Dividend Aristocrats raised their dividend by average of 10% in 2014

The 54 Dividend Aristocrats representing S&P's well known Dividend Aristocrats Index raised their dividend by an average of 10.1% in 2014.

The biggest dividend increase came from industrial Pentair.

Steelmaker Nucor raised its dividend by the smallest percentage. Business equipment maker Diebold didn't raise its dividend in 2014 after 60 consecutive years of higher dividend payments.

Dividend Aristocrats had yet another good year in 2014 with an average stock price appreciation of 13%, dividends excluded.

BEST PERFORMING DIVIDEND ARISTOCRATS
The two biggest gainers were Sigma-Aldrich and Sherwin-Williams. Sigma-Aldrich (SIAL) will be acquired by Germany's Merck KgA and ended 2014 with a 46% gain. SIAL has raised its dividend for 38 consecutive years and will probably be cut from the Dividend Aristocrats Index in 2015.

Runner up is paint maker Sherwin-Williams (SHW) with a 43.3% stock price gain in 2014. SHW has hiked its dividend for 36 straight years and ended last year with a 0.8% dividend yield, after raising its dividend by 10%.

WORST PERFORMING DIVIDEND ARISTOCRATS
In 2014 eleven Dividend Aristocrats ended the year lower, with four stocks losing more than 10%, again without dividends being included.

The biggest loser was industrial Pentair, with a 14.5% share price drop. Dover (DOV), Emerson Electric (EMR) and Chevron (CVX) also lost more than 10% in 2014.

For Chevron, Dover and Pentair (PNR) the stock price drop can be (partially) attibuted to the lower oil prices. Despite being the worst performing Dividend Aristocrat in 2014,

BIGGEST DIVIDEND INCREASE
Pentair did raise its dividend the most with a total dividend hike of 28% last year.

Pentair hiked the dividend twice, and ended 2014 with a 1.9% dividend yield. Pentair now has raised its dividend for 39 consecutive years.

The smallest dividend increase came from steelmaker Nucor (NUO). Nucor only raised its dividend by 0.7%, following similar dividend increases in the preceding years. NUO ende 2014 with a 3% dividend yield after losing 8,3% last year.

DIVIDEND TRACKRECORDS UNITED STATES
Of all currently 54 Dividend Aristocrats industrial company Dover has the best trackrecord with 59 consecutive years of dividend increases. Dover raised its dividend by 6.7% in 2014 and ended the year with a 2.2% dividend yield.

On average the 54 Dividend Aristocrats now have an average trackrecord of more than 40 years of consecutive dividend increases. The average dividend yield for all Dividend Aristocrats was 2.3% at the close of December 31st 2014.

FALLEN DIVIDEND ARISTOCRAT DIEBOLD
Last but not least: 2014 also was the year that the stock with the best Dividend Trackrecord didn't raise its annual dividend and was dropped from the top of the list. Diebold had raised its dividend for 60 straight years, but couldn't make it to 61 years in 2014.

The business equipment maker (ATMs etc) kept its annual dividend at $1.15 per share in 2014, giving up its impressive trackrecord, that was only maintained with very small dividend hikes the last couple of years. The last dividend increase of just 0.9% in 2013 was a clear signal that further dividend hikes weren't as likely as in the preceding 59 years.

Still Diebold managed to end 2014 with a 4.9% stock price gain, despite not raising the dividend for the first time in more than 60 years. Diebold (DBD) ended 2014 with a 3.3% dividend yield.

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