This article provides an updated list of the Dividend Kings in 2022, select financial data, and analysis. The list and data are updated monthly.
The Dividend Kings in 2022 are stocks on US stock exchanges that have increased their dividends for at least 50 consecutive years. To attain the 50-year mark is not an easy task and the list of Dividend Kings is a very select one. Only 39 companies on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and NASDAQ have done so as of May 4, 2022. This number is out of nearly 6,000 companies listed on NYSE and NASDAQ in 2022, indicating a success rate of approximately 0.65%.
The number of Dividend Kings goes up slightly to 41 if we include over-the-counter (OTC) stocks, which we discuss below. The total universe of US stocks also goes up to about 11,500, indicating an even lower success rate of about 0.36% for companies to achieve Dividend King status. There are a few discrepancies in the Dividend Kings list, and we discuss those below.
Why are the Dividend Kings Important?
The Dividend Kings are successful companies. They have survived periods of inflation, stock market crashes, global crisis, and deep recessions. In the past 50 years, their dividends have survived seven recessions, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the fall of the Berlin War and the Soviet Union, 9/11 in 2001, the dot-com bust, the Great Recession, and COVID-19.
The 2022 Dividend Kings may not have grown revenue and earnings per share every year, but they annually raised the dividend without fail. This length of time points to the durability of their businesses and the sustainability of their dividends. This fact is essential for investors seeking to produce passive income for retirement or build wealth—dividends matter since they are a significant component of total returns. An investor desiring to live off dividends wants stocks that consistently pay dividends without fail.
As of this writing, no Dividend King has cut or suspended its dividend due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Reportedly, the last Dividend King to leave the divided constant and fall of the list was Diebold in 2014, now known as Diebold Nixdorf (DDB). The company eventually cut the dividend. Before Diebold, AON plc (AON) fell off the list in 2003. More recently, a few companies have fallen off the list because they were acquired. Nevertheless, the persistence of the dividend for the Dividend Kings demonstrates the success of these companies and their ability to return cash to shareholders through dividends.
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Market Update for the 2022 Dividend Kings
The Dividend Kings are currently (as of May 4, 2022) trading at an elevated valuation of a trailing average price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of about 24.07X. This multiple is down from its peak of almost 33X in May 2021 due to declining stock prices and rising earnings.
The current average dividend yield is about 2.31%. The average trailing 10-year dividend growth rate is about 6.99%, and the average past 5-year dividend growth rate is around 6.33%. The average payout ratio is approximately 59.7%. The average market cap is currently $58,723 million.
Currently, the Dividend King with the highest yield is Universal (UVV) at about 5.4%, and the one trading with the lowest earnings multiple is Cincinnati Financial (CINF).
You can look at updated, select financial data and the dividend earnings calendar for each stock in the Dividend Kings list in the tables at the end of the article. The most recent dividend increases are also available for you to search.
In the trailing 1-year, the Dividend Kings have returned +0.4% (blue line) compared to +1.2% for the S&P 500 Index benchmark (red line), as seen in the chart below. Again, I used Stock Rover* for this chart. Over the trailing 5-years, the Dividend Kings have returned +72.5%, and the S&P 500 Index has returned +90.6%.
StockRover is one of the best stock, ETF, and mutual fund screeners and analysis tools. It has 8,500+ stocks, 4,000 ETFs, and 40,000 mutual funds. You can get access up to 650+ metrics and financial data. The Stock Rover platform includes watchlists, portfolio integration, portfolio rebalancing, e-mail and text alerts, future income forecasts, etc.
Additions to the Dividend Kings in 2021
In 2022, Universal Corp (UVV), Grainger (GWW), Leggett & Platt (LEG), MSA Safety (MSA), PPG Industries (PPG) were added to the list of Dividend Kings.
Universal is a global seller of leaf tobacco. The company interacts with farmers and manufacturers of tobacco products. The company recently expanded into sweet potatoes and seeks to expand into other agricultural products. Grainger is an industrial distributor. Leggett & Platt is a conglomerate that manufactures products for homes, offices, retail stores, automobiles, and commercial aircraft. MSA Safety makes safety products for the oil, mining, utility, fire, and industrial markets. PPG Industries is the world’s largest coatings producer for automotive, aerospace, industrial, and construction markets.
Additions to the Dividend Kings in 2020
In 2020, Sysco Corp (SYY), National Fuel Gas (NFG), and Black Hills Corporation (BKH), were added to the list of Dividend Kings.
National Fuel Gas is a diversified utility with upstream, midstream, and downstream assets. The utility owns a regulated natural gas distribution segment. But it also has business segments in exploration and production, pipeline and storage, and gathering. Sysco is a large foodservice distributor with operations in the US, UK, Canada, and France. Black Hills Corp is multi-utility with electric utilities, gas utilities, power generation, and mining operations.
Deletions to the Dividend Kings in 2021
No stocks were removed from the Dividend Kings list in 2021.
Deletions to the Dividend Kings in 2020
No stocks were removed from the Dividend Kings list in 2020.
Other Dividend Stock Lists
I have also written articles with several other lists and analyses on US dividend growth stocks, including:
- List of Dividend Aristocrats in 2022
- List of Dividend Champions in 2022
- List of Dividend Contenders in 2022
- List of Dividend Challengers in 2022
- Dogs of the Dow in 2022
For Canadian stocks, I have written about
For UK stocks, I have written about
Other dividend stock lists
Some Details on the 2022 Dividend Kings
Water Utilities Have a Major Presence
The longest track record as a Dividend King is American States Water (AWR), with 67 years of straight increases. There were four water utilities on this list at the start of 2019. But Connecticut Water Service (CTWS) was acquired by SJW Corp (SJW) in 2019. This acquisition reduced the number of water utilities to three on the list.
It is not surprising that water utilities have a high representation on this list. They provide an essential product for consumers and industries. The business does not grow fast, but it grows with population growth over time. The market and dividend growth investors have broadly recognized this point now, and water utilities often trade at elevated valuations, but they exhibit low volatility.
The three remaining water utilities on the Dividend Kings list have been trading at earnings multiples greater than the broader market for some time. For instance, American States Water trades at price-to-earnings ratios of over 36.2X. California Water Service (CWT) trades at a P/E ratio of 27.8X. SJW (SJW) trades at a P/E ratio of 36.1X.
In total, there are six utilities on the list, three water utilities and three electric and natural gas utilities.
Only One REIT on the Dividend Kings 2022 List
There is only one real estate investment trust (REIT) on the list, Federal Realty Investment Trust (FRT). FRT is a shopping center REIT that operates in eight metropolitan areas.
In addition, no master limited partnerships (MLPs) are currently on the list.
Many companies from the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats list are on the 2022 Dividend Kings list. A Dividend Aristocrat is a company that has raised the dividend for at least 25 consecutive years, part of the S&P 500 Index, and meets a few other requirements. However, it is not necessary for a company to be on the Dividend Aristocrats list to be a Dividend King.
Market Capitalization of the 2022 Dividend Kings
The largest market capitalization company on the Dividend Kings list is Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), at about $439 billion. Conversely, the smallest company on the Dividend Kings list by market capitalization is Universal Corporation (UVV), at about $1.4 billion.
Lastly, two over-the-counter stocks could be on the Dividend Kings list: Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (FMBC) and Computer Services (CSVI). These two companies are even smaller than Universal.
What Do I like About the Dividend Kings?
The Dividend King list in 2022 serves as a screen for further investigating a stock for a dividend growth portfolio. It lists companies with a stable business with competitive advantages and has returned cash to shareholders consistently through dividends for an extended period. As a dividend growth investor, this is a place to start.
Some investors ask, “What’s the big deal about the Dividend Kings?” In my opinion, it is a measure of success and diligence in returning cash to shareholders through dividends.
In addition, the Dividend Kings list changes only very slowly. Each year there are a few additions on average. However, the Dividend Kings list exhibits persistence. Once a company is on the list, it tends to stay on it. This fact is probably due to the effort by each company’s management to maintain the dividend.
Are Companies Ever Deleted from the Dividend Kings List?
Sometimes companies are deleted from the Dividend Kings list due to mergers and acquisitions. For instance, Vectren and Connecticut Water Service were deleted from the list in 2019 since they were acquired. CenterPoint Energy (CNP) acquired Vectren, and SJW Group (SJW), another Dividend King, acquired Connecticut Water Service.
However, some companies do fall off the list for not raising the dividend or, even worse, cutting or suspending the dividend. In the past, this has included Winn-Dixie (WINN), Ohio Casualty Corp (eventually acquired), Aon plc (AON), Integrys Energy Group (TEG), Masco (MSA), and Diebold (DBD).
Readers can find out more on the Dividend Growth Investor blog about the evolution of the Dividend Kings list over the years. But in general, most of these companies had several years in a row of operating difficulties or high leverage. Eventually, this led to a freeze or cut in the dividend and subsequent removal from the list. The bottom line is earnings per share (EPS), and free cash flow (FCF) must grow over time for a company to become a Dividend King and remain on the list.
Dividend Kings Historical Performance
On absolute terms, the Dividend Kings have solid performance. The Dividend Kings have performed better than the S&P 500 Index with lower volatility starting in 1999 through the end of 2019. The 29 Dividend Kings during this time had a compound annual growth rate or CAGR of approximately 24.7% versus about 22.9% for the S&P 500 Index. The internal rate of return (IRR) is approximately 11.6% for the Dividend Kings and roughly 9.2% for the S&P 500.
There are three reasons for this outperformance. First, the Dividend Kings have fewer years with negative returns. The Dividend Kings had only two down years during this period, while the S&P 500 had four down years.
Next, the S&P 500 Index’s worst down years were much worse than that of the Dividend Kings. The worst year for the Dividend Kings was only -17.62%, while the worst year for the S&P 500 Index was a whopping -36.81% or more than double that of the Dividend Kings. The S&P 500 Index could not make this upon in the best year.
Lastly, the Dividend Kings outperformed the S&P 500 Index in 12 out of 20 years. Again, you can check my article to compare the Dividend Kings versus S&P 500 if you want more details.
Furthermore, the Dividend Kings experienced lower volatility than the S&P 500 Index during the period analyzed. The standard deviation of returns was about 12.5% for the Dividend Kings versus roughly 14.4% for the S&P 500 Index. The combination of higher rates of return and lower standard deviation results in a higher Sharpe ratio of 0.74 for the Dividend Kings versus 0.39 for the S&P 500 Index (based on monthly returns and 1-month US Treasury bill). This fact indicates that the Dividend Kings have higher risk-adjusted performance than the S&P 500 Index.
More recently, the Dividend Kings have underperformed the S&P 500 Index. This fact can be attributed to the long bull market and the outperformance of the S&P 500 Index over the past two years (2020 -2021).
Discrepancies in the 2022 Dividend Kings
There are seven discrepancies on the Dividend Kings 2022 list. Target (TGT), Illinois Tool Works (ITW), Altria (MO), Tootsie Roll Industries (TR), Sysco (SYY), Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (FMBC), and Computer Services (CSVI) regarding the number of years that they have paid a growing dividend or whether they are on the list or not.
Target has paid a growing annual dividend for at least 50 years, according to its website. From 1970 to 1971, Target paid a yearly cash dividend of $0.0104. In 1972, the company raised the dividend to $0.0108. So, based on this information, Target has increased the annual dividend for 50 years. However, some lists and websites show Target raising the dividend for 55 years. This discrepancy may be because of a stock split. Target initiated a dividend at the end of 1967, paying a dividend for 55 consecutive years. There was a 2:1 stock split in 1969 that may be confusing the issue. However, Target is now clearly on the Dividend Kings list.
The second discrepancy is for Illinois Tool Works (ITW). The company has paid a growing dividend for at least 50 years. However, the company has claimed a more extended period, and some websites also show a 58-year dividend history. I refer to the excellent research by Dividend Growth Investor, who determined that ITW did not raise its dividend in 1971. The company acknowledged this in their 2019 ITW Annual Report, where they state, “ITW’s annual dividend payment has increased for more than 56 consecutive years, except during a period of government controls in 1971.” ITW did start increasing its dividend again in 1972. However, ITW is now clearly on the Dividend Kings list.
Altria Group (MO) is the third stock with a discrepancy. The company was part of Philip Morris (PM) and was divested in 2008. The dividend was cut, but the combined dividend was reportedly the same as before the split. However, due to the divestment and reduction in the dividend, some datasets report Altria with only 12 years of dividend growth. The quantitative rules used by Portfolio Insight* make this a dividend cut. Hence, we have not included Altria in the Dividend Kings list.
The fourth discrepancy is Tootsie Roll. Tootsie Roll does increase its regular annual cash dividend periodically. However, the stock does not have at least 50 consecutive increases in the yearly dividend. So why do some lists include Tootsie Roll as a Dividend King? The company also pays a 3% stock dividend annually, recorded as a 103-to-100 stock split. This split results in an adjustment to past dividends each year and increases the cash paid to shareholders annually. Again, however, Tootsie Roll is on the Dividend Kings list.
The fifth discrepancy is Sysco (SYY). Sysco claims to have raised the dividend for more than 50 consecutive years in their press releases. In addition, several datasets state Sysco has raised the dividend for 50 years. However, their investor relations website shows the dividend was held constant from 1975 to 1976. Sysco is retained on the list until further clarification.
The next discrepancy is Farmers & Merchants Bancorp (FMBC). The bank has raised the dividend for more than 50 years in a row. However, the bank trades over the counter and is only very thinly traded. This fact means more significant risk for small investors. It also means the stock is not in some datasets based on the NYSE and NASDAQ. Hence, I have omitted this bank from the Dividend Kings list.
Another discrepancy is Computer Services (CSVI). The company has raised the dividend for 50 consecutive years. However, the stock trades over the counter and is again thinly traded. This fact means more significant risk for small investors. It also means the stock is not in some datasets based on the NYSE and NASDAQ. Hence, I have omitted this company from the Dividend Kings list.
Who’s On Deck?
Multiple Dividend Champions have raised their dividend for 49 years. This list includes Becton Dickinson & Co (BDX), Kimberley-Clark (KMB), PepsiCo (PEP), and Tennant (TNC).
List of Dividend Kings in 2022 – Updated 05/04/22
|Ticker||Company Name||No. Years||Dividend Yield (%)||10-yr Dividend Growth Rate (%)||Payout Ratio (%)||TTM P/E Ratio||Market Cap (millions)|
|AWR||American States Water||68||1.90||10.10||54.90||29.9||$2,821|
|CWT||California Water Service||55||1.90||4.70||46.10||25.2||$2,769|
|FRT||Federal Realty Investment||54||3.60||4.50||130.70||36.2||$9,294|
|ITW||Illinois Tool Works||59||2.40||13.00||55.20||24||$63,689|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||60||2.50||6.40||56.20||24||$469,046|
|LEG||Leggett & Platt||51||4.40||4.10||56.30||13.1||$5,132|
|NFG||National Fuel Gas||52||2.60||2.50||39.40||15.6||$6,524|
|NWN||Northwest Natural Hldg||66||4.10||0.80||75.10||18.5||$1,620|
|PG||Procter & Gamble||66||2.30||5.00||58.80||27.3||$374,673|
|SWK||Stanley Black & Decker||55||2.50||6.80||35.50||16.1||$19,040|
|TR||Tootsie Roll Industries||55||1.00||4.20||37.10||35.3||$1,993|
Dividend Calendar for the Dividend Kings 2022
Stock Rover* was used for creating this table.
|Ticker||Company||Ex-Dividend Date||Div. Record Date||Dividend Payment Date||Next Div. Payment Per Share||Annual Dividend Per Share|
|AWR||American States Water||2/14/22||2/15/22||3/1/22||$0.37||$1.46|
|CWT||California Water Service||5/6/22||5/9/22||5/20/22||$0.25||$1.00|
|FRT||Federal Realty Investment||3/15/22||3/16/22||4/15/22||$1.07||$4.28|
|ITW||Illinois Tool Works||3/30/22||3/31/22||4/14/22||$1.22||$4.88|
|JNJ||Johnson & Johnson||5/23/22||5/24/22||6/7/22||$1.13||$4.52|
|LEG||Leggett & Platt||3/14/22||3/15/22||4/15/22||$0.42||$1.68|
|NFG||National Fuel Gas||3/30/22||3/31/22||4/15/22||$0.46||$1.82|
|NWN||Northwest Natural Hldg||4/28/22||4/29/22||5/13/22||$0.48||$1.93|
|PG||Procter & Gamble||4/21/22||4/22/22||5/16/22||$0.91||$3.65|
|SWK||Stanley Black & Decker||6/6/22||6/7/22||6/21/22||$0.79||$3.16|
|TR||Tootsie Roll Industries||12/21/21||12/22/21||1/12/22||$0.09||$0.35|
Prior Year Lists and Articles
Here are my recommendations:
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