Emerson Electric: 57 Years of Dividend Increases

08/22/2014 8:00 am EST


David Fish

Executive Editor, Moneypaper

The United States may have its share of problems, but when push comes to shove, our country is where the world looks for safety, observes David Fish, divided reinvestment specialist and editor of Moneypaper.

We may get involved in the occasional war elsewhere on the planet, but widespread conflict rarely finds its way to our shores. Outbreaks of disease or famine may flare up, but they happen elsewhere in the world.

Economic chaos may visit us, but not with the regularity that seems to be the case in other countries. Our dollar may weaken against other currencies from time to time, but rarely fluctuates wildly, and our debt doesn't default.

So it is with our corporations, which continue to be among the safest and most dependable on Earth. So it should come as no surprise that even foreign investors tend to want to own our companies, especially during times of global turmoil.

Meanwhile, our latest dividend reinvestment plan feature is Emerson Electric (EMR), which designs and manufactures a broad array of electrical and electronic products and systems for the commercial, industrial, and consumer markets.

Its five segments are Process Management (34% of fiscal 2013 revenues), Network Power (24%), Industrial Automation (19%), Climate Technologies (15%), and Commercial & Residential Solutions (8%).

Sales totaled $24.7 billion in fiscal 2013 (ended September 30), when Emerson earned $3.54 per share, and 56% of sales came from outside the United States. Consensus estimates call for it to earn about $3.69 in fiscal 2014 and $4.11 in fiscal 2015.

The dividend has been increased for 57 consecutive years, one of the longest streaks in America, and it provides a current yield of 2.5%. Share repurchases have reduced the number of outstanding shares from 895.6 million in 1995 to 701.6 million today.

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