McDonald’s Corporation (MCD), Johnson & Johnson (JNJ): The Simplicity Of Investing: What Wall Street Does Not Want You To Know

Wall Street brokers and hedge fund managers are generally known to underperform the market. Most financial professionals in charge of other people’s money take more risk than they should so that they can earn a larger dollar amount–after all, the excitement of big returns still brings in new as well as old investors. Let us focus on the “boring” or “unsexy” way of making large returns that do not require any “professionals” to pick our pockets. The financial crisis was a disastrous time for stocks in general, as panic selling caused most stocks to be cut in half or more. Investors who had the confidence to buy more or to just hold onto their positions have been rewarded handsomely.

McDonald's Corporation (NYSE:MCD)

Dividend growth investments for the retail investor

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) Dividend Hike History

Feb 27, 2013 0.77 Dividend
Nov 29, 2012 0.77 Dividend
Aug 30, 2012 0.70 Dividend
May 31, 2012 0.70 Dividend
Feb 28, 2012 0.70 Dividend
Nov 29, 2011 0.70 Dividend
Aug 30, 2011 0.61 Dividend
May 27, 2011 0.61 Dividend
Feb 25, 2011 0.61 Dividend
Nov 29, 2010 0.61 Dividend
Aug 30, 2010 0.55 Dividend
May 27, 2010 0.55 Dividend
Feb 25, 2010 0.55 Dividend
Nov 27, 2009 0.55 Dividend
Aug 28, 2009 0.50 Dividend
Jun 4, 2009 0.50 Dividend
Feb 26, 2009 0.50 Dividend
Nov 26, 2008 0.50 Dividend
Aug 28, 2008 0.375 Dividend
Jun 5, 2008 0.375 Dividend
Feb 28, 2008 0.375 Dividend
Nov 13, 2007 1.50 Dividend
Nov 13, 2006 1.00 Dividend
Nov 10, 2005 0.67 Dividend
Nov 10, 2004 0.55 Dividend
Nov 12, 2003 0.40 Dividend
Nov 13, 2002 0.235 Dividend
Nov 13, 2001 0.225 Dividend
Nov 13, 2000 0.215 Dividend
* Close price adjusted for dividends and splits.

As the table above illustrates, over the past decade McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has managed to increase its dividend by 27.4 percent annually. The rate that annual dividends were raised ranged from a low of 4.4 percent in 2002 to a high of 70.2 percent in 2003. Between 2000 and 2002, McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) distributions increased by less than 5 percent annually. The 70.2 percent dividend increase in 2003 started a new pattern of strong dividend growth. The company increased dividends for 35 years consecutively, and currently yields 3.1 percent. McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) has low payout ratio of under 60 percent and has a projection of more than 7 percent growth in earnings per share. Its free cash flow in the future indicates that the company will be able to continue increasing its dividend.

McDonald’s Corporation (NYSE:MCD) weathered the financial crisis very well compared to the overall market, as its stock price dropped just over 20 percent from its 2008 high of $65.67 to its 2009 low of $52.12. This drop provided a great opportunity for dividend growth investors who continued to buy shares. These investors who bought shares in the $50 dollar range currently have dividend yields of over 5 percent, as well as a capital appreciation of nearly 100 percent.

Johnson & Johnson (NYSE:JNJ) is another company that has been increasing dividends consistently for decades. Young investors will benefit the most from starting to accumulate shares of JNJ now until retirement. This supplier of consumer products such as band aids, skin care, hair care, and Tylenol, has increased its payout by a compounded annual rate of 14.2 percent since 1970.