Among the most commonly cited dividend companies, those with the highest current yields or highest dividend growth rates often make headline news.
Companies which take a slower, but steadier approach to returning value to shareholders often get the short end of the stick and are removed from many dividend searches accordingly by investors focusing perhaps too much on said dividend and not enough on the underlying fundamentals of dividend companies being considered.
One Canadian company which perhaps exemplifies the prudent strategy of investing in companies with rock solid balance sheets is Canada's largest company, Royal Bank of Canada (TSX:RY)(NYSE:RY).
Royal Bank has continued to produce stellar results in recent years, benefiting from domestic and global growth trends which have supported a strengthening balance sheet and higher profitability levels, allowing Royal Bank to return more value to shareholders in recent years.
In fact, over the past decade alone, Royal Bank has hiked its dividend annually by approximately 7%, a very decent dividend growth rate when compared to some of the best dividend companies on the TSX.
With strong capital appreciation accompanying dividend growth, Royal Bank remains one of my top picks for a company with a very nice dividend (current yield of 3.4% is not too shabby) along with very strong capital appreciation prospects for the medium to long term.
Royal Bank will continue to benefit from its size and importance to the global banking system, and I would expect improved profitability to allow for further dividend hikes in the future, making this company a must own for long term income investors.Invest wisely, my friends.