20 Of The Safest Dividend Stocks For Russia/Ukraine Conflict Security

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20 Of The Safest Dividend Stocks For Russia/Ukraine Conflict Security


Published on March 3rd, 2022 by Bob Ciura

The ongoing conflict between Russia and Ukraine has given investors a reminder of geopolitical risk. Investors should keep geopolitical risk in mind, particularly for investors that have a high level of risk-aversion.

For example, retirees looking for income should consider safer dividend stocks. Generally, we view safe dividend stocks as those with long histories of consistent dividend growth, along with low payout ratios and durable competitive advantages.

With this in mind, investors could consider the Dividend Aristocrats, a select group of 66 stocks in the S&P 500 Index, with 25+ consecutive years of dividend increases.

You can download an Excel spreadsheet of all 66 Dividend Aristocrats (with metrics that matter such as dividend yields and price-to-earnings ratios) by clicking the link below:

 

We typically rank stocks based on their five-year expected annual returns, as stated in the Sure Analysis Research Database.

This list of dividend stocks was filtered through a number of requirements, including length of dividend history, and dividend safety (as defined by the Dividend Risk score in the Sure Analysis Research Database).

The top 20 dividend stocks below appear to be highly attractive for income investors looking for the safest dividends.

Table of Contents

The following 20 stocks have increased their dividends for at least 10 years, and have Dividend Risk scores of A to focus on the safest dividend stocks. They are ranked by five-year expected annual returns, in order of lowest to highest.

You can click on any of the links below to instantly jump to a particular section of the article:

Safest Dividend Stock #20: Polaris Inc. (PII)

Polaris designs, engineers, and manufactures snowmobiles, allterrain vehicles (ATVs) and motorcycles. In addition, related accessories and replacement parts are sold with these vehicles through dealers located throughout the U.S.

The company operates under 30+ brands including Polaris, Ranger, RZR, Sportsman, Indian Motorcycle, Slingshot and Transamerican Auto Parts.

On October 26th, 2021, Polaris released Q3 2021 results for the period ending September 30th, 2021. For the quarter sales increased 0.3% to $1.96 billion. Gains of 37%, 18% and 16% in the Global Adjacent Markets, Boats and Motorcycles segments were nearly offset by a 6% decline in OffRoad Vehicle / Snowmobiles and a 4% decline in the Aftermarket segment.

On an adjusted basis, earningspershare equaled $1.98 compared to $2.85 in Q3 2020.

The stock has a 2.1% dividend yield. We also expect 4% annual EPS growth, and a ~5.6% boost from an expanding P/E multiple. Total returns are expected to reach 11.7% per year.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #19: V.F. Corp (VFC)

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.

In late January, V.F. Corp reported (1/28/22) financial results for the third quarter of fiscal 2022. Revenue and organic revenue grew 22% and 15%, respectively, over the prior year’s quarter, driven by the EMEA and North American regions, which experienced a negative impact from the pandemic in the prior year’s period. Adjusted EPS grew 45%, from $0.93 to $1.35, and beat analysts’ consensus by $0.13.

For this fiscal year, V.F. Corp expects revenue of about $11.85 billion, slightly lower than the previous guidance of at least $12.0 billion but still reflecting 28% growth, and adjusted EPS to be around $3.20.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #18: 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 2,200 home improvement and hardware stores in the U.S. and Canada.

Lowe’s reported fourth quarter and full year results on February 23 rd . Total sales for the fourth quarter came in at $21.3 billion compared to $20.3 billion in the same quarter a year ago. Comparable sales increased 5%, while U.S. home improvement comparable sales increased 5.1%. Net earnings of $1.2 billion rose from $978 million in 4Q 2020. Diluted earnings per share of $1.78 was a 35% increase from $1.32 a year earlier.

For the full fiscal year, Lowe’s generated diluted EPS of $12.04. The company repurchased 16.3 million shares in 2021 for $13.1 billion. Additionally, they paid out $2 billion in dividends. The company remains in a strong liquidity position with $1.1 billion of cash and cash equivalents.

The company provided a fiscal 2022 outlook and believes they can achieve diluted EPS in the range of $13.10 to $13.60 on total sales of roughly $98 billion. Lowe’s expects to repurchase $12 billion worth of common shares in 2022.

The combination of multiple expansion, 6% expected EPS growth and the 1.4% dividend yield lead to total expected returns of 11.8% per year.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #17: Franklin Resources (BEN)

Franklin Resources is a global asset manager with a long and successful history. The company offers investment management (which makes up the bulk of fees the company collects) and related services to its customers, including sales, distribution, and shareholder servicing.

On December 14th, 2021, Franklin Resources announced a $0.29 quarterly dividend, marking a 3.6% year-over-year increase and the company’s 42nd consecutive year of increasing its payment.

On February 1st, 2022, Franklin Resources reported Q1 fiscal year 2022 results for the period ending December 31st, 2021. (Franklin Resources’ fiscal year ends September 30th.)

Total assets under management equaled $1.578 trillion, up $48.0 billion compared to last quarter, as a result of $24.1 billion in long-term net inflows, $10.4 billion of positive market change, and other items. For the quarter, operating revenue totaled $2.224 billion.

This represents 0.143% of average AUM or ~57 basis points annualized. On an adjusted basis, net income equaled $553.6 million or $1.08 per share compared to $644.6 million or $1.26 per share in Q1 2021.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #16: T. Rowe Price Group (TROW)

T. Rowe Price Group is one of the largest publicly traded asset managers. The company provides a broad array of mutual funds, subadvisory services, and separate account management for individual and institutional investors, retirement plans and financial intermediaries. T. Rowe Price had assets under management of $1.69 trillion as of December 31st, 2021.

On February 9th, 2021, T. Rowe Price declared a $1.08 quarterly dividend, representing a 20.0% increase and marking the company’s 35th year of increasing its payout.

In the 2021 fourth quarter, T. Rowe Price reported net revenue growth of 13.2% year-over-year to $1.962 billion, representing 0.119% of average AUM or roughly 47 basis points on an annualized basis. Adjusted net income equaled $736.7 million or $3.17 per share compared to $680.2 million or $2.89 per share in Q4 2020.

For the year, T. Rowe Price generated $7.672 billion in net revenue (or 0.48% of average AUM) up 23.6% compared to 2020. Adjusted net income equaled $2.995 billion or $12.75 per share versus $2.277 billion or $9.58 in 2020.

Shares trade for a P/E of 11.6, below our fair value estimate of 14. In addition to 3% expected EPS growth per year and the 2.8% dividend, T. Rowe Price stock could generate total returns of 9.6% per year.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #15: Genuine Parts Company (GPC)

Genuine Parts Company was founded in 1928 and since that time, it has grown into a sprawling conglomerate that sells automotive and industrial parts, electrical materials, and general business products. Its global span reaches throughout North America, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe and is comprised of more than 3,000 locations.

Genuine Parts is also a Dividend King, having raised its dividend for an incredible 66 consecutive years.

Genuine Parts reported fourth quarter and fullyear earnings on February 17th, 2022. Total revenue was up 13% yearoveryear to $4.8 billion, which was $140 million ahead of expectations. Sales gains in the fourth quarter were attributable to an 11.3% increase in comparable sales, as well as a 1.9% benefit from acquisitions.

Earnings in Q4 came to $1.79 per share, up sharply from $1.52 per share in the comparable period a year ago on an adjusted basis.

For the year, sales were $18.9 billion, a 14% increase from 2020. Net income on an adjusted basis was $997 million, or $6.97 per share, up 31% from $5.27 in 2020.

The combination of 8% expected EPS growth per year, the 2.9% dividend, a rising P/E could generate total returns of 11.6% per year.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #14: Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA)

Walgreens Boots Alliance is the largest retail pharmacy in both the United States and Europe. Through its flagship Walgreens business and other business ventures, the company employs more than 325,000 people and has more than 13,000 stores.

On January 6th, 2021, Walgreens reported Q1 results for the period ending November 30th, 2021. Sales from continuing operations grew 7.8% over the prior year’s quarter, driven by COVID-19 vaccinations and testing.

U.S. retail comparable sales grew 11%, which is a 20 year high growth rate. Adjusted EPS grew 53%, from $1.10 to $1.68, and exceeded analysts’ consensus by $0.34.

An overview of Walgreens’ most recent quarterly performance can be seen in the image below:

Source: Investor Presentation

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


Safest Dividend Stock #13: Leggett & Platt (LEG)

Leggett & Platt is an engineered products manufacturer. The company’s products include furniture, bedding components, store fixtures, die castings, and industrial products. Leggett & Platt has 14 business units and more than 20,000 employees. The company qualifies for the Dividend Aristocrats Index as it has 50 years of consecutive dividend increases.

Leggett & Platt reported its third-quarter earnings results on November 1. The company reported revenues of $1.3 billion for the quarter, which represents a 9% increase compared to the prior year’s quarter. Revenues were in line with the consensus estimate. The company’s revenue increase was weaker than the one recorded during the previous quarter, but that can be explained by the very easy comparison in Q2, whereas Q3 2020 had been better.

Leggett & Platt generated earningspershare of $0.71 during the third quarter, which was slightly weaker than the company’s EPS during the previous year’s third quarter.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #12: Telephone & Data Systems (TDS)

Telephone & Data Systems is a telecommunications company that provides customers with cellular and landline services, wireless products, cable, broadband, and voice services across 24 U.S. states. The company’s Cellular Division accounts for more than 75% of total operating revenue. TDS started in 1969 as a collection of 10 rural telephone companies. The company generates more than $5.3 billion in annual revenues.

On February 17th , TDS reported financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2021. The company’s total operating revenues were $5.3 billion for the full year, up from $5.2 billion in 2020. Net income was $117 million, down significantly from last year’s $226 million. Diluted earnings per share of $1.00 compares unfavorably to the $1.93 earned one year ago.

Higher postpaid average revenue per user (ARPU) at US Cellular drove service revenue growth since customers chose higher-value plans. Postpaid ARPU of $48.62 was a 2.3% increase.

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

Safest Dividend Stock #11: ABM Industries (ABM)

ABM Industries is a leading provider of facility solutions, which includes janitorial, electrical & lighting, energy solutions, facilities engineering, HVAC & mechanical, landscape & turf, and parking.

The company has an impressive dividend history:

Source: Investor Presentation

Shares also look significantly undervalued, with a fiscal 2022 price-to-earnings ratio of 12.2, which is well below our fair value estimate of 17.5.

We expect total annual returns of 12.5% over the next five years, driven by 5% expected EPS growth, the 2% dividend yield, and a ~5.5% annual boost from a rising P/E multiple.

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

Safest Dividend Stock #10: Pentair plc (PNR)

Pentair operates as a pureplay 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 spinoffs.

Pentair reported its fourth quarter earnings results on February 1. Revenue of $990 million increased 24% year-over-year. Core sales, which excludes the impact of currency rate movements, acquisitions, and dispossessions, were up 19% year over year. Pentair recorded earningspershare of $0.87 for the fourth quarter, which was up by 24% year over year.

Pentair issued its guidance for the current year during the earnings report as well. For fiscal 2022, Pentair is now forecasting earningspershare in a range of $3.70 to $3.80, which indicates slid earningspershare growth of around 13%.

Total returns are expected to reach 12.8% 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):


Safest Dividend Stock #9: Best Buy Co. (BBY)

Best Buy Co. Inc. is one the largest consumer electronics retailers in North America with operations in the U.S. and Canada. Best Buy sells consumer electronics, personal computers, software, mobile devices, and appliances and provides services.

At end of Q3 FY2022, Best Buy operated 938 Best Buy stores in the U.S, 16 Best Buy Outlet Centers in the U.S., 21 Pacific Sales Stores, 129 Best Buy stores in Canada, and 33 Best Buy Mobile Stand-Alone Stores in Canada. Best Buy exited Mexico operations in fiscal 2021. The company’s annual sales exceeded $47B in fiscal 2021.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #8: Sonoco Products Co. (SON)

Sonoco Products provides packaging, industrial products and supply chain services to its customers. The markets that use the company’s products include those in the appliances, electronics, beverage, construction and food industries. The company generates about $7 billion in annual sales.

Sonoco Products reported fourth quarter and full year earnings results on 2/10/2022. Revenue increased 4.3% to $1.44 billion, which was $40 million above estimates. Adjusted EPS of $0.90 compared favorably to $0.82 in the prior year and was $0.02 ahead of expectations. For the year, revenue grew 6.7% to $5.59 billion while adjusted EPS of $3.55 compared to $3.41 in the 2020.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #7: PPG Industries (PPG)

PPG Industries is the world’s largest paints and coatings company. Its only competitors of similar size are SherwinWilliams and Dutch paint company Akzo Nobel. The company generates annual revenues of about $18 billion.

PPG Industries reported fourth quarter and full year results on 1/20/2022. For the quarter, revenue grew 11.4% to $4.19 billion, beating estimates by $140 million. Adjusted net income of $298 million, or $1.26 per share, compared to adjusted net income of $403 million, or $1.69 per share, in the prior year.

Adjusted earningspershare was $0.07 ahead of estimates. For 2021, revenue grew 21% to $16.8 billion. Adjusted net income of $1,619M, or $6.77 per share, compared favorably to adjusted net income of $1,452M, or $6.12 per share in 2020.

We expect 13.8% annual returns, driven by 8% annual EPS growth and the 1.9% dividend yield, along with an expanding P/E multiple.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #6: 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. 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.

3M reported fourth-quarter and full year earnings results on 1/25/2022. Revenue inched higher by 0.3% to $8.6 billion, which was $30 million better than expected. Earningspershare of $2.31 was down slightly from the prior year, but was $0.29 ahead of estimates.

For 2021, revenue grew 9.9% to $35.4 billion while earningspershare of $10.12 was an 8% improvement from the prior year.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #5: Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)

Bristol-Myers Squibb is a leading drug maker of cardiovascular and anti-cancer therapeutics.

The company transformed itself due to the $74 billion acquisition of Celgene, a peer pharmaceutical giant which derived almost two-thirds of its revenue from Revlimid, which treats multiple myeloma and other cancers.

The end result is that Bristol-Myers Squibb is now an industry giant. The company generated solid growth in the fourth quarter, and in 2021:

Source: Investor Presentation

Shares of BMY trade for a forward P/E ratio below 10. Our fair value P/E estimate is 13-14, which is more in-line with the pharmaceutical peer group.

Lastly, BMY has a 3.1% dividend yield, leading to total expected returns of 14.4% per year over the next five years.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #4: Donaldson Co. (DCI)

Donaldson has been creating filtration solutions for a wide array of applications since 1915. Its sales consist of filters in various engine and industrial applications as core categories, but continuous innovation and acquisitions have expanded the portfolio. The company is expected to produce about $3.1 billion in revenue this year.

Donaldson reported first quarter earnings on December 1st, 2021, and results were better than expected for both revenue and profits. Total sales were up 19.5% to $761 million, up from $637 million in the same period a year ago.

Gross margin declined to 33.8% of revenue from 35.0%. This weakness reflected higher costs for raw materials, labor and freight, partially offset by higher sales and pricing.

We expect 9% annual EPS growth for Donaldson going forward, while the stock also has a 1.6% dividend yield. With a very small boost from P/E multiple expansion, we expect 14.5% annual returns over the next five years for Donaldson stock.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #3: 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.

You can see an overview of the company’s 2021 fourth-quarter performance in the image below:

Source: Investor Presentation

Revenue grew 17% on an organic basis. Adjusted earnings-per-share increased 30% year-over-year.

The stock has a 2% dividend yield, and we expect 8% annual EPS growth. With a ~4.9% boost from an expanding P/E multiple, total returns are expected to reach 14.9% per year.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #2: Silgan Holdings (SLGN)

Silgan Holdings manufactures and sells metal and plastic containers, as well as packaging closures. Its containers are found in everyday food consumables such as pet food, fruits and vegetables, and drinks, while its closures are applied to the beverage, garden, and personal care products. The company generates nearly $5.0 billion in revenues.

On January 26th, 2022, Silgan reported its Q4-2021 results for the period ending December 31st, 2021. Quarterly revenues rose 17% year-over-year, reaching $1.44 billion, while adjusted EPS increased 32% increase versus Q4-2020. The company’s revenue growth was again driven by higher sales volumes across all segments.

During FY-2021, metal containers achieved volume growth of 4% year-over-year. Along with price hikes, metal container sales reached $2.81 billion in turnover (50% of sales), 10% higher vs. the prior year period. This was powered by higher demand for pet food and customer purchases in advance of significant raw material inflation expected in 2022.

Following the successful integrations of last year’s acquisitions, management estimates adjusted EPS in 2022 in the range of $3.80 to $4.00.

We expect 15% returns annually, comprised of 9% EPS growth, the 1.5% dividend yield, and a 4.5% annual boost from an expanding P/E multiple.

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


Safest Dividend Stock #1: UGI Corp. (UGI)

UGI Corporation is a gas and electric utility that operates in Pennsylvania, in addition to a large energy distribution business that serves the entire US and other parts of the world. It was founded in 1882 and has paid consecutive dividends since 1885. The company should generate about $8.3 billion in revenue this year.

The company operates in four reporting segments: AmeriGas, UGI International, Midstream & Marketing, and UGI Utilities.

UGI reported FQ1 results on 02/02/22. Adjusted earningsperdiluted share for the quarter came in at $0.93, up from $1.18 per diluted share in the yearago quarter. Revenue increased by 38.3% year-over-year to $2.67 billion. UGI filed a gas base rate case for an overall distribution rate increase of approximately $83 million.

We expect 15% annual returns over the next five years, due to 6.8% EPS growth, the 3.7% dividend yield, and a ~4.5% annual boost from a rising P/E multiple.

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

Final Thoughts

Volatility has returned to the stock market because of the ongoing Russia/Ukraine conflict. Investors can brace their portfolios for additional volatility, by focusing on high-quality dividend stocks.

The 20 dividend stocks in this article have maintained long histories of increasing their dividends each year, even during recessions and elevated geopolitical risks.

We believe they will continue to pay (and raise) their dividends each year moving forward, while also providing high total returns to shareholders.

If you are interested in finding more high-quality dividend growth stocks suitable for long-term investment, the following Sure Dividend databases will be useful:

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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