Investors can build significant wealth over time by investing in dividend growth stocks. One place to look for dividend growth stocks is the Dividend Achievers list.
The Dividend Achievers are companies that have raised their dividends for at least 10 consecutive years, and exhibit certain minimum size and liquidity requirements.
You can see the entire list of all 273 Dividend Achievers here.
These stocks can help build income. Even better, buying beaten-down stocks at cheap valuations can be a profitable strategy, for investors looking for value in addition to income.
By doing so, investors could get their hands on a group of stocks that offer dividend growth plus potential share price appreciation, if their turnarounds are successful.
This article will discuss 10 of the worst-performing Dividend Achievers in 2016, and why they may be turnaround candidates for 2017.
Worst Performing Dividend Achievers Of 2016
10. Hormel Foods (HRL)
Hormel stock has declined 11% since the start of 2016, and there does not seem to be a fundamental justification for it.
Hormel is about as stable of a business as you’ll find in the stock market. The company was founded in 1891. Today, the company operates five main segments:
- Refrigerated Foods (47% of sales)
- Jennie-O Turkey (21% of sales)
- Grocery Products (19% of sales)
- Specialty Foods (8% of sales)
- International & Other (5% of sales)
It is highly diversified. Hormel sells a number of different food items, across both refrigerated and packaged goods.
Source: Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference, page 9
These businesses are performing well. For fiscal 2016, net sales increased 2.8%, while diluted earnings-per-share increased 29%.
The only conceivable reason for Hormel’s share price drop this year is that the stock could have been overvalued. Heading into 2016, Hormel stock sported a price-to-earnings ratio above the market average.
But this could be an opportunity, because the company continues to grow and generate strong earnings.
Moving forward, Hormel’s strategy is to first build profitability in its core brands. In addition, it plans to generate new growth from acquisitions and product innovation, through its Muscle Milk and Justin’s brands.
Source: Barclays Global Consumer Staples Conference, page 21
Plus, the stock is now attractively priced. Hormel stock has a price-to-earnings ratio of 21, thanks to its share price decline throughout the year.
Hormel could now be a good value stock, and it has always been a great dividend growth stock. The company recently raised its dividend by 17%, from $0.58 per share to $0.68 per share.
This was the 51st consecutive year in which Hormel raised its dividend. Hormel is not just a Dividend Achiever, but a Dividend Aristocrat as well—an even more exclusive club of companies that have raised dividends for 25 years in a row.
You can see the entire list of Dividend Aristocrats here.
Hormel has paid 353 quarterly dividends without interruption.
9. Brown-Forman (BF-B)
Brown-Forman stock has declined 9% year-to-date. Like Hormel, this could be for valuation reasons. Brown-Forman shares had more than doubled in the past five years.
It could simply be taking a breather, but now Brown-Forman stock is back to being a good value play. Brown-Forman trades for a price-to-earnings ratio of 17.
The stock does not offer a high yield—its current yield is just 1.6%. But it makes up for this with rapid dividend growth.
The company raised its dividend by 7% in 2016, and has increased its dividend for 33 consecutive years. Going back further, Brown-Forman has paid dividends to shareholders for 71 years without interruption.
It has maintained its impressive dividend growth history because of its strong business model. Brown-Forman is a global manufacturer of alcoholic beverages.
Its core brand is Jack Daniels whiskey, which recently celebrated its 150th anniversary. Its other brands include Herradura and El Jimador tequila, and Finlandia vodka.
Over the first two quarters of its current fiscal year, Brown-Forman increased constant-currency sales and operating profit by 2% and 7%, respectively.
This performance was driven by the company’s smaller, high-growth brands, namely Woodford Reserve and Herradura.
For example, sales of Woodford Reserve increased 19% year-to-date. This brand has grown at a 20% annual rate for many years.
Source: Investor Day presentation, page 31
In addition, sales of Herradura increased 16% over the first two quarters of the fiscal year. This is another brand that has grown at a double-digit rate in recent years.
Source: Investor Day presentation, page 35
Brown-Forman’s core brands provide stability, and the company is investing aggressively in its growth brands. Combined, this should provide more than enough earnings growth to continue raising dividends.
8. V.F. Corporation (VFC)
V.F. Corporation (VFC) traces its beginnings all the way back to 1899. In the more than 100 years since, it has become a global apparel giant.
Today, it has 64,000 employees and its annual sales top $12 billion.
V.F. Corporation has a balanced business model, led by its outdoor and action sports segment.
Source: Q3 Earnings presentation, page 1
In 2016, the company has struggled in the Americas. Domestic revenue fell 4% last quarter.
Fortunately, its international growth is picking up the slack. Revenue in Europe, the Middle East and Africa rose 6% last quarter, while revenue in the Asia-Pacific region increased 4%.
Among V.F. Corporation’s core brands, Vans is doing the heavy lifting.
Source: Q3 Earnings presentation, page 1
Lastly, V.F. Corporation is tightening its cost controls, in light of weakening growth. The company increased gross margin by 70 basis points last quarter, thanks to lower cost of goods sold.
Overall, this propelled 16% growth in earnings-per-share for the quarter, excluding the impact of currency.
For the full fiscal year, V.F. Corporation expects 2% revenue growth and 7% growth in earnings-per-share.
In addition to its international growth, the company is counting on expanding into new channels for growth.
Specifically, direct-to-consumer is an emerging channel for V.F. Corporation. This is thanks to the boom in e-commerce. Last quarter, V.F. Corporation grew direct-to-consumer sales by 6%.
The company’s growth has slowed this year, which explains why the stock is down 13% year-to-date. But now, the stock is much more attractive.
V.F. Corporation trades for a price-to-earnings ratio of 20, which is reasonable. And, the stock offers a solid 3.1% dividend yield.
The company has hiked its dividend for an impressive 44 consecutive years.
7. Abbott Labs (ABT)
Abbott Labs is a global health care giant. It has four main business segments:
- Nutrition (33% of sales)
- Diagnostics (23% of sales)
- Established Pharmaceuticals (19% of sales)
- Medical Devices (25% of sales)
Abbott’s most important business segment is nutrition. The company has a dominant position in adult nutrition, led by its Ensure brand. It also manufactures Glucerna, and the Similac child-nutrition brand.
Future growth in this category will be fueled by Abbott’s strong brands and new product releases.
Source: 2015 Annual Report, page 21
Collectively, Abbott’s businesses are performing well throughout 2016. Organic sales, which excludes the impact of foreign exchange translations, increased 5% in the first three quarters of the year. Earnings-per-share increased 5%.
Abbott derives about 50% of its