Article updated on January 3rd, 2023 by Bob Ciura
Spreadsheet data updated daily
The Dividend Aristocrats are a select group of 68 S&P 500 stocks with 25+ years of consecutive dividend increases.
They are the ‘best of the best’ dividend growth stocks. The Dividend Aristocrats have a long history of outperforming the market.
The requirements to be a Dividend Aristocrat are:
- Be in the S&P 500
- Have 25+ consecutive years of dividend increases
- Meet certain minimum size & liquidity requirements
There are currently 68 Dividend Aristocrats. You can download an Excel spreadsheet of all 68 (with metrics that matter such as dividend yields and price-to-earnings ratios) by clicking 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.
Note: On January 24th, 2023 CH Robinson Worldwide (CHRW), Nordson (NDSN), and J.M. Smucker (SJM) were added to the Dividend Aristocrats with no deletions, leaving 68 Dividend Aristocrats.
Source: S&P News Releases.
Table of Contents
- How To Use The Dividend Aristocrats List To Find Dividend Investment Ideas
- Performance of the Dividend Aristocrats
- Sector Overview
- The Top 7 Dividend Aristocrats Now
- Dividend Aristocrats Analysis (The Dividend Aristocrats In Focus Series)
- Historical Dividend Aristocrats List (1989 – 2023)
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Thoughts
How to Use The Dividend Aristocrats List To Find Dividend Investment Ideas
The downloadable Dividend Aristocrats Excel Spreadsheet List above contains the following for each stock in the index:
- Price-to-earnings ratio
- Dividend yield
- Market capitalization
All Dividend Aristocrats are high-quality businesses based on their long dividend histories. A company cannot pay rising dividends for 25+ years without having a strong and durable competitive advantage.
But not all Dividend Aristocrats make equally good investments today. That’s where the spreadsheet in this article comes into play. You can use the Dividend Aristocrats spreadsheet to quickly find quality dividend investment ideas.
The list of all 68 Dividend Aristocrats is valuable because it gives you a concise list of all S&P 500 stocks with 25+ consecutive years of dividend increases (that also meet certain minimum size and liquidity requirements).
These are businesses that have both the desire and ability to pay shareholders rising dividends year-after-year. This is a rare combination.
Together, these two criteria are powerful – but they are not enough. Value must be considered as well.
The spreadsheet above allows you to sort by trailing price-to-earnings ratio so you can quickly find undervalued, high-quality dividend stocks.
Here’s how to use the Dividend Aristocrats list to quickly find high-quality dividend growth stocks potentially trading at a discount:
- Download the list
- Sort by ‘Trailing PE Ratio,’ smallest to largest
- Research the top stocks further
Here’s how to do this quickly in the spreadsheet:
Step 1: Download the list, and open it.
Step 2: Apply a filter function to each column in the spreadsheet.
Step 3: Click on the small gray down arrow next to ‘Trailing P/E Ratio’, and then sort smallest to largest.
Step 4: Review the highest ranked Dividend Aristocrats before investing. You can see detailed analysis on every Dividend Aristocrat found below in this article.
That’s it; you can follow the same procedure to sort by any other metric in the spreadsheet.
This article examines the characteristics and performance of the Dividend Aristocrats in detail. Click here for a table of contents for easy navigation of this article.
Performance Of The Dividend Aristocrats
In December 2022, the Dividend Aristocrats, as measured by the Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL), registered a 4.1% negative total return. It outperformed the SPDR S&P 500 ETF (SPY) for the month.
- NOBL generated negative total returns of 4.1% in December 2022
- SPY generated negative total returns of 5.8% in December 2022
Short-term performance is mostly noise. Performance should be measured over a minimum of 3 years, and preferably longer periods of time.
The Dividend Aristocrats Index has outperformed the broader market index over the last decade, with a 12.9% total annual return for the Dividend Aristocrats versus 12.6% for the S&P 500 Index.
The Dividend Aristocrats have exhibited lower risk than the benchmark, as measured by standard deviation.
Source: S&P Fact Sheet
Higher total returns with lower volatility is the ‘holy grail’ of investing. It is worth exploring the characteristics of the Dividend Aristocrats in detail to determine why they have performed so well.
Note that a good portion of the outperformance relative to the S&P 500 comes during recessions (2000 – 2002, 2008). Dividend Aristocrats have historically seen smaller drawdowns during recessions versus the S&P 500. This makes holding through recessions that much easier. Case-in-point: In 2008 the Dividend Aristocrats Index declined 22%. That same year, the S&P 500 declined 38%.
Great businesses with strong competitive advantages tend to be able to generate stronger cash flows during recessions. This allows them to gain market share while weaker businesses fight to stay alive.
The Dividend Aristocrats Index has beaten the market over the last 28 years…
We believe dividend paying stocks outperform non-dividend paying stocks for three reasons:
- A company that pays dividends is likely to be generating earnings or cash flows so that it can pay dividends to shareholders. This excludes ‘pre-earnings’ start-ups and failing businesses. In short, it excludes the riskiest stocks.
- A business that pays consistent dividends must be more selective with the growth projects it takes on because a portion of its cash flows are being paid out as dividends. Scrutinizing over capital allocation decisions likely adds to shareholder value.
- Stocks that pay dividends are willing to reward shareholders with cash payments. This is a sign that management is shareholder friendly.
In our view, Dividend Aristocrats have historically outperformed the market and other dividend paying stocks because they are, on average, higher-quality businesses.
A high-quality business should outperform a mediocre business over a long period of time, all other things being equal.
A sector breakdown of the Dividend Aristocrats Index is shown below:
These 2 sectors make up ~40% of the Dividend Aristocrats Index, but less than 20% of the S&P 500.
The Dividend Aristocrats Index is also significantly underweight the Information Technology sector, with a 3% allocation compared with over 20% allocation within the S&P 500.
The Dividend Aristocrat Index is filled with stable ‘old economy’ blue chip consumer products businesses and manufacturers; the 3M’s (MMM), Coca-Cola’s (KO), and Johnson & Johnson’s (JNJ) of the investing world.
These ‘boring’ businesses aren’t likely to generate 20%+ earnings-per-share growth, but they also are very unlikely to see large earnings drawdowns as well.
The Top 7 Dividend Aristocrats Now
Dividend Aristocrat #7: Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)
- 5-year Expected Annual Returns: 12.3%
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.
Walgreens’ earnings-per-share grew at a CAGR of 7.6% over the past decade, powered by growing revenues and a declining share count. This was driven by a combination of factors, including solid top-line growth ($72 billion to $133 billion), a steady net profit margin, and a reduction in the number of outstanding shares.
Source: Investor Presentation
On October 13th, 2022, Walgreens reported Q4 results for the period ending August 31st, 2022. Sales from continuing operations dipped -5% and adjusted earnings-per-share slumped -32% over the prior year’s quarter, from $1.17 to $0.80, mostly due to high COVID-19 vaccinations in the prior year’s period. Earnings-per-share exceeded analysts’ consensus by $0.03. The company has beaten analysts’ estimates for 9 consecutive quarters.
However, as the pandemic has subsided, Walgreens is facing tough comparisons. It provided guidance for earnings-per-share of $4.45-$4.65 in fiscal 2023, implying a -10% decrease at the midpoint.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Walgreens Boots Alliance (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Dividend Aristocrat #6: Essex Realty (ESS)
- 5-year Expected Annual Returns: 12.9%
Essex Property Trust was founded in 1971. The trust 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 October 26th, 2022 Essex reported third quarter results. Core FFO-per-diluted share increased 18.3% to $3.69. Total FFO per-diluted share increased 1.3% to $3.13 from $3.09 in the year-ago period. Net income decreased 13.0% to $0.87.
The decrease in net income was primarily due to an unrealized loss on marketable securities and unrealized losses incurred by ESS’ non-core co-investments. Same-property gross revenue increased by 12.7% and same-property net operating income increased by 16.7% year-over-year.
Meanwhile, Essex updated its 2022 core FFO per share guidance to $14.42 to $14.52, and net income per diluted share guidance to $4.80 to $4.90. ESS also reaffirmed its expectation of full-year same-property revenue growth of 10.0% to 10.6% and same-property NOI growth of 13.0% to 14.0%.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on ESS (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Dividend Aristocrat #5: Pentair (PNR)
- 5-year Expected Annual Returns: 12.9%
Pentair operates as a pure–play water solutions company with 3 segments: Aquatic Systems, Filtration Solutions, and Flow Technologies. Pentair was founded in 1966. Pentair has increased its dividend for more than four decades in a row, when adjusted for spin–offs.
Source: Investor Presentation
Pentair reported its third quarter earnings results on October 25. The company was able to generate revenues of $1.06 billion during the quarter, which was 9% more than the company’s revenues during the previous year’s quarter, a result that beat estimates slightly.
Core sales, which excludes the impact of currency rate movements, acquisitions, and dispossessions, were up 4% year over year, which was weaker than the core revenue growth rate during the previous quarter, during which Pentair reported a double-digit core sales increase.
Pentair recorded earnings-per-share of $0.99 for the third quarter, which was up by a compelling 11% year over year. Pentair’s earnings-per-share beat the analyst consensus by $0.06. Pentair updated its guidance for the current year during the earnings report. For fiscal 2022, Pentair is now forecasting earnings-per-share of around $3.65, which indicates solid earnings-per-share growth of around 10% compared to the $3.32 the company earned in 2021.
Total returns are expected to reach 12.9% over the next five years.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Pentair (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Dividend Aristocrat #4: Lowe’s Companies (LOW)
- 5-year Expected Annual Returns: 14.1%
Lowe’s Companies is the second-largest home improvement retailer in the US (after Home Depot). The company was founded in 1946 and is headquartered in Mooresville, NC. Lowe’s operates or services about 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S. and Canada.
Lowe’s reported third quarter 2022 results on November 16th. Total sales for the third quarter came in at $23.5 billion compared to $22.9 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Comparable sales increased 2.2%, while the U.S. home improvement comparable sales increased 3.0%. Of note, pro customer sales rose 19% year-over-year.
The company took a $2.1 billion pre-tax non-cash asset impairment charge related to its Canadian retail business. The sale of the Canadian retail business is expected to close in early 2023. Adjusted net earnings, which excludes this significant impairment charge, rose 19.8% year-over-year to $3.27 per share.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Lowe’s (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Dividend Aristocrat #3: 3M Company (MMM)
- 5-year Expected Annual Returns: 16.2%
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. The Safety & Industrial division produces tapes, abrasives, adhesives and supply chain management software as well as manufactures personal protective gear and security products.
The Healthcare segment supplies medical and surgical products as well as drug delivery systems. Transportation & Electronics division produces fibers and circuits with a goal of using renewable energy sources while reducing costs. The Consumer division sells office supplies, home improvement products, protective materials and stationary supplies.
Source: Investor Presentation
The company also announced that it would be spinning off its Health Care segment into a standalone entity, which would have had $8.6 billion of revenue in 2021. The transaction is expected to close by the end of 2023.
We expect 16.2% annual returns for 3M stock, driven by 5% expected EPS growth, the 4.9% dividend yield, and a ~6.3% boost from an expanding P/E multiple.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on 3M (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Dividend Aristocrat #2: Albemarle Corporation (ALB)
- 5-year Expected Annual Returns: 20.3%
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. Albemarle’s Chile assets offer a very low-cost source of lithium.
The company operates in nearly 100 countries and is composed of four segments: Lithium & Advanced Materials (49% of sales), Bromine Specialties (21% of sales), Catalysts (21% of sales) and Other (9% of sales). Albemarle produces annual sales of more than $7.5 billion.
Source: Investor Presentation
Albemarle produces annual sales of $7.3 billion. It is one of the top lithium stocks.
On November 2nd, 2022, Albemarle announced third quarter results. Revenue grew 151.6% to $2.09 billion, but was $120 million less than expected. Adjusted earnings-per-share of $7.50 compared very favorably to $1.05 in the prior year and was $0.51 above estimates.
Revenue for Lithium was higher by 318% to $1.5 billion, due to a 298% improvement in pricing and a 20% increase in volume due to the completion of an expansion in the company’s operations in Chile and higher customer demand. The company expects volume growth to be in a range of 20% to 30% for the year.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on Albemarle (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
Dividend Aristocrat #1: V.F. Corporation (VFC)
- 5-year Expected Annual Returns: 21.0%
V.F. Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies. The company’s brands include The North Face, Vans, Timberland and Dickies. The company, which has been in existence since 1899, generated over $11 billion in sales in the last 12 months.
On October 26th, 2022, V.F. Corp announced a $0.51 quarterly dividend, a 2.0% year-over-year increase, which marks the company’s 50th consecutive year of increasing its payout.
In late October, V.F. Corp reported (10/26/22) financial results for the second quarter of fiscal 2023. Revenue declined by 4% and adjusted earnings-per-share plunged 24%, from $1.11 to $0.73. The decline in EPS was due to high cost inflation, product discounting, and high inventories and lockdowns in China.
V.F. Corp expects revenue growth of 5%-6% but lowered its guidance for adjusted earnings-per-share once again, from $3.05-$3.15 to $2.40-$2.50.
We expect annual returns of 21.0% over the next five years for VFC, driven by 7% expected EPS growth, the 7.4% dividend yield, and a 6.6% annual boost from an expanding P/E multiple.
Click here to download our most recent Sure Analysis report on V.F. Corp. (preview of page 1 of 3 shown below):
The Dividend Aristocrats In Focus Analysis Series
You can see analysis on every single Dividend Aristocrat below. Each is sorted by GICS sectors and listed in alphabetical order by name. The newest Sure Analysis Research Database report for each security is included as well.
- Archer-Daniels-Midland (ADM) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Amcor (AMCR) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Brown-Forman (BF-B) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Colgate-Palmolive (CL) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Church & Dwight (CHD) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Clorox (CLX) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Coca-Cola (KO) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Hormel Foods (HRL) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Kimberly-Clark (KMB) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- McCormick & Company (MKC) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- PepsiCo (PEP) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Procter & Gamble (PG) [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Sysco Corporation (SYY) [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Walmart (WMT) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- A.O. Smith (AOS) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Cintas (CTAS) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Dover (DOV) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Emerson Electric (EMR) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Expeditors International (EXPD) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Illinois Tool Works (ITW) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- 3M (MMM) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Pentair (PNR) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Roper Technologies (ROP) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- W.W. Grainger (GWW) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- General Dynamics (GD) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Caterpillar (CAT) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Abbott Laboratories (ABT) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- AbbVie (ABBV) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Becton, Dickinson & Company (BDX) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Cardinal Health (CAH) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Medtronic (MDT) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- West Pharmaceutical Services (WST) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Genuine Parts Company (GPC) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Leggett & Platt (LEG) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Lowe’s Companies (LOW) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- McDonald’s (MCD) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Target (TGT) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- V.F. Corporation (VFC) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Aflac (AFL) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Brown & Brown (BRO) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Cincinnati Financial (CINF) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Franklin Resources (BEN) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- S&P Global (SPGI) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- T. Rowe Price Group (TROW) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Chubb (CB) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Air Products and Chemicals (APD) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Albemarle (ALB) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Ecolab (ECL) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- PPG Industries (PPG) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Sherwin-Williams (SHW) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Nucor (NUE) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Linde (LIN) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Chevron (CVX) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Exxon Mobil (XOM) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Automatic Data Processing (ADP) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- International Business Machines (IBM) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Essex Property Trust (ESS) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Realty Income (O) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Atmos Energy (ATO) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- Consolidated Edison (ED) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
- NextEra Energy (NEE) | [See newest Sure Analysis report]
Looking for no-fee DRIP Dividend Aristocrats? Click here to read an article examining all 15 no-fee DRIP Dividend Aristocrats in detail.
Historical Dividend Aristocrats List
(1989 – 2023)
The image below shows the history of the Dividend Aristocrats Index from 1989 through 2023:
Note: CL, GPC, and NUE were all removed and re-added to the Dividend Aristocrats Index through the historical period analyzed above. We are unsure as to why. Companies created via a spin-off (like AbbVie) can be Dividend Aristocrats with less than 25 years of rising dividends if the parent company was a Dividend Aristocrat.
This information was compiled from the following sources:
- 1989 – 1991: Dividend Growth Investor
- 1992 – 2015: NOBL Index Historical Constituents
- 2016: Sure Dividend update
- 2017 – 2023: Data from S&P press releases
Frequently Asked Questions
This section will address some of most common questions investors have regarding the Dividend Aristocrats.
1. What is the highest-paying Dividend Aristocrat?
Answer: VFC currently yields 7.4%.
2. What is the difference between the Dividend Aristocrats and the Dividend Kings?
Answer: The Dividend Aristocrats must be constituents of the S&P 500 Index, have raised their dividends for at least 25 consecutive years, and satisfy a number of liquidity requirements. The Dividend Kings only need to have raised their dividends for at least 50 consecutive years.
3. Is there an ETF that tracks the Dividend Aristocrats?
4. What is the difference between the Dividend Aristocrats and the Dividend Champions?
Answer: The Dividend Aristocrats and Dividend Champions share one requirement, which is that a company must have raised its dividend for at least 25 consecutive years.
But like the Dividend Kings, the Dividend Champions do not need to be in the S&P 500 Index, nor satisfy the various liquidity requirements.
5. Which Dividend Aristocrat has the longest active streak of annual dividend increases?
Currently, there are 4 Dividend Aristocrats tied at 66 years: Procter & Gamble, Genuine Parts, 3M Company, and Dover Corporation.
6. What is the average dividend yield of the Dividend Aristocrats?
Right now, the average dividend yield of the 68 Dividend Aristocrats is 2.4%.
7. Are the Dividend Aristocrats safe investments?
While there are never any guarantees when it comes to the stock market, we believe the Dividend Aristocrats are among the safest dividend stocks when it comes to the sustainability of their dividend payouts.
The Dividend Aristocrats have durable competitive advantages that allow them to raise their dividends each year, even during a recession.
Other Dividend Lists & Final Thoughts
The Dividend Aristocrats list is not the only way to quickly screen for stocks that regularly pay rising dividends.
- The High Yield Dividend Aristocrats List is comprised of the 20 Dividend Aristocrats with the highest current yields.
- The Dividend Achievers List is comprised of ~350 stocks with 10+ years of consecutive dividend increases.
- The Dividend Kings List is even more exclusive than the Dividend Aristocrats. It is comprised of 48 stocks with 50+ years of consecutive dividend increases.
- The High Yield Dividend Kings List is comprised of the 20 Dividend Kings with the highest current yields.
- The Blue Chip Stocks List: stocks that qualify as Dividend Achievers, Dividend Aristocrats, and/or Dividend Kings
- The High Dividend Stocks List: stocks that appeal to investors interested in the highest yields of 5% or more.
- The Monthly Dividend Stocks List: stocks that pay dividends every month, for 12 dividend payments per year.
- The Dividend Champions List: stocks that have increased their dividends for 25+ consecutive years.
Note: Not all Dividend Champions are Dividend Aristocrats because Dividend Aristocrats have additional requirements like being in The S&P 500.
- The Dividend Contenders List: 10-24 consecutive years of dividend increases.
- The Dividend Challengers List: 5-9 consecutive years of dividend increases.
There is nothing magical about the Dividend Aristocrats. They are ‘just’ a collection of high-quality shareholder friendly stocks that have strong competitive advantages.
Purchasing these types of stocks at fair or better prices and holding for the long-run will likely result in favorable long-term performance.
You have a choice in what type of business you buy into. You can buy into the mediocre, or the excellent.
Often, excellent businesses are not more expensive (based on their price-to-earnings ratio) than mediocre businesses.
“When we own portions of outstanding businesses with outstanding managements, our favorite holding period is forever.”