More than 400 U.S. stocks increased their dividends in 2020 despite the COVID-19 pandemic. The year 2020 is so far mainly known for the enormous amount of dividend cuts and suspendsions due to the corona pandemic.
In any case, it is not just bad news because the dividend cuts are currently mainly limited to companies and sectors that are directly hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. Think for example of hotel chains, hotel real estate, retail real estate, airlines, operators of cinemas, (clothing) retailers, restaurant chains, operators of amusement parks, advertising companies and travel organizations.
In Europe, we see a completely different situation with sector-wide dividend cuts where a long history of dividend increases does not seem to have any value at all. Particularly in the UK, France and Scandinavia, the dividend will be dropped with ease, even if it has never declined in the past 20, 30 or sometimes 40 years or even increased for decades in a row, such as with luxury giant LVMH.
In the United States, we see a completely different picture and the real Dividend Aristocrats are all still safe in terms of dividend in mid-May. Even oil giants like Chevron and Exxon simply maintain the dividend, unlike industry peers Royal Dutch Shell in Europe, which cut the dividend for the first time since World War II (-66%).
Below we list some statistics of the shares that have increased their dividends so far in 2020. According to our information, there are now more than 400 that have announced a dividend hike YTD in the United States.
TOP-5-BIGGEST U.S. DIVIDEND HIKES YTD
- NRG Energy +900.0%
- Texas Pacific Land Trust +471.4%
- Advance Auto Parts +316.7%
- Sturm, Ruger & Co +218.2%
- Postal Realty Trust +217.5%
If we look at the largest dividend increases this year, we mainly see less well-known, smaller in terms of stock market value. Also note that this often involves a significant dividend increase after years without an increase, or after a significant dividend decrease in the previous years. As a result, the percentage difference can be enormous. It is important to take a good look at the history here. This overview is also updated daily on the homepage of dividendhike.com
TOP-5 ARISTOCRATS ANNOUNCING A DIVIDEND HIKE YTD
- Procter & Gamble (64 yrs hiked)
- Genuine Parts Co (64 yrs)
- 3M Co (62 yrs)
- Cincinnati Financial (60 yrs)
- Johnson & Johnson + Coca Cola (58 yrs)
Of all the Aristocrats who increased their dividends this year, Procter & Gamble and Genuine Parts Co currently hold the best track record with 64 consecutive years of dividend increases. The Aristocrat who increased the dividend by the largest percentage in 2020 is paint producer Sherwin-Williams, with a dividend hike of 18.6%. SHW is closely followed by both T. Rowe Price (+ 18.4%) and compiler of the Dividend Aristocrats Index S&P Global (+ 17.5%).
It is also striking that since the beginning of March there have been no new dividend hike stars at all, or Aristocrats that increase their dividend by more than 10% in a given calendar year. This just goes to show how prudent listed companies are with regard to dividend increases. The last hike star in 2020 was Ross Stores with a dividend hike of 11.8 percent announced on March 3. Ross is one of the Aristocrats who is hit very hard by COVID-19.
TOP-5 BIGGEST COMPANIES TO HIKE THEIR DIVIDEND
- Apple (6.5 percent hike YTD)
- Johnson & Johnson (6.3 percent hike YTD)
- Walmart (1.9 percent hike YTD)
- Procter & Gamble (6.0 percent hike YTD)
- Intel (4.8 percent hike YTD)
Apple, with a market cap of $ 1.33T one of the largest publicly traded companies worldwide, increased its dividend by 6.5 percent at the end of April. The Iphone manufacturer now pays $ 14.3 billion in dividends annually. This puts Apple in fourth place in the United States after Microsoft, AT&T and Exxon Mobil.