The past two weeks have been pretty uneventful in terms of dividend increases, mainly due to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays. Once the majority of market participants returned to their trading desks, it was again business as usual. The markets did end the week 4.20% lower, which left the largest ETF by assets that tracks S&P 500, the SPY, down 1.2% on the year. The increase in unemployment to 16 year highs didn’t help either.
The negative tone for the week was set on Monday when a Sterne Agee analyst Nick Heymann speculated that General Electric (GE) likely faces a serious decision - sustain the dividend or the AAA rating. General Electric has confirmed on a number of occasions that it’s dividend of $1.24/share is safe throughout 2009. Despite the reassurance from GE however, there still is an increased chance that GE dividends might not be safe. Check out my analysis of GE from this link.
There were several other companies that announced increases in their payments to shareholders last week.
Genesis Energy, L.P. (GEL), which engages in the pipeline transportation of crude oil, natural gas, and carbon dioxide (Co2); gathering and marketing of crude oil; wholesale marketing of Co2; and processing of syngas , announced that its Board has approved an increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.3225 to $0.33 per unit. Genesis Energy, L.P. has consistently increased its dividends since 2003. The stock currently yields 11.90%.
Robbins & Myers, Inc. (RBN), which is a supplier of systems for critical applications in global energy, industrial, chemical and pharmaceutical markets , announced that its Board has approved an 11% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.0375 to $0.04 per common share. Robbins & Myers, Inc. has consistently increased its dividends since 2006. The stock currently yields 0.80%.
Pentair, Inc. (PNR), announced that its Board has approved a 6% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.17 to $0.18 per common share. Pentair, Inc. is a dividend achiever which has consistently increased its dividends for almost two decades. The stock currently yields 2.70%.
American Financial Group, Inc. (AFG), announced that its Board has approved a 4% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.13 per common share. American Financial Group, Inc. Inc. is a dividend achiever which has consistently increased its dividends since 2005. The stock currently yields 2.30%.
Of the stocks below Pentair shows some promise for my dividend growth strategy. PNR could be an interesting dividend play on dips below $24. I like the fact that the company has managed to double its dividends almost every seven years on average.
Full Disclosure: Long GE
- Is GE’s dividend safe?
- Why do I like Dividend Achievers
- Analysis of General Electric
- When to sell my dividend stocks?
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