This relates back to not chasing yield. Companies with high yields and high dividend covers inherently carry a high risk of reducing their dividends once earnings are unable to sustain the rate at which they are compensating shareholders. On the other hand, companies with a strong history of consistently raising their dividends carefully maintain their payout ratio and are focused on the long term return provided to shareholders. Sure, the dividend earnings are lower, but so is the risk. These are the companies that remain fundamentally sound through the worst of times and weakest of economies.