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Dividend Aristocrats In Focus: Kenvue

Updated on May 21st, 2024 by Bob Ciura

The Dividend Aristocrats consist of 68 companies in the S&P 500 Index that have raised their dividends for at least 25 years in a row. Many of the companies have turned into huge multi-national corporations over the decades.

You can see the full list of all 68 Dividend Aristocrats here.

We created a full list of all Dividend Aristocrats, along with important financial metrics like price-to-earnings ratios and dividend yields. You can download your copy of the Dividend Aristocrats list by clicking on the link below:


Disclaimer: Sure Dividend is not affiliated with S&P Global in any way. S&P Global owns and maintains The Dividend Aristocrats Index. The information in this article and downloadable spreadsheet is based on Sure Dividend’s own review, summary, and analysis of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL) and other sources, and is meant to help individual investors better understand this ETF and the index upon which it is based. None of the information in this article or spreadsheet is official data from S&P Global. Consult S&P Global for official information.

Kenvue Inc. (KVUE) is a recent addition to the Dividend Aristocrats list, having been spun off from former parent company Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) in 2023.

As a spin-off, Kenvue carries its former parent company’s dividend growth history, and is itself a Dividend Aristocrat.

This article will analyze Kenvue’s business model, future growth catalysts, and expected returns.

Business Overview

Kenvue operates in the healthcare sector as a consumer products manufacturer. In May 2023, Kenvue was spun off from Johnson & Johnson. Now, Kenvue operates three segments: Self Care, Skin Health & Beauty, and Essential Health.

Self Care’s product portfolio includes cough, cold, allergy, smoking cessation, and pain care products among others. Skin Health & Beauty holds products such as face, body, hair, and sun care.

Essential Health contains products for women’s health, wound care, oral care, and baby care.

Well-known brands in Kenvue’s product line up include Tylenol, Listerine, Band-Aid, Neutrogena, Nicorette, and Zyrtec.

Source: Investor Presentation

On May 7th, 2024, Kenvue reported first-quarter earnings results. Revenue increased 1.1% to $3.9 billion and was $110 million better than expected. Adjusted earnings-per-share totaled $0.28, beating estimates by $0.03.

Organic sales grew 1.9% for the quarter. Pricing added 5.0% to sales growth, partially offset by a 3.1% decrease in volume. Results were up against a tough comparable period where retailer inventory re-builds were especially strong.

Self Care and Essential Health, led by Oral Care, were the best performing businesses within the company while Skin Health and Beauty were weaker for the period.

Kenvue also reaffirmed prior guidance for 2024. The company continues to expect revenue growth to be in a range of 1.0% to 3.0% and adjusted earnings-per-share in a range of $1.10 to $1.20 for the year.

Growth Prospects

Prior to the spin-off, Johnson & Johnson produced annual earnings growth of 7% for the 2013 to 2022 period as the company’s diversification allowed it to be one of the more stable companies in the market place.

Today, Kenvue consists of just the consumer products businesses, which were often produced the lowest levels of growth.

For its part, Kenvue management expects the company to generate organic revenue growth around 3%-4% per year. Therefore, we expect that Kenvue will grow earnings-per-share by 3% annually through 2028.

Johnson & Johnson’s dividend growth streak of 61 consecutive years is one of the longest in the market place. As a result, Kenvue is both a Dividend King and a Dividend Aristocrat.

We believe that penchant for dividend growth is in Kenvue’s business DNA.

Competitive Advantages & Recession Performance

Kenvue’s former parent company Johnson & Johnson has proven to be one of the most successful companies at navigating recessions.

Though Kenvue no longer benefits from its parent company’s diversification, we believe that it would prove equally effective at handling economic downturns.

Since Kenvue was a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, there is no data on its earnings-per-share performance during that time.

However, investors can reasonably infer that Kenvue would display a similar degree of resilience during recessions as its former parent company.

The company’s products, such as Band-Aid and Tylenol, are needed regardless of the state of the economy as they deal directly with consumers’ health and well-being. As trusted products, they would like continue to perform well even under adverse conditions.

Overall, Kenvue should continue to raise its dividend for many more years thanks to its low payout ratio, its decent resilience to recessions, and its healthy balance sheet.

Valuation & Expected Returns

We expect Kenvue to generate adjusted earnings-per-share of $1.15 for 2024. Therefore, shares of Kenvue currently trade for a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.4.

For context, Johnson & Johnson shares have an average price-to-earnings ratio of close to 19 since 2013.

Countering the fact that Kenvue holds some of the industry leading brands with that its products were the lower margin businesses within the parent company, we have a target price-to-earnings ratio of 14 for the stock.

This implies a future headwind from P/E multiple contraction.

Therefore, valuation could reduce annual returns by 4.3% if the stock were to reach our target multiple by 2028. Positive returns will be generated by EPS growth (estimated at 3% per year) and dividends.

On July 20th, 2023, Kenvue announced its first-ever quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share. The annualized payout of $0.80 per share represents a current yield of 4.0%.

Putting it all together, total returns are expected at 2.7% per year through 2028.

Final Thoughts

Kenvue is a relatively new addition to the Dividend Aristocrats list. After decades as part of Johnson & Johnson, Kenvue became an independent entity in 2023.

While we find the legacy business to be recession-resistant and the high dividend yield to be attractive for income investors, the total return profile is not high enough for a buy recommendation. We rate KVUE stock to be a sell due to valuation.

Additionally, the following Sure Dividend databases contain the most reliable dividend growers in our investment universe:

If you’re looking for stocks with unique dividend characteristics, consider the following Sure Dividend databases:

The major domestic stock market indices are another solid resource for finding investment ideas. Sure Dividend compiles the following stock market databases and updates them monthly:

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