Brick-and-mortar retail has taken it on the chin from the e-commerce giant Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN). However, one retail segment that I believe to be insulated from the e-commerce surge is the home improvement stores. I'm not a home repair expert by any means, but if I need hardware or supplies, I typically need them now, not two days from now. I also want to be able to feel any of the tools in person rather than base my purchase decision on pictures and online reviews.
Under that premise, I wanted to take a look at one half of the effective hardware/home improvement duopoly, Lowe's Companies, Inc. (NYSE:LOW). Lowe's valuation never seemed to line up with my available cash; however, since rolling over my 401(k), I'm now flush with cash and looking for long-term investment opportunities.
As a dividend growth investor, one of the first places I go when I want to analyze a company is its dividend history. The dividend history can tell you a lot about the strength of the business. Companies don't find themselves in the midst of a decades-long dividend growth streak by happenstance. Rather it takes the combination of a high-quality business model and a management team that is committed to rewarding shareholders with cash.