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Is Walmart Stock a Buy After Its Big Dividend Hike?

Walmart (NYSE:WMT) is generally a safe and stable stock to own. The company is the largest retailer in the world with a massive presence in North America. It’s the go-to option for many consumers, regardless of economic cycle. Its strong grocery business ensures that its stores are full of day-to-day necessities along with discretionary items.

It also makes for a good dividend stock. Walmart has been increasing its payouts for decades. On Feb. 20, the company announced a substantial 9% increase to its dividend. Not only does the increase mark the 51st consecutive year that the company has raised its dividend, but it was also the biggest increase Walmart had made in over a decade. With the increase, the dividend will be yielding around 1.4%, which is right around the S&P 500 average.

Walmart is splitting its shares on Monday on a 3-for-1 basis. While that won’t impact any investment in the company, it’s a good reminder of how well the stock has performed over the years; generally companies don’t’ deploy splits unless their stock prices have risen significantly. Over the past decade, shares of Walmart have increased by 140%. And when including the dividend, the total returns are up around 158%.

If you’re a risk-averse investor, Walmart can make for an excellent long-term stock to hold. And with a commitment to raising the dividend and a strong business, there’s a good chance that your dividend income will rise in the future. This isn’t going to be a top growth stock to own, but if you’re looking for a quality dividend stock, Walmart fits the bill.