Dividend Aristocrats are stocks that have been increasing dividends for the last 25 years. Inherently, these companies have deep stability and for that reason continue to be attractive.
A lot has happened over that period: The.com bubble, the 2007 crash, and the pandemic are among the more prominent disruptions. Yet, these Dividend Aristocrats have continued to survive and thrive. ALl while increasing their dividends.
That greater truth should attract investors who understand that such businesses make strong investments. The companies behind these stocks understand how to operate with strength in diverse macroeconomic environments. That being said, let’s take a look at seven strong Dividend Aristocrats that should continue to grow and pay dividends for years to come.
AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) continues to move away from its heyday which was marked by the dominance of rheumatoid arthritis drug, Humira. While the company lost its exclusivity with Humira, AbbVie is now favoring other high-growth drugs within its immunology portfolio. It’s also looking to expand via mergers and acquisitions.
In addition, while Humira sales declined by more than 36%, other immunology drugs, such as Skyrizi and Rinvoq both grew at rates above 50% during the most recent quarter.
Meanwhile, it began a simultaneous acquisition spree in late November. It acquired Immunogen (NASDAQ:IMGN) and Cerevel Therapeutics (NASDAQ:CERE). Those acquisitions will strengthen the company’s cancer portfolio and its neuroscience portfolio.
Making Dividend Aristocrats, like ABBV even more attractive is its current yield of 3.75%.
Albemarle (NYSE:ALB), another one of the top Dividend Aristocrats, has trended significantly lower. All thanks to lithium oversupply issues. However, don’t write it off just yet. With the Federal Reserve likely to cut interest rates in 2024, it could help reignite electric vehicle sales. That would also reignite the need for lithium. In addition, we have to remember that the green energy boom is highly dependent on lithium.
In addition, global lithium demand is expected to surpass 2.4 million metric tons by 2030. Plus, according to BloombergNEF, global demand for lithium could grow five times over by the end of the decade.
Further, Albemarle just announced cost-cutting measures, which will include headcount cuts and lower spending on contracted services. All to right the ship.
Investors that prefer stability and growth potential in a single stock are sure to appreciate McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD).
The stability portion of that equation is fairly straightforward. McDonald’s is one of the largest and most recognizable fast food chains globally. It’s also targeting its fastest period of growth in its history right now. In fact, by 2027 the company expects to grow to 50,000 restaurants. The company is also committed to improving customer experience through the addition of cloud technology in 2024.
At the same time, McDonald’s is already growing at a steady rate. Global sales increased by 11% in the third quarter with US sales Rising by more than 8%. Further, McDonald’s is targeting Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) with the expansion of its brand to include CosMc’s. It’s an exciting time for the company and investors who can depend on rock-solid income along with all of that growth exposure.
Atmos Energy (ATO)
Atmos Energy (NYSE:ATO) remains a strong choice for investors who seek to capitalize on the expected return of utility stocks in 2024. According to Fidelity, the utility sector is expected to be strong again this year thanks to the growth of renewables and investors becoming far more defensive.
Atmos Energy is an excellent choice for investors who are attracted to that line of thinking and are also seeking a dividend aristocrat. The company’s shares offer roughly 9% upside based on target prices. Those target expectations don’t include its or the benefit of its dividend yielding 2.9%. All considered, it’s reasonable to anticipate that investing in ATO shares will provide double digit returns.
NextEra Energy (NEE)
NextEra Energy (NYSE:NEE) comprises two distinct and highly competitive businesses. One – Florida Power & Light Company – is the largest electric utility in the United States. The other – NextEra Energy Resources – Is the largest generator of solar and wind energy from renewable sources.
An investment in NextEra Energy includes a current yield of 3.3%. It’s also well exposed to potential and continued renewable growth.
Air Products & Chemicals (APD)
Air Products & Chemicals (NYSE:APD) operates within the chemicals and Industrial sectors that tend to be more defensive and less exciting overall. With APD, it’s hydrogen, which Goldman Sachs, for example, says could be an $11 trillion opportunity at some point.
Air Products & Chemicals is the world’s leading supplier of hydrogen and has developed a strong infrastructure network to support the continued development of hydrogen. The company has been developing the hydrogen economy for more than 60 years and currently operates over 100 hydrogen plants. Hydrogen is critical to the continued development of the green economy and is expected to grow steadily In the coming years.
Leggett & Platt (LEG)
Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) recently announced a restructuring plan focused on two primary goals. One, the well-known manufacturer of bedding products intends to derive more value from bedding. Two, Leggett & Platt intends to consolidate its manufacturing footprint from plants down to between 30 and 35. Investors should also understand that the bedding industry is marked by very high margins and it’s clear that the company wants to better take advantage of that.
The Dividend Aristocrat yields 8% and has now increased its dividend for the last 52 years.
On the date of publication, Alex Sirois did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.