What is a Dividend Aristocrat?

dividend aristocrat

A dividend aristocrat is a company that has paid dividends consecutively for 25 years or more. Standard and Poor's (S&P) maintain a list of US dividend aristocrats. Dividends are key to investing successfully. Dividends are cash payments made to shareholders. Once a dividend is paid it can never be taken back.

If you had invested $100 at the end of 1940 in the stock market, this would have been worth approximately $174,000 at the end of 2011 if you had reinvested dividends, versus $12,000 if dividends were not included. Dividends also provide an immediate return on your investment while you continue to hold your stocks.

This year the S&P Dividend Aristocrat list contains 51 companies:

  • AT&T Inc, T
  • Automatic Data Processing, ADP
  • Bard C.R. Inc, BCR
  • Becton Dickinson & Co, BDX
  • Bemis Co Inc, BMS
  • Brown-Forman Corp B, BF.B
  • Chubb Corp, CB
  • Cincinnati Financial Corp, CINF
  • Cintas Corp, CTAS
  • Clorox Co, CLX
  • Coca-Cola Co, KO
  • Colgate-Palmolive Co, CL
  • Consolidated Edison Inc, ED
  • Dover Corp, DOV
  • Ecolab Inc, ECL
  • Emerson Electric Co, EMR
  • Exxon Mobil Corp, XOM
  • Family Dollar Stores Inc, FDO
  • Franklin Resources Inc, BEN
  • Genuine Parts Co, GPC
  • Grainger W.W. Inc, GWW
  • HCP Inc, HCP
  • Hormel Foods Corp, HRL
  • Illinois Tool Works Inc, ITW
  • Johnson & Johnson, JNJ
  • Kimberly-Clark, KMB
  • Leggett & Platt, LEG
  • Lowe's Cos Inc, LOW
  • McCormick & Co, MKC
  • McDonald's Corp, MCD
  • McGraw-Hill Cos Inc, MHP
  • Medtronic Inc, MDT
  • Nucor Corp, NUE
  • PepsiCo Inc, PEP
  • Pitney Bowes Inc, PBI
  • PPG Industries Inc, PPG
  • Procter & Gamble, PG
  • Sherwin-Williams Co, SHW
  • Sigma-Aldrich Corp, SIAL
  • Stanley Black & Decker, SWK
  • Sysco Corp, SYY
  • T Rowe Price Group Inc, TROW
  • Target Corp, TGT
  • VF Corp, VFC
  • Wal-Mart Stores, WMT
  • Walgreen Co, WAG

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