Back to top

Image: Bigstock

Is ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL) a Strong ETF Right Now?

Read MoreHide Full Article

The ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF (NOBL - Free Report) was launched on 10/09/2013, and is a smart beta exchange traded fund designed to offer broad exposure to the Style Box - Large Cap Value category of the market.

What Are Smart Beta ETFs?

The ETF industry has long been dominated by products based on market cap weighted indexes, a strategy created to reflect the market or a particular market segment.

Market cap weighted indexes work great for investors who believe in market efficiency. They provide a low-cost, convenient and transparent way of replicating market returns.

On the other hand, some investors who believe that it is possible to beat the market by superior stock selection opt to invest in another class of funds that track non-cap weighted strategies--popularly known as smart beta.

Based on specific fundamental characteristics, or a combination of such, these indexes attempt to pick stocks that have a better chance of risk-return performance.

While this space offers a number of choices to investors, including simplest equal-weighting, fundamental weighting and volatility/momentum based weighting methodologies, not all these strategies have been able to deliver superior results.

Fund Sponsor & Index

The fund is managed by Proshares. NOBL has been able to amass assets over $9.48 billion, making it one of the larger ETFs in the Style Box - Large Cap Value. Before fees and expenses, NOBL seeks to match the performance of the S&P 500 DividendAristocrats Index.

The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index targets companies that are currently members of the S&P 500, have increased dividend payments each year for at least 25 years & meet certain market capitalization & liquidity requirements.

Cost & Other Expenses

Investors should also pay attention to an ETF's expense ratio. Lower cost products will produce better results than those with a higher cost, assuming all other metrics remain the same.

Annual operating expenses for this ETF are 0.35%, making it on par with most peer products in the space.

It has a 12-month trailing dividend yield of 2.15%.

Sector Exposure and Top Holdings

ETFs offer diversified exposure and thus minimize single stock risk, but it is still important to delve into a fund's holdings before investing. Most ETFs are very transparent products and many disclose their holdings on a daily basis.

NOBL's heaviest allocation is in the Consumer Staples sector, which is about 21.60% of the portfolio. Its Industrials and Materials round out the top three.

When you look at individual holdings, Albemarle Corp (ALB - Free Report) accounts for about 1.90% of the fund's total assets, followed by Ww Grainger Inc (GWW - Free Report) and Archer-Daniels-Midland Co (ADM - Free Report) .

NOBL's top 10 holdings account for about 17.43% of its total assets under management.

Performance and Risk

Year-to-date, the ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF has lost about -14.34% so far, and is down about -7.29% over the last 12 months (as of 09/26/2022). NOBL has traded between $82.44 and $98.70 in this past 52-week period.

The ETF has a beta of 0.87 and standard deviation of 23.06% for the trailing three-year period, making it a medium risk choice in the space. With about 65 holdings, it effectively diversifies company-specific risk.


ProShares S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats ETF is a reasonable option for investors seeking to outperform the Style Box - Large Cap Value segment of the market. However, there are other ETFs in the space which investors could consider.

IShares Core Dividend Growth ETF (DGRO - Free Report) tracks Morningstar US Dividend Growth Index and the Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF (VIG - Free Report) tracks NASDAQ US Dividend Achievers Select Index. IShares Core Dividend Growth ETF has $21.98 billion in assets, Vanguard Dividend Appreciation ETF has $58.14 billion. DGRO has an expense ratio of 0.08% and VIG charges 0.06%.

Investors looking for cheaper and lower-risk options should consider traditional market cap weighted ETFs that aim to match the returns of the Style Box - Large Cap Value.

Bottom Line

To learn more about this product and other ETFs, screen for products that match your investment objectives and read articles on latest developments in the ETF investing universe, please visit Zacks ETF Center.

Published in