Cramer on Wednesday finished his series on the top dividend-paying companies, adding three more names to the list: Emerson Electric, Nucor and Coca-Cola.
Remember, Cramer likes these plays because they offer better yields than so-called safer investments such as CDs and Treasurys, and they hold the potential for upside. And dividends are taxed at a lower rate. Plus, the following companies have a history of raising their payouts, which means that even more money should be returned to shareholders in the future. (Click here and here for Cramer’s other top dividend plays.)
Emerson , yielding 3.1%, definitely views its dividend as crucial: The company raised it in November for the 53rd consecutive year. Investors who reinvested those payouts over the past decade have earned an 89% gain, compared with the S&P 500’s 25% decline. The next dividend announcement should be coming by early February, Cramer said, so watch for that.
Cramer also endorsed EMR for its exposure to the global economic recovery. This diversified industrial makes everything from energy-efficient process controls to motors for tools and appliances, and 75% of the business is linked to worldwide infrastructure spending. Smart cost cutting kept the company profitable during a recession when few others were, and now Emerson’s in position to make even more money when things turn up.
As for Nucor , regular Mad Money viewers know how much Cramer likes its CEO, Dan DiMicco. Under his leadership, the company raised its dividend this month to $1.44 a year, or a yield of 3.2%, despite a lack of US stimulus spending on infrastructure and steel dumping from China. There’s a chance that payout could be higher if Nucor brings back the special dividends it suspended due to the recession, which Cramer said could happen in 2010. But to get in on the dividend it’s presently paying, investors must own NUE by Monday, Dec. 28 at the latest.
Lastly, there’s Coca-Cola . The stock yields just 2.9%, but the company behind it has raised the dividend for 47 straight years, most recently in February. Cramer said there could be an increase coming when Coke declares its next payout in early 2010. In the meantime, investors get a top beverage company that’s also a great weak-dollar play, as 75% of profits come from outside the US.
“You want income?” Cramer asked viewers during Mad Money. “Forget bond funds, forget CDs, and buy some of these great dividend raisers.”
Cramer's charitable trust owns Emerson Electric.
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