Best Dividend Paying Stocks For Dividend Growth Investors – August 2018

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.Out of over 900 companies covered by ModernGraham, only 73 have grown dividends annually for at least the last 20 years.

Defensive Investors are defined as investors who are not able or willing to do substantial research into individual investments, and therefore need to select only the companies that present the least amount of risk. Enterprising Investors, on the other hand, are able to do substantial research and can select companies that present a moderate (though still low) amount of risk.

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 $6.07 in 2014 to an estimated $8.08 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 1.21% 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 $103.31. The company pays a dividend of $1.74 per share, for a yield of 2% Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 10.92, which was below the industry average of 22.76, 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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Cardinal Health Inc (CAH)

Cardinal Health Inc qualifies for both the Defensive Investor and the Enterprising Investor. The Defensive Investor is only initially concerned with the low current ratio. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. 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 $2.48 in 2014 to an estimated $4.43 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 3.14% 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 Cardinal Health Inc revealed the company was trading above its Graham Number of $50.88. The company pays a dividend of $1.81 per share, for a yield of 2.8%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 14.78, which was below the industry average of 43.8, 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 $-32.02.(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 PB ratio. 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 $1.14 in 2014 to an estimated $2.35 for 2018. This level of demonstrated earnings growth outpaces the market’s implied estimate of 5.06% 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 $23.11. The company pays a dividend of $1.42 per share, for a yield of 3.3%, putting it among the best dividend paying stocks today. Its PEmg (price over earnings per share – ModernGraham) was 18.62, which was above the industry average of 17.71. Finally, the company was trading above its Net Current Asset Value (NCAV) of $-5.(See the full valuation)

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Lowe’s Companies, Inc. (LOW)

Lowe’s Companies, Inc. does not satisfy the requirements of either the Enterprising Investor or the more conservative Defensive Investor. The Defensive Investor is concerned with the low current ratio, high PEmg and PB ratios. The Enterprising Investor has concerns regarding the level of debt relative to the current assets. As a result, all value investors following the ModernGraham approach should explore other opportunities at this time or proceed cautiously with a speculative attitude.

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