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Top 10 Best Dividend Aristocrats

Updated on October 2nd, 2023 by Bob Ciura

The Dividend Aristocrats are among the best dividend growth stocks to buy and hold for the long-run. Dividend Aristocrats have excellent business models that have produced annual dividend increases, even during recessions.

With this in mind, we have created a downloadable list of all the Dividend Aristocrats.

There are currently 67 Dividend Aristocrats. You can download an Excel spreadsheet of all 67 (with metrics that matter such as dividend yields and price-to-earnings ratios) by clicking the link below:


This article will discuss the 10 best Dividend Aristocrats now, based on 5-year expected annual returns according to the Sure Analysis Research Database.

Table of Contents

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Dividend Aristocrat #10: Essex Property Trust (ESS)

Essex Property Trust is a REIT that invests in west coast multifamily residential proprieties where it engages in development, redevelopment, management and acquisition of apartment communities and a few other select properties. Essex has ownership interests in several hundred apartment communities consisting of over 60,000 apartment homes.

Source: Investor Presentation

On July 27th, 2023 Essex announced its second quarter earnings results. In Q2, core FFO per share was $3.77, exceeding the consensus of $3.73 but lower than the previous quarter’s $3.65 and the same period last year’s $3.68. Same-property scheduled rents rose 1.0% compared to the previous quarter and 5.2% compared to the same period last year.

The company increased its 2023 core FFO per share guidance to a range of $14.88 to $15.12, up from the previous range of $14.59 to $14.97.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on ESS (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #9: Realty Income (O)

Realty Income is a retail real estate focused REIT. Realty Income owns retail properties that are not part of a wider retail development (such as a mall), but instead are standalone properties. This means that the properties are viable for many different tenants, including government services, healthcare services, and entertainment.

Source: Investor Presentation

On August 2nd, 2023, Realty Income released its Q2 results. For the quarter ending June 30, 2023, the company reported net income available to common stockholders of $195.4 million, equivalent to $0.29 per share. Normalized FFO available to common stockholders was $688.3 million, or $1.02 per share, while AFFO available to common stockholders stood at $671.7 million, or $1.00 per share.

The company invested $3.1 billion in 710 properties and properties under development or expansion, yielding an initial weighted average cash lease yield of 6.9%. The company’s Net Debt to Annualized Pro Forma Adjusted EBITDAre ratio was 5.3x.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Realty Income (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #8: Lowe’s Companies (LOW)

Lowe’s Companies is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the US (after Home Depot). Lowe’s operates or services more than 1,700 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S.

Lowe’s reported second quarter 2023 results on August 22nd, 2023. Total sales for the second quarter came in at $25 billion compared to $27.5 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Comparable sales decreased 1.6% and net earnings declined 2.4% year-over-year to $4.56 per share.

The company repurchased 10.1 million shares in the second quarter for $2.2 billion. Additionally, it paid out $624 million in dividends. Lowe’s launched same-day delivery nationwide, and expanded its rural merchandising framework to 300 stores.

The company reaffirmed its fiscal 2023 outlook and believes it can achieve adjusted diluted EPS in the range of $13.20 to $13.60 on total sales of roughly $88 billion.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Lowe’s (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #7: Stanley Black & Decker (SWK)

Stanley Black & Decker is a world leader in power tools, hand tools, and related items. The company holds the top global position in tools and storage sales. Stanley Black & Decker is second in the world in the areas of commercial electronic security and engineered fastening.

Source: Investor Presentation

Stanley Works and Black & Decker merged in 2010 to form the current company, thought the company can trace its history back to 1843. Black & Decker was founded in Baltimore, MD in 1910 and manufactured the world’s first portable power tool.

On August 1st, 2023, Stanley Black & Decker announced second quarter results for the period ending June 30th, 2023. For the quarter, revenue fell 5.3% to $4.2 billion, but this was $70 million more than expected. Adjusted earnings-per-share of -$0.11 compared very unfavorably to $1.77 in the prior year, but was $0.25 above expectations.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on SWK (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #6: NextEra Energy (NEE)

NextEra Energy is an electric utility with two operating segments, Florida Power & Light (“FPL”) and NextEra Energy Resources (“NEER”). FPL is the largest U.S. electric utility by retail megawatt hour sales and customer numbers.

The rate-regulated electric utility serves about 5.8 million customer accounts in Florida. NEER is the largest generator of wind and solar energy in the world. NEE generates roughly 80% of its revenues from FPL.

NextEra Energy reported its Q2 2023 financial results on 7/25/23.

Source: Investor Presentation

On a per-share basis, adjusted earnings climbed 8.6% to $0.88. Particularly, FPL continued to execute on capital investments in solar and transmission and distribution infrastructure, while NEER placed ~1.8 GW into service. Additionally, NEER added ~1.7 GW of new renewables and storage projects to its backlog that totals ~20 GW.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on NEE (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #5: Target Corporation (TGT)

Target is a discount retail operations solely in the U.S. market. Its business consists of about 2,000 big box stores offering general merchandise and food and serving as distribution points for its burgeoning e-commerce business.

Source: Investor Presentation

Target posted second quarter earnings on August 16th, 2023, and results were somewhat mixed. Adjusted earnings-per-share came in well ahead of estimates at $1.80, which was 38 cents better than expected. Revenue was $24.8 billion, down 4.9% year-over-year, and missing estimates by $460 million.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Target Corporation (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #4: Sysco Corporation (SYY)

Sysco Corporation is the largest wholesale food distributor in the United States. The company serves 600,000 locations with food delivery, including restaurants, hospitals, schools, hotels, and other facilities. According to estimates, the company has a 16% market share of total food delivery within the United States.

On August 1st, 2023, Sysco reported fourth-quarter results for Fiscal Year (FY) 2023. In the fourth quarter, Sysco achieved a 4.1% sales increase compared to the same period in the previous fiscal year, with U.S. Foodservice volume rising by 2.3%. Adjusted EPS rose by 16.5% to $1.34, compared to the previous fiscal year.

For the entire fiscal year 2023, Sysco grew revenue by 11% with a 5.2% rise in U.S. Foodservice volume. Adjusted earnings-per-share increased 23% to $4.01.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on SYY (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #3: 3M Company (MMM)

3M sells more than 60,000 products that are used every day in homes, hospitals, office buildings and schools around the world. It has about 95,000 employees and serves customers in more than 200 countries.

3M is now composed of four separate divisions: Safety & Industrial, Healthcare, Transportation & Electronics, and Consumer. 

The company also announced that it would be spinning off its Health Care segment into a standalone entity.

Source: Investor Presentation

3M’s innovation is one of the company’s greatest competitive advantages. The company targets R&D spending equivalent to 6% of sales (~$2 billion annually) in order to create new products to meet consumer demand.

This spending has proven to be very beneficial to the company as 30% of sales during the last fiscal year were from products that didn’t exist five years ago. 3M’s commitment to developing innovative products has led to a portfolio of more than 100,000 patents.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on 3M (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #2: Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the largest retail pharmacy in the United States and Europe. The company has a presence in more than nine countries through its flagship Walgreens business and other business ventures.

Source: Investor Presentation

On June 27th, 2023, Walgreens reported results for the third quarter of fiscal 2023. Sales grew 9% but earnings-per-share rose only 3% over last year’s quarter, from $0.97 to $1.00, mostly due to high COVID-19 vaccinations and tests in last year’s period. Earnings-per-share missed the analysts’ consensus by $0.07.

It was the first earnings miss after 11 quarters in a row. As the pandemic has subsided, Walgreens is facing tough comparisons. It lowered its guidance for earnings-per-share from $4.45-$4.65 to $4.00-$4.05.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Walgreens Boots Alliance (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Dividend Aristocrat #1: Albemarle Corporation (ALB)

Albemarle is the largest producer of lithium and second largest producer of bromine in the world. The two products account for nearly two-thirds of annual sales. Albemarle produces lithium from its salt brine deposits in the U.S. and Chile. The company has two joint ventures in Australia that also produce lithium.

Related: 2023 Lithium Stocks List

Source: Investor Presentation

In the second quarter, revenue grew 60.1% to $2.37 billion, but missed estimates by $20 million. Adjusted earnings-per-share of $7.33 compared very favorably to $3.45 in the prior year and was $2.81 above estimates.

For the quarter, revenue for Energy Storage grew 119.7% to $1.76 billion, due to higher prices and a 36% improvement in volumes from the company’s expansion in Chile and a new processing plant in China.

Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Albemarle (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):

Final Thoughts

The Dividend Aristocrats are excellent options for investors looking for a consistent income stream, along with annual dividend increases.

Our list of the 10 best Dividend Aristocrats includes companies from a variety of industries that rank highly based on our 5-year expected total return forecasts.

If you are interested in finding high-quality dividend growth stocks and/or other high-yield securities and income securities, the following Sure Dividend resources will be useful:

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