For most American consumers, the name General Mills (GIS) is synonymous with breakfast — specifically, breakfast cereals such as Wheaties, Cheerios and Lucky Charms. Ironically, though, I’d wager only a handful of those same consumers know that GIS is also another name for “dividend consistency.” That’s because the company has paid a quarterly dividend for 115 years straight without a single reduction. And for the most recent quarter, GIS raised its dividend by eight percent (to $0.38 per share), bringing the company’s current yield to a solid three percent. Looking ahead, emerging markets will provide an enormous opportunity for growth in 2014, as General Mills only derives 34% of its revenue from global sales today. Combine this potential with the company’s 115-year history of dividend payment, and you have a stock that bears watching this year.
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