2 High-Quality Dividend Aristocrats to Buy for Stability

The latest federal interest rate increase has fostered mixed investor sentiment. While the concerns over the interest rate hikes have been significantly factored into share prices, the stock market is expected to…

remain volatile in the near term, given current geopolitical tensions and high inflation. Therefore, betting on quality dividend stocks could be a winning strategy.

Among the dividend-paying stocks are dividend aristocrats, which have a long history of outperforming the market. Investors’ interest in dividend aristocrats is evident from the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF’s (NOBL) 2.3% returns over the past month.

Therefore, we think dividend aristocrats Linde plc (LIN – Get Rating) and W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW – Get Rating), which possess solid stability and quality attributes, could be ideal bets.

Linde plc (LIN – Get Rating)

Based in Guildford, U.K., LIN operates as an industrial gas company in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia Pacific. It has a beta of 0.89, which indicates relatively better stability versus the broader market.

On Feb.10, 2022, CEO Steve Angel said, “Looking ahead, the economic outlook remains uncertain. However, I have confidence in our ability to grow EPS [by] double-digit percent from our industry-leading supply network and project backlog. And as I transition to Chairman, with Sanjiv Lamba taking the CEO reins, I am convinced the best days for Linde lie ahead.”

LIN has increased its dividend payouts for more than 25 consecutive years. Over the last three years, LIN’s dividend payouts have grown at an 8.6% CAGR. While LIN’s four-year average dividend yield is 1.71%, its current dividend translates to a 1.5% yield.

LIN’s sales increased 14.1% year-over-year to $8.30 billion in the fourth quarter, ended Dec. 31, 2021. Its net income came in at $1.03 billion, up 33.2% year-over-year, while its adjusted EPS came in at $2.77, up 20.4% year-over-year. Also, its adjusted operating profit was $1.84 billion, up 14.1% year-over-year.

Analysts expect LIN’s revenue to increase 7.7% year-over-year to $29.98 billion in its fiscal year 2022. Its EPS is also estimated to increase 10.1% to $10.64 in fiscal 2022. It surpassed the EPS estimates in three of the trailing four quarters. Over the past year, the stock has gained 16.3% in price to close Friday’s session at $311.66.

LIN’s strong fundamentals are reflected in its POWR Ratings. The stock has an overall B rating, which indicates a Buy in our proprietary rating system. The POWR Ratings assess stocks by 118 distinct factors, each with its own weighting.

LIN has a B grade for Growth, Stability, Sentiment, and Quality. Within the A-rated Chemicals industry, it is ranked #25 of 89 stocks. Click here to see the additional POWR Rating for Value and Momentum for LIN.

W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW – Get Rating)

GWW distributes maintenance, repair, and operating (MRO) products and services in the United States, Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, and internationally. The Lake Forest, Ill., company operates through two segments: High-Touch Solutions N.A. and Endless Assortment.

On Feb. 3, 2022, DG Macpherson, GWW’s Chairman and CEO, said, “The second year of pandemic impacts brought a unique set of challenges in 2021. The Grainger team successfully navigated these challenges by helping our customers run their businesses effectively and stay safe. We look forward to continuing to support our customers in 2022 and are confident in the path ahead.”

GWW’s dividend payout has grown consecutively for 50 years. Its dividend payout has grown at 6% CAGR over the past three years. GWW’s four-year average dividend yield is 1.69%, while its current dividend yield is…


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