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American Train on Rails

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Railroad Monopoly Replaces 2016's Top Performer on the Best Dividend Stocks List

Abhishek Gupte Dec 07, 2016

Dividend.com added a rail and logistics company to its Best Dividend Stocks list and removed a water utility.

The new addition operates North America’s premier railroad franchise with more than 32,000 miles worth of railroad lines. Those lines cover an operating area in 23 states that comprises more than two-thirds of the western United States as well as parts of Mexico. This is a huge economic moat that can’t be replicated and has powered our newest addition since its founding back in the early days of American railroads.

It has also helped with its dividend.

While the firm has paid a dividend since its founding in the 1860s, it has gotten serious about returning more cash to investors over the last decade. The firm has increased its payment by over 700% when accounting for splits – and that doesn’t include a hefty buyback program. Meanwhile, this company still has plenty of room to keep growing its dividend as its payout ratio sits very comfortably at 47% based on 2016 earnings estimates.

To summarize, here are five reasons why you should own this stock:

  1. The company is a burgeoning dividend contender with a decade’s worth of dividend increases.
  2. Complete monopoly and irreplaceable assets over the area in which it operates.
  3. Massive customer base of over 10,000 different shippers, manufacturers and other businesses.
  4. New year’s earnings growth of more than 11%.
  5. Features a low dividend payout ratio of just 47%, indicating more room for higher payouts later on.

Soft Removal of a Water Utility Stock From the Best Dividend Stocks List

We added this water utility stock to the Best Dividend Stocks list just four months ago. However, in that time, it’s managed to return more than 40% to investors. That’s a very impressive gain in such a short amount of time. The stock continues to have a very high DARS rating of 3.9. Nonetheless, we are removing this stock from the Best Dividend Stocks list. Our model dictates that when two stocks have similar ratings and metrics, the one with the larger market cap will be included on the list.

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