocks outperformed dividend cutters by 10 percentage points per year from 1973 to 2010 and beat both flat- and no-dividend stocks. And the icing on the cake is that Howard showed that this outperformance came with a third less volatility. Higher returns, less volatility-induced stress, and a steadily growing income stream — what’s not to love?

Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX)With that in mind, here are five stocks that have grown their dividends significantly above the rate of inflation in the last year :

Company 1-Year Dividend Growth Rate
Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX) 9.9%
Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO) 9%
Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE:SE) 8.6%
Gentex Corporation (NASDAQ:GNTX) 8%
Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT) 7.3%

Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE:BDX): is a medical technology company that manufactures and sells a broad range of medical supplies, devices, laboratory equipment, and diagnostic products to health care institutions, life science researchers, clinical laboratories, and the general public. Becton, Dickinson has a top five-star ranking on CAPS and offers investors a 2% yield.

Diageo plc (ADR) (NYSE:DEO) is the world’s leading premium-drinks business, with a valuable collection of beverage alcohol brands across spirits, beer, and wine. These brands include Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal, Smirnoff, Ciroc, Ketel One, Baileys, Captain Morgan, Tanqueray, and Guinness. CAPS participants have awarded Diageo with a five-star rating, and the company is paying out a 2.3% dividend.

Spectra Energy Corp. (NYSE:SE) owns and operates a portfolio of natural gas-related energy assets and is one of North America’s leading pipeline and midstream companies. Spectra’s natural gas operations include approximately 19,000 miles of transmission pipeline and 305 billion cubic feet of storage capacity in the U.S. and Canada, which help fuel the four-star CAPS-rated company’s growing 3.7% yield.

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