This Elite Dividend Stock Grows Strongly

First-tier dividend payer NextEra Energy (NYSE: NEE). The sustainable energy utility has raised its payment annually for 30 years. Over 10 years, its payout has grown 11% annually, supercharging growth. The company's 3.1% dividend yield exceeds the S&P 500's 1.4%. No evidence of the dividend growth machine slowing. A good start has put the utility on track to meet its long-term growth forecast.

Powerful momentum continues NextEra Energy's first-quarter adjusted profits per share rose 8.3%. Strong utility rate. The company's Florida regulated electric utility (FPL) and energy resources segment performed well.

FPL earned about $1.2 billion, or $0.57 per share, in the first quarter, up from $0.53 per share the year before. Through commercial investment, the nation's major utility grew. The era saw $2.3 billion in FPL capital spending. The period involved spending to install over 1.6 gigawatts (GW) of cost-effective solar energy. It has the largest utility-owned solar energy portfolio in the nation, exceeding 6.4 GW. FPL gained nearly 100,000 customers last year. Customer growth was its best in over 15 years in the first quarter.

NextEra's energy resources business earned $828 million, or $0.40 per share, in the first quarter, up from $732 million, or $0.36 per share, a year earlier. Recent portfolio investments, including 1.2 GW of renewable energy projects completed since January, drove growth.

The ability to grow Strong first-quarter results provided NextEra Energy confidence to confirm its long-term financial expectations. The business expects adjusted earnings of $3.23–$3.43 per share this year. It forecasts earnings to expand 6% to 8% off that range through 2026, presumably at the high end.

"We will be disappointed if we are not able to deliver financial results at or near the top of our adjusted earnings per share expectations ranges in each year through 2026, while maintaining our strong balance sheet and credit ratings," CEO John Ketchum stated in the first-quarter earnings press release Due to earnings growth and a low dividend payout ratio, it expects to raise its dividend by 10% annually through 2026.

Company progress toward that aim is becoming clearer. New renewable energy and storage projects were launched by NextEra's energy resources business in its second-best quarter ever due to strong demand. The period saw over 2.8 GW of wind, solar, and storage projects added to its backlog, including a record 1.5 GW of solar and 1 GW of storage. NextEra has 21.5 GW backlogged projects.

FPL benefits from serving clients in one of the fastest-growing states. It also uses its ample sunshine. FPL plans to build 21 GW of solar and 4 GW of storage in 10 years. The company aims to invest $7.8 billion to $8.8 billion in capital projects this year to support the state's rising population, partly to enhance its solar energy capacity.

A strong dividend stock NextEra Energy keeps performing well. The corporation grew adjusted earnings by over 8% in the first quarter, a pace it might maintain through 2026. That will allow it to increase its dividend by 10% annually. The company may achieve double-digit total annual returns in the coming years due to earnings and income growth. That makes it a good long-term dividend stock.