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Seeking Income? Consider These 3 Dividend Aristocrats

It goes without saying that it’s been a volatility-packed year, with news headlines shaking the market back and forth.

The Fed has fully pivoted to a hawkish nature, sending many investors’ favorite growth and tech stocks tumbling.

During times of heightened volatility, an established income stream is undoubtedly a major positive, allowing investors to offset losses in other positions and reap those sweet dividend payouts.

However, not all dividend payers are the same. Some companies belong to an elite group known as Dividend Aristocrats.

But what is this group, and why is it so elite?

Dividend Aristocrats are classified as companies with at least 25 consecutive annual dividend increases.

With a long track record of rewarding shareholders handsomely, it’s easy to see why Dividend Aristocrats are generally on any income investor’s watchlist and why the group is viewed so positively.

Three Dividend Aristocrats – Aflac AFL, Procter & Gamble PG, and Cardinal Health CAH – deserve a spot on any income-focused investor’s watchlist.

Below is a year-to-date chart depicting the share performance of all three companies in 2022, with the S&P 500 blended in as a benchmark.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Let’s take a deeper dive into each company.

Aflac

Aflac’s annual dividend yields a sector-beating 2.7% paired with a payout ratio that sits more than sustainably at 28% of earnings.

Further, the company has upped its dividend six times over the last five years, with a five-year annualized dividend growth rate of a double-digit 11%.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

In addition to rock-solid dividend metrics, Aflac shares could be considered undervalued, displayed by its Style Score of an A for Value.

AFL’s 11.2X forward earnings multiple is just a hair beneath its five-year median of 11.3X and represents an enticing 23% discount relative to its Zacks Finance Sector.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Aflac has an incredible earnings track record, exceeding the Zacks Consensus EPS Estimate in each of its last 22 quarterly prints.

Top line results have also been strong – AFL has registered exceeded revenue estimates for three consecutive quarters. Below is a chart illustrating the company’s revenue on a quarterly basis.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Procter & Gamble

Procter & Gamble rewards its shareholders via its annual dividend that yields a sizable 2.6%, just a tick below its Consumer Staples Sector average of 2.7%.

In addition, PG carries a 6% five-year annualized dividend growth rate paired with a payout ratio sitting at 63% of earnings.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Procter & Gamble carries a 23.3X forward earnings multiple, above its Zacks Sector average. However, the value is still below its five-year median of 23.8X.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Like AFL, Procter & Gamble has an impressive earnings track record, exceeding bottom line estimates in nine of its previous ten releases.

Top line results have also been robust – PG has penciled in nine revenue beats over its last ten quarters.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Cardinal Health

Cardinal Health’s annual dividend yield sits nicely at a steep 3%, well above its Zacks Medical Sector average of 1.5%.

Further, CAH carries a five-year annualized dividend growth rate of 1.3%, and the company’s payout ratio sits at 39% of earnings.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Cardinal Health shares trade at rock-solid valuation levels, bolstered by its Style Score of an A for Value.

CAH’s 12.7X forward earnings multiple is above its five-year median but represents a staggering 40% discount relative to its Zacks Sector.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

In addition, CAH’s free cash flow is undoubtedly worth highlighting; in its latest quarter, Cardinal Health reported quarterly free cash flow of $2.9 billion, good enough for a massive 430% Y/Y uptick.

Zacks Investment Research
Zacks Investment Research


Image Source: Zacks Investment Research

Bottom Line

Many investors target income-generating assets, and for a simple reason – we all love getting paid.

During heightened volatility, dividend payouts help offset losses in other positions, providing a reliable income stream.

When looking for dividend payers, Dividend Aristocrats are classified as companies with at least 25 consecutive annual dividend increases.

All three stocks above, Cardinal Health CAH, Procter & Gamble PG, and Aflac AFL, are all part of the elite Dividend Aristocrat group, telling us that they’ve enjoyed years and years of successful and reliable business operations.


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Procter & Gamble Company The (PG) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Cardinal Health, Inc. (CAH) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
Aflac Incorporated (AFL) : Free Stock Analysis Report
 
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