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7 Dividend Achievers With Big Income Potential

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There is an old Wall Street maxim that the safest dividend is the one that’s just been raised. Which is why if you’re not familiar with Dividend Achievers, you should be.

You can always find that occasional company that continued raising its dividend right up until it cut it (Kinder Morgan in 2015). But generally speaking, it’s safe to say that a dividend stock aggressively raising its payout is a healthy company and one that is justifiably confident about its future.

Earnings per share can be aggressively manipulated, as can reported revenues. Even the cash flow statement can be suspect because it ultimately pulls most of its key data points from the income statement, which can be a work of creative fiction.

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Paying a dividend requires actual cash on hand. And a dividend hike implies that management is confident that there will be a lot more cash coming down the pipeline to support a higher dividend in the quarters ahead.

But even when it comes to dividends, you have to look out for chicanery and focus on quality. That means paying the dividend out of real profits and cash flows, not debt or new share issuance. As forensic accountant John Del Vecchio, co-manager of the AdvisorShares Ranger Equity Bear ETF (HDGE), says, “Dividends are a distribution of profits; a way for a company to reward its patient shareholders. But a dividend paid from debt or equity proceeds isn’t a dividend at all, but rather a return of capital. Don’t be fooled by a company returning your own money to you while calling it a dividend.”

Today, we’re going to take a look at Dividend Achievers – companies with a history of raising their annual dividends for a minimum of 10 consecutive years – that aren’t just providing token upticks. The idea is that we’re limiting our pool to stable companies with a long history of safely delivering the goods, but that also are well-positioned for growth in the immediate future.

SEE ALSO: 50 Dividend Stocks You Can Count On in 2018

Data is as of Feb. 15, 2017. Dividend yields are calculated by annualizing the most recent quarterly payout and dividing by the share price. Stocks are listed alphabetically. Click on ticker-symbol links in each slide for current share prices and more.

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