NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- When shopping for dividend stocks it is important to fill your cart with really successful companies that build their strategies on vivid and hardy forms of differentiation. These leading companies are unique in that they provide lasting competitive advantage by learning how to sustain differentiation over time and through constant change.One company that has built a powerful model of repeatability is Clorox ( CLX). An estimated eight out of 10 American households use Clorox brand bleach and the globally recognized consumer brand conglomerate sells products in more than 100 countries in North America, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia. Since its founding in 1913, Clorox has earned the trust and respect of people everywhere. The Clorox regular bleach remains the most trusted brand of bleach and the Clorox disinfecting products help eliminate germs around the globe. Clorox is a member of the S&P 500, a Dividend Aristocrat, a member of the Broad Dividend Achievers Index and a Dividend Champion. The company's peer group includes: Procter & Gamble ( PG) with a 3.3% yield, Colgate-Palmolive ( CL) with a 2.3% yield and Kimberly-Clark ( KMB) with a 3.5% yield. Clorox is a stalwart dividend stock as the company has maintained and increased its dividend for over 35 consecutive years. The consumer giant, with a market capitalization of $9.46 billion, recently increased its dividend yield by 6.67% (from $.6000 to $.6400). The current stock price is $72.99 per share and the dividend yield is 3.5%.
As Ben Graham wrote in The Intelligent Investor, "one of the most persuasive tests of high quality is an uninterrupted record of dividend payments going back over many years." Graham explained that "a record of continuous dividend payments for the last 20 years or more is an important plus factor in a company's quality rating." So this consistency of "paying out a dividend does not guarantee great results, but it does improve the return of the typical stock by yanking at least some cash out of the manager's hands before they squander it or squirrel it away."