In this part, we’ll discuss the S&P 500 Utilities with the highest dividend growth over the last five years. Utilities at large managed to raise their dividends per share by an average of ~4% in the last five years compounded annually. Competitive utility AES (AES) increased its dividend per share by more than 26% compounded annually during the same period. However, AES has a shorter dividend payment history. The company started paying shareholders in 2012. AES offers a dividend yield of 3.8%, which is higher than utilities’ average of 3.3%.
NextEra Energy (NEE), the biggest utility by market cap and the largest component of the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU), increased its dividend 11% in the last five years. NextEra Energy’s superior earnings growth has fueled its above-average dividend growth in the last few years. NextEra Energy yields 2.6%—one of the lowest yields among its peers.
Despite a lower yield, NextEra Energy outperformed broader utilities and even broader markets in the last several years. To learn how NextEra Energy achieved this feat, read These S&P 500 Utilities Have Delivered the Best Five-Year Returns.
In comparison, leading water utility American Water Works (AWK) has raised its dividend 10%, while California-based Edison International (EIX) reported a higher dividend growth of 12.4% in the last five years. American Water Works is trading at a yield of 2%, while Edison International offers a yield of 4.3%.