Dividends are getting a bad reputation from everywhere. First it was the dividend guts at big banks like Citigroup, Bank of America, and Lehman Brothers, which once were reliable dividend growth stocks that triggered a wave of cuts and suspensions across the board. The Standard & Poors recently announced that a record low companies increased dividends in 2Q. According to their report, the number of dividend cuts has increased to the highest since 1957. While it is easy to feel pessimistic after those not so positive headlines, one has to remember that there still are many companies, which keep raising their distributions. Companies, that raise distributions when others are slashing or eliminating theirs, citing “unfavorable conditions”, are the true champions where investors should look into concentrating their efforts. Several companies raised their distributions over the past week:
General Mills (GIS), which manufactures and markets branded and packaged consumer foods worldwide, approved a 9% increase to its quarterly dividend to 47 cents per share. General Mills is a former dividend aristocrat, which has fought back to regain its status in the elite dividend index since 2004. The stock currently yields 3.20%.
Senior Housing Properties Trust (SNH), which owns independent and assisted living communities, nursing homes, rehabilitation hospitals, wellness centers and medical office buildings throughout the United States, increased its quarterly distributions by 1 cent to 36 cents per share. Senior Housing Properties has increased its annual dividend in each of the past eight years. The stock currently yields 8.80%.
MFA Financial, Inc. (MFA) announced that its board has approved a 13.6% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.22 to $0.25 per share. The company primarily invests in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that include hybrid and adjustable-rate MBS (ARM-MBS). The dividend is pretty volatile, ranging from a low of 5 cents a share in 2005 and 2006 to a high of 32 cents in 2002. The current yield is 14.70%.
Despite the slow week for dividend increases, I am looking forward to a relatively busy July, since historically some well-known dividend aristocrats like Walgreen (WAG) and Stanley Works (SWK) tend to raise their dividends during the current month.
Walgreen (WAG) has raised its dividend every July over the past five years. This dividend growth stock has been raising dividends for 34 consecutive years and has a 5-year dividend growth rate of 21.30%.
Stanley Works (SWK) has raised its dividend every July over the past five years. This dividend growth stock has been raising dividends for 41 consecutive years and has a 5-year dividend growth rate of 4.20%.
- High Yielding Companies boosting distributions
- Realty Income (O) and Medtronic (MDT) Boosting Distributions
- Target (TGT) and Clorox (CLX) confident in raising dividends
- Dividends and Stock Buybacks in the news
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