Target This Dividend King in July

Target (NYSE:TGT) is the eighth-largest retailer in the United States. It was founded nearly 120 years ago, and it should be on every income investors’ radar.

The company released its first quarter 2019 results on May 22. Earnings beat analysts’ expectations as adjusted earnings per share came in at $1.53. Revenues grew to $17.63 billion and same-store sales posted 4.8% growth.

Traditional retailers have been forced to adapt over the past decade due to the rise in online shopping, and Target has shown it is up to the challenge. Its e-commerce sales soared 42% year-over-year in the first quarter.

Target is projecting strong growth for the remainder of the year, though tariffs from the U.S.-China trade war does pose a threat to its apparel and footwear segments. Strong U.S. consumer spending has boosted retailers over the past few years, and fundamentals have remained promising in the broader economy. This is good news for Target going forward.

Best of all for income investors, Target has achieved 52 consecutive years of dividend growth. Target is one of those rare companies that has remained consistently profitable during recessions, making it a top defensive play. In June, Target announced a 3.1% dividend increase to a quarterly payout of $0.66 per share. This represents a solid 3% yield.

The only downside of income investors is that they will be paying a premium for Target right now. Shares were hovering around a 52-week high as of close on July 16. However, its payout, dividend history, and robust business are reason enough to plug it in your portfolio for the long haul.