Everlasting love! A FTSE 100 dividend growth stock I’ll never leave

first_img Royston Wild owns shares of Unilever. The Motley Fool UK owns shares of and has recommended Unilever. Views expressed on the companies mentioned in this article are those of the writer and therefore may differ from the official recommendations we make in our subscription services such as Share Advisor, Hidden Winners and Pro. Here at The Motley Fool we believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. See all posts by Royston Wild Image source: Getty Images. Simply click below to discover how you can take advantage of this. Our 6 ‘Best Buys Now’ Shares Renowned stock-picker Mark Rogers and his analyst team at The Motley Fool UK have named 6 shares that they believe UK investors should consider buying NOW.So if you’re looking for more stock ideas to try and best position your portfolio today, then it might be a good day for you. Because we’re offering a full 33% off your first year of membership to our flagship share-tipping service, backed by our ‘no quibbles’ 30-day subscription fee refund guarantee. Everlasting love! A FTSE 100 dividend growth stock I’ll never leave Royston Wild | Friday, 14th February, 2020 | More on: ULVR center_img “This Stock Could Be Like Buying Amazon in 1997” Click here to claim your copy now — and we’ll tell you the name of this Top US Share… free of charge! I’m sure you’ll agree that’s quite the statement from Motley Fool Co-Founder Tom Gardner.But since our US analyst team first recommended shares in this unique tech stock back in 2016, the value has soared.What’s more, we firmly believe there’s still plenty of upside in its future. In fact, even throughout the current coronavirus crisis, its performance has been beating Wall St expectations.And right now, we’re giving you a chance to discover exactly what has got our analysts all fired up about this niche industry phenomenon, in our FREE special report, A Top US Share From The Motley Fool. Enter Your Email Address I would like to receive emails from you about product information and offers from The Fool and its business partners. Each of these emails will provide a link to unsubscribe from future emails. More information about how The Fool collects, stores, and handles personal data is available in its Privacy Statement. Unilever’s (LSE: ULVR) a terrific dividend stock I own and would never consider selling. Not even for a second. News flow might have been encouraging of late, but its long-term investment appeal remains undimmed.The household goods manufacturer, like many within the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) segment, has just warned that the tragic coronavirus breakout could have a serious impact on trading in the near term.5G is here – and shares of this ‘sleeping giant’ could be a great way for you to potentially profit!According to one leading industry firm, the 5G boom could create a global industry worth US$12.3 TRILLION out of thin air…And if you click here we’ll show you something that could be key to unlocking 5G’s full potential…It recently said that “it’s too early to quantify” the potential impact on trading. But it commented that the outbreak will have a commercial impact. “About a fifth of our business in China is professional foodservice,” it noted, adding that this is “likely to be significantly impacted by a drop in out-of-home consumption.”It’s no wonder that Unilever’s share price has trended lower this week on signs of growing infection rates in China.More bad newsConcerns over the coronavirus aren’t the only reason why the FTSE 100 firm has spooked investors of late, though. In late January’s full-year financials, Unilever reported weaker-than-expected fourth-quarter sales, a period when underlying revenues rose 1.5%. This means annual sales growth for 2019 came in at 2.9%, a shade short of its 3% to 5% target.Moreover, Unilever said that this weakness looks set to persist. Underlying sales growth should fall below 3% again in the first quarter of 2020, it said. It expects the pace to pick up thereafter though and revenues growth for the full calendar year is predicted to be “in the lower half” of its multi-year target (of 3% to 5%).Clearly, things could be better at the ice cream, washing detergent, deodorant, tea and shampoo manufacturer. But that full-year release still underlines why I believe Unilever is the ultimate ‘stress-free’ stock. However difficult trading conditions are, as a rule, sales and profits continue chugging higher year after year.Brand powerThere are a number of reasons for this. When you think of ice cream you think of Magnum and Ben & Jerry’s, Dove and Radox when it comes to personal care products like shower gels. The same with Hellmann’s and mayonnaise, Domestos and bleach, Colman’s and mustard.These are brands whose connection with the global public is so strong that sales can be relied on to rise despite broader weakness in consumer spending. Unilever can be confident in raising prices without taking a significant hit to volumes too.That list also reveals another formidable weapon in the company’s arsenal: diversification. It offers a broad category of products to protect group earnings should one or two categories struggle (like it is currently experiencing with tea). Unilever’s exceptional geographical diversification also insulates it from weakness in individual territories too.A dividend heroThis brilliant earnings visibility gives Unilever the confidence to keep raising annual dividends. Payouts have risen by an average of 8% a year for almost four decades with no reductions in that time either. Even in times of rare profits, weakness in the company’s colossal cash flows can be relied upon to keep dividends rising. And City brokers expect this growth trend to continue over the medium term at least.There are bigger yields than Unilever’s readings of 3.3% and 3.5% for 2020 and 2021, sure. However, few other Footsie stocks have the sort of robustness and therefore long-term profits security as this one. I don’t expect my love affair with this blue-chip to ever end.last_img read more