It’s not often that you find a stock you can safely hold for decades. Necessary for a buy-and-hold stock is a company with deep competitive advantages, a long growth runway, and excellent management. And if such all-star stocks also pay a dividend to boot? That’s a great combination.
Many compelling growth stocks often sport relatively low dividend yields, but if a company can grow for years and years, that payout is almost sure to grow over time along with earnings.
Three such dividend growth all-stars to consider for your portfolio are Costco (NASDAQ:COST), ASML Holdings (NASDAQ:ASML), and Brookfield Renewable Power (NYSE:BEP) (NYSE:BEPC). All have outstanding business models and are well positioned to grow for decades.
Some may have thought Costco, the largest discount membership club, would be hurt by the COVID-19 pandemic because of its emphasis on physical locations, but recent results showed that wasn’t the case. A combination of Costco’s reputation for taking care of the customer and people stocking up amid quarantines have bolstered Costco’s results, and its fledgling e-commerce segment is soaring as well.
Costco releases its comparable sales growth figures every month. In August, comparable sales excluding the effect from gasoline sales were up 14.5%, and e-commerce was up 101.6%. But not only are Costco’s same-store sales really cranking, but it still appears the company has a long runway for store growth as well.
That’s especially true since the company only has one store in China as of today. Costco plans to open another this year, but if the massive reported success of the first store is any indication, there will probably be many more Chinese Costcos in the coming years. Considering the company’s 552 U.S. stores and 795 total around the world, there seems to be a good case for Costco’s unit growth to continue for years to come.
Costco’s dividend yields only 0.83% today, but that should grow over time, and the company has occasionally paid out special dividends to shareholders over the years as well. Costco paid out special dividends in 2012, 2015, and 2017, so it’s not inconceivable another may be coming at some point.
Costco’s membership model allows it to win on price in just about every category of good and service it offers, and low prices don’t ever go out of style. As such, Costco looks like a stock you can buy and hold for the long haul.
Another industry virtually guaranteed to grow over the coming decades is the semiconductor industry. In that industry, ASML Holdings has a great position as the only company that makes extreme ultraviolet lithography (EUV) machines, which are indispensable to efficiently producing leading-edge chips. DRAM memory producer Samsung (OTC: SSNLF) is also beginning to use EUV producing its latest DRAM memory chips as well.
Why is ASML the only company to make EUV? Because the technology was 20 years in the making, and it wasn’t clear that it would ever work. The ultra-thin wavelength from EUV lithography machines allows extremely tiny patterns to be drawn onto silicon wafers, which dramatically cuts down on the number of steps needed to produce lead-edge chips. As densities increase and the distance between transistors gets smaller and smaller, EUV has become crucial for producing the latest and greatest semiconductors.
ASML only pays out a 0.8% dividend right now, but supplements that with share repurchases and market-leading growth. In fact, ASML’s payout has increased more than threefold over the past decade, even as the company has invested for the long haul.
Semiconductor sales, and, by association, semiconductor equipment, tend to be lumpy year-to-year, but the long-term growth trend is definitely up. With a monopoly on a key technology, ASML seems poised for lots of growth in the years ahead, and its payout should follow suit.
Brookfield Renewable Partners and Brookfield Renewable Corporation
Looking for a higher immediate payout than Costco or ASML? Brookfield Renewable may be the ticket for you. Brookfield Renewable had been a partnership up until last quarter, when it spun off Brookfield Renewable Corporation shares to its unitholders, in the equivalent of a stock split. You as an investor can invest either in the partnership, which currently yields 3.8%, but which comes with some tax headaches, or the corporation, which yields 3.3%.
Brookfield owns and operates 19,300 megawatts of renewable energy assets across hydroelectric, wind, solar, and storage assets across four continents. Brookfield’s management is highly regarded and has positioned the portfolio to be extremely resilient to economic downturns or disruption. Last quarter, adjusted funds from operations grew 18.7% even despite the pandemic. Over the long-term, Brookfield Renewable expects to grow its payout between 5% and 9%, with an average of 6% over the past 20 years.
That growth should continue. In the second-quarter letter to shareholders, CEO Sachin Shah wrote, “We believe that we have established ourselves as one of the few entities with the scale, track record and global capabilities to partner with governments and businesses to help them achieve their goal of greening the global electricity grids, while earning a strong return for our investors.”
Shah is especially bullish on the company’s solar business. While solar is Brookfield’s smallest segment today, it should grow by leaps and bounds over the coming years and decades as the cost of solar continues to decline. The company already has 10,000 MW of solar in its development pipeline versus just 3,000 MW in operations today. Shah believes that one day, solar could eclipse hydroelectric as the biggest overall contributor to the portfolio.
Basically, the future of electric power generation is in renewables, and Brookfield is one of the largest and best-regarded operators of such assets. As such, this combination of safety, yield, and growth make it a dividend stock to buy and own for the long term.