Dividend Aristocrats are performing poorly in 2015

After four months in 2015 the average Dividend Aristocrat is unchanged. Only one stock manages to score a double digit gain so far year to date: McGraw Hill Financial.

Surprisingly, Chevron didn't raise its dividend in April.

In 2014 the average Dividend Aristocrat gained 13%, excluding dividends. Last year Family Dollar Stores and Sigma-Aldrich were still part of the 54 Dividend Aristocrats.

After buyouts by Dollar Tree and Merck KgA (Germany) Family Dollar and Sigma-Aldrich are no longer part of the selection of stocks that have increased their dividend for at least 25 consecutive years.

The remaining 52 Dividend Aristocrats are performing rather weak in 2015, being unchanged on an equal weighted basis as of May 1st 2015. Including dividends (the current dividend yield for the 52 Dividend Aristocrats is 2.4%, considering equal weights for all stocks) there is just a small gain.

The stand out stock YTD still is McGraw Hill Financial Inc (the company that composes the Dividend Aristocrats Index!) with a stock price gain of 17.1% as of May 1st. The company has raised its dividend for 42 straight years now, with a dividend hike of 10% announced in February.

No other Dividend Aristocrat gains more than 10% (again: dividends excluded) in 2015. Actually 25 out of the 52 Dividend Aristocrats are losers in 2015.

The biggest loss is for industrial Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE:GPC) giving up 14,2% YTD.

In April the average Dividend Aristocrat lost 1.6%, with Pentair and 3M both losing 6.5% als leading laggards.

The best performer in April was AbbVie with a 6.3% gain, dividends not included.

Right now the average dividend yield for the 52 Dividend Aristocrats is 2.4%. Real Estate Investment Trust HCP has the highest indicated dividend yield with 5.6%, followed shortly by AT&T with a 5.5% dividend yield as of May 1st.

C.R. Bard has the lowest dividend yield with just 0.5%.

Finally some interesting developments with Exxon Mobil becoming the biggest dividend payer again after raising its dividend by 5.8% in April. Currently the oil major pays out $12,2 billion in dividends annually, surpassing Apple once again. Exxon now has increased its dividend for 33 straight years.

Remarkably Dividend Aristocrat Chevron decided not to raise its dividend in April, following constant dividend hikes in de prior years. Chevron will pay an unchanged $1.07 dividend for the 5th straight quarter.

The oil major has raised its dividend for 27 consecutive year and needs to increase its dividend before the end of the year to maintain the trackrecord. Analysts expect Chevron to hike its dividend next quarter, bringing the trackrecord to 28 years.

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