Best Dividend Paying Stocks For Dividend Growth Investors – August 2017

Dividend growth investing is a very popular approach which can fit within the ModernGraham methods.  This article will look at companies reviewed by ModernGraham which have grown their dividends annually for at least the last 20 years.

For all 900 companies covered by ModernGraham, I track the number of years a company has grown its dividend, and provide that information in my individual company valuations.

Out of the 900 companies, only 70 have grown dividends annually for at least the last 20 years.  Here is an overview of those companies:

The Elite

The following companies have been rated as undervalued and suitable for either the Defensive Investor or the Enterprising Investor:

AFLAC Incorporated (AFL)

AFLAC Incorporated qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company’s strong financial position. The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $4.72 in 2012 to an estimated $6.22 for 2016. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.36% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on Benjamin Graham’s formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into AFLAC Incorporated revealed the company was trading below its Graham Number of $87.98. The company pays a dividend of $1.64 per share, for a yield of 2.3%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 11.22, which was below the industry average of 18.78, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry.  (See the full valuation)

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W W Grainger Inc (GWW)

W W Grainger Inc is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Fairly Valued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $8.13 in 2012 to an estimated $11.16 for 2016. This level of demonstrated earnings growth supports the market’s implied estimate of 6.36% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value within a margin of safety relative to the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into W W Grainger Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $92.08. The company pays a dividend of $4.78 per share, for a yield of 2% Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 21.21, which was below the industry average of 22.25, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-11.81.  (See the full valuation)

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Leggett & Platt, Inc. (LEG)

Leggett & Platt, Inc. is suitable for the Enterprising Investor but not the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor is only concerned with the level of debt relative to the net current assets. As a result, all Enterprising Investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

As for a valuation, the company appears to be Undervalued after growing its EPSmg (normalized earnings) from $1.31 in 2013 to an estimated $2.24 for 2017. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 6.94% annual earnings growth over the next 7-10 years. As a result, the ModernGraham valuation model, based on the Benjamin Graham value investing formula, returns an estimate of intrinsic value above the price.

At the time of valuation, further research into Leggett & Platt, Inc. revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $21.87. The company pays a dividend of $1.34 per share, for a yield of 2.7%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 22.37, which was below the industry average of 25.38, which by some methods of valuation makes it one of the most undervalued stocks in its industry. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-4.05.  (See the full valuation)

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People’s United Financial, Inc. (PBCT)

People’s United Financial, Inc. qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. In fact, the company meets all of the requirements of both investor types, a rare accomplishment indicative of the company’s strong financial position. . The Enterprising Investor has no initial concerns. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should feel comfortable proceeding with the analysis.

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Disclaimer: 

The author did not hold a position in any company mentioned in this article at the time of publication and had no intention of changing those holdings within the next 72 hours. ...

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