You might know that there are powerful stocks in the S&P 500 index with dividends that have increased every year for at least 25 years—the so-called Dividend Aristocrats. But what about stocks that have ­accomplished this for at least 50 years? Well, there are 27 of these, and they also have a name—Dividend Kings.

Reaching this rarified status indicates that a company has maintained a solid balance sheet, strong cash flow, great financial discipline and a shareholder-friendly mind-set through just about any kind of economic environment. 

Dividend Kings tend to lag a bit in bull markets when investors chase more speculative stocks. Over the past 10 years, the group has returned an annualized 12% versus 13% for the S&P 500. But they provide reliable and growing income, which is especially valuable at a time of low interest rates and which can help see you through possible stock market pullbacks.

Attractive Dividend Kings trading at bargain prices recently…

3M (MMM) manufactures more than 55,000 consumer products ranging from Post-it notes to Ace orthopedic braces to automobile wax. Consecutive dividend increases: 61 years. Recent yield: 3.3%. Performance: 9.8%.*

Genuine Parts Co. (GPC) is an auto and industrial replacement parts maker best known for the Napa brand. Consecutive dividend hikes: 63 years. Recent yield: 2.9%. Performance: 12.9%.

Lowe’s Companies (LOW) operates 2,200 home-improvement centers in North America. It maintained its dividend increases through the housing crisis a decade ago, something rival Home Depot could not. Consecutive dividend increases: 58 years. Recent yield: 1.8%. Performance: 18.7%. 

For the full list of Dividend Kings, go to

*Performance figures are 10-year annualized returns through December 30, 2019.

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