There are two ways to think about dividend growth stocks.
You can view them as companies consistently increasing their annual dividend payment, such as the Dividend Aristocrats, which are individual S&P 500 stocks that have raised their dividend annually for 25 consecutive years or more.
Or you can view them by the rate at which they are currently growing their dividends and revenues. In other words, as both dividend and growth stocks.
In any event, dividend growth stocks have outperformed in various market environments, according to global investment management firm Nuveen.
"Dividend growth stocks have provided an attractive combination of earnings and cash flow growth potential, healthy balance sheets and sustainable dividend policies," the firm's website states. "These stocks have historically offered compelling performance during up markets and provided a buffer during market drawdowns and in volatile environments."