There are no sure things in investing and even the best-run companies can find their way into a rut. But over the long run, the cream rises to the top. For a company to reach its potential, it has to have what it takes to weather the business cycle year after year. Some hoard cash, others, pump money into R&D, others keep shareholders happy with dividends that never seem to stop growing.
If you’re looking for a collection of stocks that seem to withstand whatever the market or competitors can throw at them, check out the blue-chip names on this list. While nothing is guaranteed, these companies are all leaders in their industries and seem poised to continue their winning ways over the long run.
To maximize your chances for success, perform your own due diligence, look for companies that match your investment objectives and risk tolerance, and realize that some of these companies are more volatile and aggressive than others.
Last updated: Aug. 30, 2021
- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $55.54
Coca-Cola was founded in Atlanta way back in 1886. Not only is the company known the world over, but it’s also known as one of the world’s great dividend stocks. Coke has not just paid, but increased its dividend for an impressive 59 years in a row, giving it the elite status of a Dividend King. Those are the rare stocks with at least a half-century of consecutive annual dividend increases.
Far from a one-trick pony, Coca-Cola has a wide range of brands, from Dasani water and Gold Peak teas and coffees to Minute Maid juices and ZICO coconut water.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $2,842.46
If you’re not a market watcher, you may not be familiar with the name Alphabet, but you’ve certainly heard of the company’s main subsidiary Google. In addition to running Google Play and Google Cloud, the internet search and advertising company also owns YouTube, among many other properties.
In the second quarter alone, Alphabet reported revenues totaling $61.88 billion, up from $38.3 billion in the same quarter the year before for growth of 62%.
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Johnson & Johnson
- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $173.30
Like Coca-Cola, Johnson & Johnson is a Dividend King, not just paying, but raising its dividend annually for 59 consecutive years. According to MarketBeat, the company pays out more than half of its earnings as shareholder dividends. It has 26 platforms or products that each have annual sales of at least $1 billion. As the largest and most diversified healthcare company in the world, Johnson & Johnson is a likely survivor for the long haul.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $165
Clorox is known as a defensive stock because consumers still need to buy their products even during a slow economy. The company has a strong track record of returning capital to investors, raising its dividend for nearly 20 years in a row and paying an annual dividend for more than 50 years straight. Although the company is a slow grower, it’s dependable, reliable and shareholder-focused.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $299.09
If you’ve used a personal computer any time in the past few decades, you’re likely familiar with the Microsoft Windows operating system. But Microsoft is a true software giant, generating more than $143 billion in revenue in 2020 from products ranging from Office 365 to its Azure cloud service. The company currently ranks No. 15 on the Fortune 500 list.
- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $364.38
Love it or hate it, Facebook is a daily part of American — and global — life. Social media on the whole continues to gain traction, and Facebook is at the head of the crowd. As of early 2021, a whopping 69% of Americans were using Facebook, with 70% admitting daily usage, according to Pew Research. With the exception of YouTube, no other platform comes close to those numbers.
Although more volatile than some of the names on this list, Facebook’s dominant position as an integral part of Americans’ lives means the company likely has a long way to run.
- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $83.03
CVS may not be the most glamorous stock on this list, but if you’re looking for a conservative company in a good industry, CVS may be a strong choice. Healthcare has never been more of a concern in everyday life in America as it is today, and CVS has proven to be well-positioned to capitalize on that trend. Earnings continue to go up, and the company pays a healthy 2.4% dividend.
- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $147.54
The game-changing consumer electronics company Apple continues to churn out products that its users can’t get enough of. From iPads and Macs to AirPods and the Apple Watch, Apple has been at the forefront of consumer technology for decades.
If company size is your thing, Apple is your champion. The company hit a market capitalization of $2 trillion in August 2020 and, according to CNBC, is poised to cross $3 trillion in 2022. Apple resumed paying dividends in 2012 and has raised its payout every year since.
- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $3,316
Amazon, which traces its origins back to its roots as a simple online bookseller, has become the world’s most valuable retailer. Amazon now makes up more than half of all U.S. e-commerce sales and it shipped an incredible 400 million packages per month during the pandemic in 2020.
If you’re a believer in the continuing power of the American consumer to shop online, riding the Amazon wave is the best way to succeed.
- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $195.32
The 3M company was incorporated as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company in 1902. However, most Americans are probably more familiar with the company’s brand names, especially Scotch and Post-It. When it comes to Dividend Kings, 3M is, well, king. The company has paid a dividend without interruption for more than 100 years, and it has increased its payout to shareholders for more than 60 consecutive years. Stability like that doesn’t vanish overnight, making 3M a solid play for long-term investors who seek dividend consistency.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $147.35
Walmart may not be the world’s most dominant online retailer (see: Amazon), but it still dominates all companies, including Amazon, in terms of total sales. Walmart occupies the elite No. 1 position on the Fortune 500, with revenues of over $559.15 billion in its last fiscal year. Walmart isn’t rolling over and playing dead when it comes to e-commerce, either. It showed real staying power online in 2020, increasing its e-commerce sales by 79% during the pandemic.
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- Stock price as of Aug. 26: $77.31
Colgate-Palmolive is another Dividend King that also makes products most Americans buy during any economic condition. The company has paid uninterrupted dividends every year since 1895, and it has raised its payout for 58 consecutive years. From its namesake brands Colgate and Palmolive to Speed Stick, Softsoap, Irish Spring and Ajax, the household products company generates billions of dollars in free cash flow annually.
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Andrew Lisa contributed to the reporting for this article.