Thanks to a long record of unbroken earnings growth, Ferguson (LSE: FERG) has proved to be an exceptionally lucrative stock for income chasers.
Over the past five years the plumbing and heating products supplier has more than doubled the annual dividend, culminating in a 110p per share total reward in the last fiscal period.
And with profits expected to keep on spiralling higher — City brokers are expecting improvements of 5% and 16% in the years to July 2018 and 2019 respectively — dividends are unsurprisingly expected to keep growing at a fair lick too.
This year a 117.2p payment is forecast, and this is anticipated to swell to 130p in the following period. Consequently yields ring in at 2.2% and 2.5% for these years.
Big in America
Clearly these yields are not the biggest that can be located on the FTSE 100. Still, for those seeking strong and sustained dividend growth long into the future I don’t think Ferguson has many rivals.
You see, the building materials behemoth is making serious waves in the gigantic market of North America and this sterling progress was illustrated in half-year results released in late March. These showed organic sales in the US swelling 8.7% during August-January, while improved trading conditions in Canada resulted in “good” growth there.
And Ferguson painted a rosy picture looking ahead, commenting that “US residential markets are growing well, commercial market growth is good and industrial markets have recovered.”
The company sources around four-fifths of total revenues from the US and it continues rapidly expanding in this key growth market to supercharge future profits, Ferguson having made three acquisitions in the country in the first half alone (plus two in Canada and one in The Netherlands).
At current share prices Ferguson changes hands on a forward P/E ratio of 17.3 times. While hardly inspiring on paper, this is far too cheap in my opinion given the firm’s extremely bright profits outlook across the Atlantic.
One more blue chip beauty
Another big-cap share lifting annual dividends at a stratospheric rate is InterContinental Hotels Group (LSE: IHG).
It has been a deliverer of almost-unbroken double digit earnings growth for more than half a decade now and, with this record expected to continue — City brokers are estimating an 18% advance for 2018 — shareholder rewards are predicted to keep advancing at an astronomical rate as well.
Last year’s dividend of 104 US cents per share is expected to rise to 122 cents this year. And while profits growth is expected to cool to 8% in 2019, the dividend is still predicted to leap to 133 cents. Current projections leave InterContinental Hotels with handy-if-unspectacular yields of 2.2% and 2.4% for 2018 and 2019 respectively.
And I fully expect shareholder returns to keep improving at a pacey rate beyond the near term as InterContinental beefs up its worldwide footprint. Just last month it snapped up a 51% stake in luxury operator Regent for $39m, and it has plans plans to boost Regent’s presence “in key global gateway city and resort locations” by taking the number of hotels it operates to above 40 from six right now.
A forward P/E multiple of 20.9 times may not look that impressive, although a PEG reading of 1.2 suggests the hotelier is actually exceptionally priced relative to its anticipated growth trajectory.
Royston Wild has no position in any of the shares mentioned. The Motley Fool UK has no position in any of the shares mentioned. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.