I’m always looking for ways to generate income for my retirement days, but searching for those solid long-term dividend plays can be time-consuming. That’s especially true these days, as years of low yields — thanks to Ben Bernanke and the Fed — have forced income investors into buying the well-known dividend stalwarts — driving up their prices. So, it pays to screen for companies outside the mainstream with a long history of strong dividend growth, and I’ve latched on to one I’ve liked for some time: W.W. Grainger (NYSE:GWW).

On the dividend side, since initiating its payout in 1965, Grainger has never missed a quarterly dividend, and it has grown from 18 cents per share in 2002 to 80 cents per share for the dividend paid in November 2012. That’s solid, consistent growth. Of course, long-term dividend stability is critical to retirement portfolios, and for that cash and cash flow are King and Queen. Grainger provides both, with its most recent quarter-end (9/30/12) showing free cash flow of $280 million compared to $206 million in 2011, and cash and equivalents at $420 million compared to $360 million over those periods. Put all that together, and you have one solid-performing, dividend-paying stalwart.

Source: InvestorPlace

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