As I'm writing this blog post, only about a week remains in the year. Despite the calendar officially turning to winter here in Central Wisconsin, the weather still isn't too bad with highs in the upper 30s Fahrenheit. At this rate, we may be getting snow in May or June to make up for the fact we haven't had consistent snow cover yet this season!
With that aside, let's delve into what turned out to be my strongest month of dividend increases to date by far in my four-plus years of investing!
Actual Dividend Increases for December 2021
Dividend Increase #1: WEC Energy Group (WEC)
The first dividend increase that was announced in December was from WEC Energy Group, which was the first I have received from the stock. WEC announced a 7.4% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.6775 to $0.7275 per share. This was slightly above my expectations of a 6.3% increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.72 per share. I believe this will be the first of many more strong dividend increases in the future from this wonderful utility based in my home state.
Across my seven shares, my net annual forward dividends surged $1.40 higher due to WEC's dividend hike.
Dividend Increase #2: Eastman Chemical (EMN)
The next dividend increase declared in December came from Eastman Chemical. EMN upped its quarterly dividend by 10.1% from $0.69 to $0.76 per share. This was well above my projection for a 7.2% increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.74 per share, which I'll gladly take from this excellent stock.
My net annual forward dividends were boosted $1.12 across my four shares of EMN as a result of its dividend raise.
Dividend Increase #3: Amgen (AMGN)
The third dividend boost announced in December was from Amgen. AMGN declared a 10.2% increase in its quarterly dividend from $1.76 to $1.94 per share. Once again, this came in ahead of my forecast for an 8% bump in the quarterly dividend to $1.90 per share. This is why it literally pays to be a dividend growth investor, especially with the raises this year. These kinds of raises will easily combat the four decade high in inflation.
Across my four shares, my net annual forward dividends skyrocketed $2.88 higher due to AMGN's dividend hike.
Dividend Increase #4: W.P. Carey (WPC)
The next dividend increase that I received in December came from W.P. Carey. WPC announced a 0.3% increase in its quarterly dividend from $1.052 to $1.055 per share. This was more than the 0.2% bump in its quarterly dividend that I was expecting to $1.054 per share.
My net annual forward dividends inched $0.084 upward as a result of WPC's dividend increase across my seven shares of the stock.
Dividend Increase #5: CVS Health (CVS)
The fifth dividend increase of December from CVS Health came as a bit of a surprise. I was anticipating that the company wouldn't increase its dividend until the end of next year. But based on CVS's tremendous deleveraging progress to this point, it could afford the 10% hike in its quarterly dividend from $0.50 to $0.55 per share.
Interestingly, this is actually the first dividend increase that I have received since I purchased the stock. That's because CVS Health has been focusing for years on repaying the debt related to its acquisition of the health insurer Aetna.
Across my seven shares, my net annual forward dividends were boosted by $1.40 due to the dividend increase from CVS.
Dividend Increase #6: Broadcom (AVGO)
Another dividend increase that I received in December came from Broadcom. AVGO declared a 13.9% hike in its quarterly dividend from $3.60 to $4.10 per share. This was once again moderately higher than the 11.1% increase to $4 per share that I was anticipating. I'm very glad that I built up my position in AVGO during the COVID crash in March.
My net annual forward dividends soared $6 higher across my three shares of the stock as a result of AVGO's dividend hike.
Dividend Increase #7: Pfizer (PFE)
The seventh dividend increase in my portfolio that was announced in December was from Pfizer. PFE announced a 2.6% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.39 to $0.40 per share. While this came up well short of the 10.3% raise that I was expecting from the stock, I don't blame them for being conservative. But I would have liked to see more from PFE in light of its leading position in the COVID-19 vaccine industry. At least the dividend is extremely safe with its payout being so low, which leaves room for bigger raises in the future.
Across my 17 shares, my net annual forward dividends inched up $0.68 due to PFE's dividend raise.
Dividend Increase #8: Abbott Laboratories (ABT)
The next dividend increase that was declared in December came from Abbott Laboratories. ABT increased its quarterly dividend 4.4% from $0.45 to $0.47 per share, which came in below my forecast of an 8.9% increase in the dividend. But like the raise from PFE, I can't fault a company for being cautious with dividend increases. This is especially the case after ABT's 25% raise last year before I became a shareholder. Being diligent with the payout ratio is exactly what will allow ABT to become a newly minted Dividend King by the end of next year.
My net annual forward dividends edged $0.48 higher across my six shares as a result of ABT's dividend increase.
Dividend Increase #9: Bristol Myers Squibb (BMY)
The ninth dividend hike that I received in December was from Bristol Myers Squibb. BMY announced a 10.2% hike to its quarterly dividend from $0.49 to $0.54 per share. This was a bit higher than the 8.2% increase that I predicted, which the stock can easily afford with its low payout ratio.
Across my 10 shares, my net annual forward dividends shot up $2 due to BMY's dividend raise.
Dividend Increase #10: Dominion Energy (D)
The next dividend increase that was announced in December came from Dominion Energy. D declared a 6% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.63 to $0.6675 per share, which was just a bit below the 6.3% increase that I was expecting.
My net annual forward dividends were boosted by $0.90 across my six shares as a result of D's dividend raise.
Dividend Increase #11: Realty Income (O)
The eleventh payout increase that was announced in December was from Realty Income. O declared a 0.2% increase in its monthly dividend from $0.2460 to $0.2465 per share. This was exactly what I projected, which is what I love about this Dividend Aristocrat!
Across my 13 shares, my net annual forward dividends inched up by $0.078 due to O's dividend increase.
Dividend Increase #12: American Tower (AMT)
The final dividend increase declared in December came from American Tower. AMT announced a 6.1% hike in its quarterly dividend from $1.31 to $1.39 a share. This easily beat my expectation of $1.37 per share. A 6% increase in a year would be pretty solid itself. But what makes AMT really impressive is that it raises its dividend each quarter. Talk about dividend growth!
My net annual forward dividends were boosted by $0.96 across my three shares as a result of AMT's dividend increase.
Expected Dividend Increases for January 2022
Expected Dividend Increase #1: Realty Income (O)
O is really making the appearances in this series lately with its whopping 4.2% increase in its dividend in November and the slight increase last month. And with another 0.2% increase in its monthly dividend to $0.2470 per share likely to be announced next month, the stock will have raised its dividend for three straight months if it announces an increase in January.
Across my 13 shares of the stock, this would be a $0.078 increase in my net annual forward dividends.
Expected Dividend Increase #2: BlackRock (BLK)
The next stock that I anticipate will up its quarterly dividend next month is BlackRock. Given that analysts are expecting BLK's earnings per share to increase 8.9% to $42.22 next year, I am projecting that BLK will announce a 9.9% raise in its quarterly dividend from $4.13 to $4.54 per share.
If this announcement were to occur, my net annual forward dividends would be lifted by $1.64 across my single share of the stock.
Expected Dividend Increase #3: Kimberly Clark (KMB)
The third stock that I believe will declare a dividend increase next month is Kimberly Clark. Because KMB's EPS is forecasted to grow 9.6% next year to $6.75, I believe that the stock will announce a decent increase to its quarterly dividend. I'm expecting that KMB will raise its quarterly dividend by 5.3% from $1.14 to $1.20 per share.
Across my four shares of the stock, this would boost my net annual forward dividends by $0.96.
Expected Dividend Increase #4: Alliant Energy (LNT)
The final stock that should raise its dividend next month is Alliant Energy. Since LNT is targeting paying out $1.71 in dividends for next year, this won't count as a prediction on my part. This implies that LNT will raise its quarterly dividend by 6.2% from $0.4025 to $0.4275 per share. The company's Board of Directors has already approved the raise, so it's now just a matter of waiting for the actual announcement date.
This will be a $1.30 gain in my net annual forward dividends across my 13 shares of the stock.
December was a great way to cap off a year of robust dividend increases. For the month, I received $17.982 in dividend raises. This would require $513.77 in capital investment at a 3.5% yield to replicate!
On the base of dividends that I was receiving from the 12 stocks that went on to raise their dividends this month, the weighted average raise was a solid 6.6%. Given that WPC, O, and AMT raise their dividends each quarter, the annualized raise from these dozen stocks would be even higher taking that fact into consideration. Even in a very inflationary period like the one we're seeing now, my portfolio is managing to stay ahead of inflation.
While I'm only expecting four raises next month, my net annual forward dividends would grow by $3.978 if these dividend announcements play out as expected.
Overall, my dividend growth portfolio is starting to pick up steam as it rolls down the hill of compounding. I'm very much looking forward to the next year to see just how high my dividends will go!
How was your December 2021 for dividend increases?
Did you receive any first-time dividend increases like I did with WEC, CVS, ABT, and BMY?
Thanks for reading and please feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment section!
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