This led to the company releasing a less-than-favorable first-quarter earnings report. W.W. Grainger’s stock price declined by ~11% after the announcement and is down by nearly 20% year-to-date.
However, long-term investors should not be alarmed. W.W. Grainger has a very long history of running a profitable business.
W.W. Grainger’s longevity extends to its dividend growth. In fact, W.W. Grainger has increased its annual dividend for 45 consecutive years. This qualifies W.W. Grainger to be a member of the Dividend Aristocrats, a group of companies with 25+ consecutive dividend increases.
In 5 years time, it is highly likely – barring any surprising dividend cuts – that W.W. Grainger will qualify to be a member of the Dividend Kings. To be a Dividend King, a company must have an incredible 50 years of consecutive dividend increases – twice the requirement to be a Dividend Aristocrat.