With thousands of dividend stocks out there, finding good ideas is no small task. No two dividends are created equal, and chasing high dividend yields, high growth rates, or dividend aristocrats alone can be very dangerous. When we look for a dividend investment, we prefer to invest in companies that have survived over long periods of time, demonstrated consistent sales and earnings growth along the way, shown a commitment to shareholders by paying out increasing dividends, maintained a conservative balance sheet for their type of business, and trade at reasonable to cheap prices compared to their intrinsic value. How can you even begin to find dividend stocks checking all of those boxes?


The following table displays the results from a simple yet powerful screen we ran earlier today using our stock screener tool. With this tool, you can filter thousands of dividend stocks on more than 40 dividend and fundamental metrics – dividend growth rates, payout ratios, ex-dividend dates, dividend growth streak, debt ratios, sales growth, return on equity, free cash flow yield, and much more.


In our screen, we took advantage of our proprietary dividend rating system, which analyzes over 10 years of fundamental and dividend data to return three scores:


Safety Score: how safe is the current dividend payment?

Growth Score: how fast can the dividend grow going forward?

Yield Score: how high is the dividend yield compared to the rest of the market?


Each score ranges from 0 to 100, with scores of 50 being average, 75 or higher considered very good, and 25 or lower being weaker. We set out to find dividends with above-average safety, growth, and yield characteristics that were also set to trade ex-dividend within the next month. To implement this screen, we demanded a minimum Safety Score of 50, a minimum Growth Score of 50, a minimum dividend yield of 3%, and an ex-dividend date between now and 10/16/15. Here is what our inputs looked like in our stock screener tool:


Stock Screener


Thousands of dividend stocks were filtered through immediately, leaving about 10 ideas for us to start evaluating. Most of the companies in the results below have raised their dividend for at least five consecutive years. Consistent dividend growers compound the income you receive much faster and accelerate the effectiveness of dividend reinvestment plans. Reinvesting dividends that are steadily rising let’s them generate additional dividends of their own, creating a snowball effect. These businesses might be the most interesting to evaluate first.


Each dividend stock below has an upcoming ex-dividend date within the next month. You can see very helpful charts and tables about each company’s dividend and fundamental business trends by clicking on any blue-colored ticker symbol in the first column. We do this for all of our own holdings and new ideas to quickly evaluate the safety and growth potential of a dividend payment by seeing its historical sales and earnings growth, debt levels, dividend growth rates, and more. It only takes a few minutes but significantly helps improve investment decision-making.