When it comes to long-term blue chip investing, it’s hard to go wrong with dividend aristocrats.
Of course, the only thing better than a company that has grown its dividend 25 or more consecutive years is a dividend king, like The Coca-Cola Co (NYSE:KO), which has one of the best payout growth track records in America with 54 straight years of dividend growth under its belt.
Then again, long-term investing is a forward looking endeavor, and many dividend lovers are understandably worried about where Coke’s future payout growth is going to come from.
Fortunately, management has a turnaround plan in place that could allow the dividend growth train to keep rolling along nicely for many more years, and possibly even decades, to come.
Better yet, with Coke now trading within 1% of its 52-week low, now is a good time to see if it makes sense to open or add to a position in this bluest of blue chips for a conservative dividend portfolio.
Founded in 1886 in Atlanta, Georgia, Coca-Cola is one of America’s oldest companies. However, the cornerstone of its investment thesis is the strong brand (17th most valuable in the world), which gives it a strong competitive advantage and pricing power.
Coke is by far the world’s largest beverage maker and distributor, selling 500 total brands offered in 3,800 flavors, including Coca-Cola, Diet Coke/Coca-Cola Light, Coca-Cola Zero, Fanta, Sprite, Minute Maid, Georgia, Powerade, Del Valle, Schweppes, Aquarius, Minute Maid Pulpy, Dasani, Simply, Glacéau Vitaminwater, Bonaqua/Bonaqa, Gold Peak, FUZE TEA, Glacéau Smartwater, and Ice Dew, in over 200 countries around the globe.
Coke’s strong brand portfolio includes 20 beverages with over $1 billion in sales.
Source: Coca-Cola Investor Presentation
In addition, with about 60% and 80% of its sales and operating profits, respectively, coming from outside the U.S., Coca-Cola is a solid international diversification investment. That’s thanks to the world’s strongest beverage distribution network and good long-term growth prospects in emerging countries.