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Valentine Stocks: Shares You Can’t Help But Love

Guess what? It’s Valentine’s Day.

Yes, it is that time of year when couples will collectively spend inordinate amounts of money on chocolates, cards, jewellery, romantic meals and anything else that could be seen as a sign of affection for the special person in their lives.

However, here is an interesting statistic that simply blew my socks off. It seems that the longer the relationship and the older you get, the less you spend on Valentine’s Day.

But now imagine investing in a company that rewards you less, the longer that you own it. That would be quite outrageous, wouldn’t it?

So, in a nod in the direction of those companies that reward you more, the longer you own them here are three shares that you simply just have to love.

Industrial conglomerate Jardine Cycle & Carriage (SGX: C07) has been rewarding shareholders, consistently. In 2004, the distributor of cars in Singapore and the operator of mines in Indonesia paid out S$0.10 to shareholders as dividends.

At the time, Jardine C&C’s shares were changing hands at around $6 a pop. After a decade in which the dividends have increased nearly ten-fold, the payout in 2013 was S$1.08 a share.

Keppel Corporation (SGX: BN4) has been another outstanding dividend payer. Ten years ago, when shares in the Singapore conglomerate cost around S$3, it rewarded shareholders with a payout of S$0.09 a share.

Over the intervening 10 years, the distribution had risen to a not insignificant S$0.48. At today’s share price of S$8.74 that equates to a dividend yield of 5.5%.

Supermarket and chemist chain owner, Dairy Farm (SGX: D01), has rarely disappointed when it comes to dishing out a share of its profits to shareholders. The operator of Cold Storage and Guardian paid out S$0.12 a share in 2004 when its shares cost around S$3.00. By 2013, the dividends per share had more than doubled to S$0.29.

The payment of dividends can be a sign that a company values the money that shareholders have committed to the business. But it is more than just a reward. It can also be a signal of a company’s financial strength. What’s more, if a company can grow its dividends consistently, then that can be a sign that the business is getting stronger.

So spend some time looking through a company’s track record. Take a look at how much of a company’s profits are paid out. Look at how much is retained to grow the business. It can tell you a lot about how well a company is being run.

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The information provided is for general information purposes only and is not intended to be personalised investment or financial advice. Motley Fool Singapore Director David Kuo doesn’t own shares in any companies mentioned.