Stocks to buy

Sometimes it’s not the dividend yield that investors are after, but rather, the rate of growth for the dividend. Ideally, these dividend growth stocks not only kick out a healthy yield, but also give investors a solid annual raise.

These income boosting stocks provide investors with an extra layer of return, but give attractive raises to those payouts. Think of it like a raise from your job. A 0% increase is not attractive, nor is a low-single-digit return.

However, imagine getting a 10% boost from your job. That’s what it can feel like with these dividend growth stocks, as they continue to raise their payouts. With that in mind, let’s break away from the list of typical dividend stocks and focus on the best dividend growth stocks.

Best Dividend Growth Stocks: Starbucks (SBUX)

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Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) has made the dividend a real focus over the years. The company noted that, “Starbucks initiated its dividend in 2010 and has increased it in each of the past 12 years.”

The company’s last increase came in September and was an 8.1% increase from the prior dividend. While that’s not the most robust increase, keep in mind the stock sports a 12.5% annual dividend growth rate over the last five years.

On the plus side, Starbucks continues to do quite well from an operational perspective.

Analysts expect double-digit revenue growth this year and next year, alongside 16% earnings growth in 2023 and an acceleration up to almost 20% growth in 2024. China may be the linchpin to the company’s growth outlook, though.

Last quarter, strong results in China gave Starbucks a significant boost to quarterly results. However, management spoke cautiously about its outlook in China going forward, causing some hesitation among investors.

Short-term hurdles aside, we know Starbucks is a long-term winner — and its dividend should be too.

Income Boost From a Dividend King: Target (TGT)

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Target (NYSE:TGT) is a unique combination as a dividend king and as one of the top dividend growth stocks.

In June, Target passed along a near-2% dividend increase, marking the company’s 52nd annual dividend increase. That has the stock in “dividend king” territory. From the company: “The 3rd quarter dividend will be the company’s 224th consecutive dividend paid since October 1967 when the company became publicly held.”

While the sub-2% hike is likely a concern among some investors, note that management increased the dividend by a whopping 20% in 2022. As a result, the retailer sports a five-year dividend growth rate of 11.75%.

The reality is, some years are better than others.

At the moment, Target stock is going through the wringer as shares fell 22% in just 10 trading sessions. As a result, its dividend yield is up to 3.3%. Given the increase last year, the stock’s recent struggles and the economy’s current standing, management probably felt it was best to pass along only a modest payout this year.

Despite only mild revenue growth forecasts this year and next year, analysts expect almost 40% earnings growth in 2023 and 23.5% growth in 2024.

For all this, investors are paying about 16 times earnings.

How Income Investors Got More Done: Home Depot (HD)

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While Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) is considered a dividend aristocrat now that it has raised its dividend for more than 25 consecutive years, Home Depot (NYSE:HD) deserves some dividend praise as well.

In February, Home Depot raised its payout by 10%, and the stock now yields 2.8%. That yield has grown fairly quickly over the years. Home Depot sports a five-year growth rate of 15.75% for its dividend.

When I looked at the stock’s yield, it’s sitting at its highest level since the rapid 2020 Covid-19 selloff. Of course, it doesn’t help that Home Depot stock is down 27% from its all-time high, (although it has strung together seven straight weekly gains).

While shares are rallying, consensus expectations actually call for an earnings and revenue decline in 2023. If it comes to fruition, perhaps investors will get a chance to buy Home Depot with a dividend yield in excess of 3%, but I wouldn’t sleep on the company’s long-term future.

On the date of publication, Bret Kenwell did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.

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