3 Dividend Aristocrats to Buy and Hold Forever – The Motley Fool
Dividend Aristocrats are a royal court of S&P 500 stocks that have raised their dividend payouts each year for at least 25 years. The list is reviewed and updated each year by S&P Dow Jones Indices, and investors seeking passive income from reliable companies with strong records of growth and returns can do worse than focusing on these dividend stocks as avenues for increasing wealth.
There are 65 companies on the Dividend Aristocrats list, and three of them are real estate stocks. In fact, all three are real estate investment trusts (REITs). They are Realty Income (NYSE:O), with 26 straight years of dividend growth; Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS), with 27; and Dividend King Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE:FRT), at 54 consecutive years of raising dividends.
Below is a bit more on each of these Dividend Aristocrats.
Realty Income pays shareholders monthly and marked its 26th straight year of raising dividends by doing so five times in 2021, culminating with an increase of $0.0005 from November to December, ending the year with a monthly dividend of $0.2465 and an annualized payout of $2.96, good for a yield of 4.30% based on a Dec. 22 share price of $69.15.
Further burnishing that record: Realty Income has offered 617 straight months — more than 51 years — of paying out dividends. With a market cap just north of $38 billion, San Diego-based Realty Income leases to more than 650 operators in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.K., and Spain. Its top five clients are 7-Eleven, Walgreens, Dollar General, FedEx, and Dollar Tree/Family Dollar.
Essex Property Trust
Essex Property Trust declared a first-quarter dividend increase of $0.112 per share to its current $2.09 dividend, continuing the regular raises the company has given shareholders since it went public in 1994 with a portfolio of 16 multifamily communities. The dividend was good for a yield of 2.45% based on a Dec. 22 price of $343.63 per share.
Now with a market cap of $22.4 billion, Essex is a buyer, developer, and manager of about 60,000 apartments it owns or co-owns primarily in Southern California and the San Francisco Bay and Seattle areas.
Federal Realty Investment Trust
In September, Federal Realty raised its quarterly dividend by $0.01 per share to $1.07, keeping intact a run of annual payout increases dating back more than a half-century. It has a market cap of about $10 billion and a yield of 3.26% based on a Dec. 22 price of $132.59 per share.