Wow, I finally finished my research! I am so excited that I actually don’t know how to start this post 😃 I am a dividend growth investors since 2014 and I have always been missing a true and focused list of pureplay European dividend stocks.
Well, the waiting has finished, because I have just created one!
European dividend stocks – a brief introduction
For a long time I have been jealous at the US dividend aristocrats, because in my opinion there wasn’t really a true European equivalent.
For instance, US Aristocrats are stocks that must have increased their dividend payouts for at least 25 consecutive years and they must have a minimum market cap of $3 bln. European dividend aristocrats must have a minimum of increasing or sustained dividends for at least 10 consecutive years.
This is pretty “bleh” to me, because this doesn’t include the Great Recession from 2008-2009. It is very easy to grow dividends in the longest bull market ever, but how do we know that they are truly focused on paying out a growing dividend, even when hell is breaking lose and panic is in the streets?
10 years is therefore just too short for me and I am typically reluctant to invest in those companies. I don’t want European dividend aristocrats. I want more!
That’s why I have selected 30 of the best European dividend stocks that have been growing or sustaining the dividend at least since before the Greatest Recession and have a market cap of more than 5 billion.
It is not that common for European companies to have such a track record. The main tradition of dividend policies in Europe is to pay out 50% of earnings. Hence why many dividends are cut again in times like this (pandemic).
Therefore, let me introduce to you the Noble 30 ⚔!
Why this name?
The noble 30⚔ are very special European dividend stocks. They have class, they are elite and they have been reliable so far when it comes to their dividend payments. They are often companies with a very long history, sometimes even dating back to the 19th century.
But they aren’t perfect either. Sometimes they had a year or few that they didn’t increase their dividend. That’s OK, because I expect them in such case at least to maintain it. That’s why it’s neither fair to call them an Aristocrat, because it creates quite some confusion with their US equivalent.
They have one thing in common though: they are true elite European dividend stocks!
Therefore I call them: the Noble 30 ⚔.
I like this name much more, because aristocrats have their title due to hereditary and is often attached to their land. Nobles have been given their social status and are usually still considered as “commoners”. A good example of noblemen were Knights. I believe that this fits much better to my own philosophy to life!
Why just 30?
Putting a limit on the amount of members makes it exclusive.
30 stocks is also a perfect size to build an ETF for. It gives more than enough diversification and it’s much more easier to track. These are also typically high quality companies with a strong focus on shareholder return.
Consider it the equivalent of the Dow Jones Index. Or better said, the Noble 30⚔ Index 💪
The Noble 30 ⚔ Index
Now that I have introduced you to this, let’s just introduce to you the first MVP of the Noble 30⚔!
30 of the most exclusive European dividend stocks that:
- have shown resilience during the Great Recession. They have either increased or sustained their dividend since at least since 2006 (14 years now).
- are of bluechip nature, hence having at least a 5 billion market cap.
Drumroll and without further ado: the Noble 30⚔ index
|Ticker||Name||Years [increase or sustain]||Annual dividend||Pay frequency||10 yr growth %|
|AMS:UNA||Unilever NV||54||€ 1,64||Quarterly||7,03%|
|ETR:MUV2||Muenchener Rueckvrschrng Gslchft AG Mnch||50||€ 9,80||Annually||4,49%|
|LON:HLMA||Halma plc||42||16,14 p||Bi-Annually||6,33%|
|EPA:FP||Total SA||38||€ 2,68||Quarterly||1,32%|
|EBR:GBLB||Groep Brussel Lambert NV||34 *||€ 3,15||Annually||2,18%|
|EPA:OR||L'Oreal SA||32 *||€ 3,85||Annually||8,97%|
|EPA:BN||Danone SA||32 *||€ 2,10||Annually||4,91%|
|CPH:COLO-B||Coloplast A/S||31 *||17,00 kr.||Annually||23,86%|
|AMS:WKL||Wolters Kluwer||30||€ 1,18||Bi-Annually||5,82%|
|SWX:ROG||Roche Holding Ltd. Genussscheine||30 *||CHF9,00||Annually||3,15%|
|LON:SPX||Spirax-Sarco Engineering plc||29||110,00 p||Bi-Annually||9,85%|
|LON:DGE||Diageo plc||29||68,37 p||Bi-Annually||6,02%|
|ETR:HEN3||Henkel AG & Co KGaA||29 *||€ 1,83 **||Annually||10,09%|
|ETR:SAP||SAP SE||28 *||€ 1,58||Annually||10,17%|
|LON:CRDA||Croda International plc||28 *||90 p||Bi-annually||7,18%|
|AMS:DSM||Koninklijke DSM N.V.||27||€ 2,40||Bi-annually||5,92%|
|AMS:PHIA||Philips NV||26 *||€ 0,85||Annually||1,96%|
|ETR:SIE||Siemens AG||26 *||€ 3,90||Annually||3,75%|
|STO:ASSA-B||ASSA ABLOY AB||25||3,85 kr||Annually||11,21%|
|BME:REE||Red Electrica Corporacion SA||25||€ 1,05||Bi-annually||7,27%|
|SWX:LISN||Lindt & Sprüngli AG||24 *||CHF1.750,00||Annually||14,55%|
|EPA:SW||Sodexo SA||24 *||€ 2,90||Annually||7,95%|
|CPH:NOVO-B||Novo Nordisk A/S||23 *||8,35 kr||Bi-annually||15,36%|
|ETR:FME||Fresenius Medical Care AG & Co. KGaA||23||€ 1,20 **||Annually||6,32%|
|EPA:RMS||Hermes International SCA||22 *||€ 5,00||Annually||12,79%|
|EPA:SAN||Sanofi SA||21||€ 3,15||Annually||2,49%|
|LON:BATS||British American Tabacco||20||201,05 p||Quarterly||5,82%|
* Years identified with an * behind it are stocks for which I’ve not been able to trackback the full dividend history. I was only able to get to this amount of years due to extensive online desk research and therefore it serves as a minimum amount of years. If you have evidence that the company has an even longer track record without dividend cuts, then please get in touch with me. I will be more than happy to increase the quality of data in this overview.
** These companies have announced a postponement of the Annual General Shareholder Meeting (AGM). With that they have also postponed the dividend payment. These stocks need careful consideration regarding their dividend safety.
Now that we know the index, let’s have a look at some of the statistics 👇
The index is pretty well diversified and it has a defensive nature with the Consumer Staples and the Health Care sector making up half of the index. Personally I would liked to see the Information Technology sector a bit bigger though.
The dividend yield for the index as per 28-June-2020 stands at 2,80%. This is not bad as a yield on cost and it beats several Dividends Aristocrats ETF’s that I recently reviewed.
Have a look at the below graph to find all members ranked by yield.
Earnings Per Share – Payout Ratios
The average payout ratio for the index currently stands at 67.65% (28-June-2020). I find that a bit on the high-end and I would like to see a bit lower.
At the moment earnings are severely under pressure due to the global pandemic. Therefore I believe that the figures will even look worse once Q2 earnings have been released.
Having said that, I will compile some more statistics going forward, so stay tuned!
Evolving the index
I consider this list of European dividend stocks a first MVP. It took me a long time and a lot of effort to do the analysis and get to this list. I have analyzed 200+ stocks and their investor relations pages to make sure that the data presented is as accurate as possible.
Now is the time to further improve this list and really evolve these noblemen. Let me know when you find any mistakes in the data or if you have any further suggestions.
I will personally review the index on a quarterly basis. Dividend cuts would be the main reason why a stock would drop from this list. Let’s cross fingers that this won’t happen too often.
A cautionary note
The Noble 30⚔ are in my opinion very unique European dividend stocks 💪
However, keep in mind that this is from a historical perspective. This doesn’t provide any guarantees for the future, because none of them is untouchable.
As an example, the current COVID-19 pandemic is very tough for many companies and especially in retail. As a result, LVMH (Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton) just recently cut their dividend after at least a streak of 26 years of no dividend cut. This was not a highly leveraged company, but the fall of revenue was simply too much. Without the cut, it would’ve been on this list.
Therefore I urge you to do your own homework when considering purchasing companies from this list. Some companies might be overvalued, others might be severely leveraged and others might be facing very strong headwinds.
The dividend safety is the key subject in my investment strategy when considering to buy stocks.
I invest for dividend as cash flow.
Therefore all my due diligence is focused on dividend safety first and only after that I would consider buying when the price is right.
Apologies for the mood in the former paragraph, but I believe it was very important to mention that 😉
Having said that, I’m so happy that I finally finished my dividend history research for all these companies and many more!
I truly believe that this is a great list with European dividend stocks and it sometimes felt like watching a historical documentary when browsing through their annual reports.
I believe that as Europeans we can be really proud on the heritage of some of the companies in the Noble 30 index ⚔.
Some of these companies have strongly influenced society in very positive ways. Just think about the historical achievements of Roche and Novartis. Some illnesses are just a thing of the past now!
Having said that, I just hope to have inspired you with some stock ideas which allows you to strengthen your portfolio.
Would you have any questions, suggestions or if you just want to show some ❤ for this index, then please let me know via the comment section.
If you enjoyed reading this post, then have a look at the below post as well:
Thank you for stepping by!
European Dividend Growth Investor
- 30-Apr-2020: I have removed Royal Dutch Shell from the list. They have announced to cut their dividend by 66% and this was their first dividend cut since the second world war. Read here my take on it.
- 25-May-2020: I have included Croda International plc to the list to replace Royal Dutch Shell. It’s a company that I wasn’t aware of earlier and should’ve been on the initial list. It ticks all the criteria.