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Big-Name Dividend Stocks Crushing The S&P 500

Most every investor has a benchmark they are trying to beat. For many investors, that benchmark is the S&P 500. It is easily followed and can be directly invested in via many different index funds such as SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) and Vanguard 500 Index Inv (VFINX).

Last year many dividend income oriented portfolios under-performed the S&P 500. The old adage that trees don't grow to the sky certainty holds true. Obviously, that is not to say that all dividend growth stocks have under-performed.

If we look carefully we can find some gems that have performed quite well so far this year. Below are several multi-billion dollar dividend stocks that have out-performed the S&P 500 this year through March 28, 2014:

Kimberly Clark Corp. (KMB) is a global consumer products company producing tissue, personal care and health care products. Its brands include Huggies, Pull-Ups, Kotex, Depend, Kleenex and Scott.
Mkt. Cap: $42b | Yield: 2.7% | Adjusted Return: 5.6%

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) is a leader in the pharmaceutical, medical device and consumer products industries.
Mkt. Cap: $278b | Yield: 2.7% | Adjusted Return: 6.7%

Microsoft (MSFT), the world's largest software company, develops PC software, including the Windows operating system and the Office application suite.
Mkt. Cap: $343b | Yield: 2.8% | Adjusted Return: 7.2%

Lockheed Martin Corp. (LMT), the world's largest military weapons manufacturer, is also a significant supplier to NASA and other non-defense government agencies. LMT receives about 93% of its revenues from global defense sales.
Mkt. Cap: $52b | Yield: 3.3% | Adjusted Return: 8.2%

Raytheon Company (RTN), the world's sixth largest military contractor, specializes in making high-tech missiles, advanced radar systems and sensors, defense electronics, and missile-defense systems.
Mkt. Cap: $31b | Yield: 2.5% | Adjusted Return: 8.1%

General Dynamics (GD) is the world's fourth largest military contractor and also one of the world's biggest makers of corporate jets.
Mkt. Cap: $38b | Yield: 2.3% | Adjusted Return: 11.8%

Over the same period the S&P 500 (SPY) was up 0.9%. The returns were calculated using Yahoo's dividend adjusted stock price for December 31, 2013 as the starting point. Short-term performance is never the sole reason for long-term investors to buy. What goes up significantly, usually comes back down.

Full Disclosure: Long VFINX, KMB, JNJ, MSFT, LMT, RTN, GD. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

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(Photo: sanja gjenero)

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