Nothing beats a good track record

Every investor has a favorite metric.

With a sea of numbers to wade through for each and every stock on the market, there’s certainly no shortage of data points to ponder. Some use P/E or price-to-book ratios to see if a stock is under or overvalued. Some look at EPS growth to try and gauge a company’s trajectory and others, well, the list goes on and on.

Is it all important, though? The short answer is yes … probably. I’m sure there are a few meaningless number’s on a company’s balance sheet – I know there are plenty I gloss over without giving them a second thought – but, well, they’re all there for a reason.

That’s not to say some aren’t more important than others. I, for example, am a big believer in track records. When I invest in companies, as a dividend-growth investor, the first thing I look at is how long the company has been growing its dividend. That’s the whole point, right?

Anyway, when taking a look at the companies I received dividends from today, I realized all three have some pretty decent track records.

Take a look …

Today’s Dividends

Air Products and Chemicals (APD): Air Products and Chemicals paid me $0.95 for the one share I own. I’ve only received one raise from APD, but that’s because I’ve only owned my share for a year. Overall, Air Products, which manufactures and distributes gases, has boosted its dividend for 34 years in a row.

That’s not bad, especially considering the amount of the raises: 8.23% on average over the course of the last five years. Couple the consistency with the amount of the increases and you have yourself one heck of a dividend-growth stock.

Texas Instruments (TXN): Texas Instruments, which passed along a $0.62 dividend for the one share I own, has another stellar track record. The semiconductor manufacturer has been boosting its dividend for 13 years in a row and has a track record of 13 straight years with a dividend raise. Better yet, the raises have been, on average, 19.77% each of the last three years. The most recent was a 24% jump from a $0.50/share quarterly dividend to the current $0.62/share quarterly amount.

Clorox (CLX): Clorox, which has been raising its dividend for 39 years in a row, paid me an $0.84 dividend for the one share I own. The company doesn’t have the growth of an APD or TXN, but the track record is alive and well.

None of the three are particularly good values at the moment – all three have gone on some pretty decent runs and are close to their 52-week highs – but they all offer my favorite metric: great track records.

March on!

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