Over the past week twenty-two companies announced that they would be rewarding shareholders with higher dividend payouts. Several solid blue chip companies such as IBM, Costco and Exxon Mobil raised their payouts as well.
In order to make it easier to read through the list, I have separated the number of companies into three lists: Dividend Achievers and Dividend Aristocrats; Master Limited Partnerships; and Dividend Growth Stocks.
Dividend Achievers and Dividend Aristocrats
Dividend Achievers are companies which have boosted payouts for at least ten consecutive years. Companies that are members of the elite Dividend Aristocrats index, are members of the S&P 500 and have raised distributions for over a quarter of a century.
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) is an information technology (IT) company. The company increased its dividend by 18% to 55 cents/share. This is the 15th year in a row that IBM has increased its quarterly cash dividend. This dividend achiever yields 2%. (analysis)
W.W. Grainger, Inc. (GWW) and its subsidiaries distribute facilities maintenance and other related products and services in the United States, Canada, Japan, and Mexico. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 17% from $0.46 to $0.54 per share. This is the thirty-ninth dividend increase in a row for this dividend aristocrat. The stock yields 2%. (analysis)
Exxon Mobil Corporation (XOM) engages in the exploration, production, transportation, and sale of crude oil and natural gas. The company raised its quarterly dividends to 44 cents/share, up from 42 cents/share. This is the twenty-eight consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend aristocrat. The stock yields 2.60%. (analysis)
Chevron Corporation (CVX) operates as an integrated energy company worldwide. The company raised its quarterly dividends by 5.90% 72 cents/share. This is the twenty-third consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. The stock yields 3.50%. (analysis)
Cullen/Frost Bankers, Inc., (CFR) through its subsidiaries, provides various banking and financial products and services primarily in Texas. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 4.70% to 45cents/share. This is the seventeenth consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. The stock yields 3%.
Community Bank System, Inc. (CBU) operates as the holding company for Community Bank, N.A. that provides various banking and financial services to the retail, commercial, and municipal customers. It offers loans and accepts deposits. The Company’s Board of Directors approved a $0.02, or 9.1%, increase in its quarterly dividend on its common stock, to $0.24 per share. This is the seventeenth consecutive annual distribution increase for this dividend achiever. The stock yields 3.70%.
Master Limited Partnerships
Williams Partners L.P. (WPZ) is a limited partnership formed that owns, operates and acquires a portfolio of energy assets. This master limited partnership announced that the distribution its unit holders receive has been increased to $0.6575 per unit, a 3.5% increase over the previous dividend of $0.635. The partnership has consistently raised annual distribution since 2006. The units yield 6.30%.
Inergy Holdings, L.P. (NRGP) is engaged in the investment in propane and other natural gas liquids companies. This master limited partnership announced an increase in its quarterly cash distribution to $0.975 per limited partner unit, which was a 3.7% increase over the previously declared quarterly distribution. Inergy has boosted distributions since 2006. The stock yields 5.40%.
Holly Energy Partners, L.P. (HEP) operates a system of petroleum product and crude oil pipelines, storage tanks, distribution terminals, and loading rack facilities. This master limited partnership declared an increase in its distribution to $0.815 per unit, up from $0.805 that was distributed last quarter. Holly Energy Partners, L.P. has consistently boosted distributions since 2005. The units yield 6.90%.
Sunoco Logistics Partners L.P. (SXL) engages in the transport, terminalling, and storage of refined products and crude oil, as well as the purchase and sale of crude oil in the United States. The company increased quarterly distribution to $1.11 per share, from $1.09 prior. This master limited partnership has consistently raised distributions almost every quarter since 2002. The units yield 6.60%.
Alliance Holdings GP, L.P., (AHGP) through its subsidiaries, produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the United States. The company announced a boost in its quarterly distribution to 46.5 cents/share which represents a 12.0% increase over the $0.415 per unit distribution (for the quarter ended March 31, and an increase of 2.8% over the fourth quarter 2009 distribution of $0.4525 per unit. This master limited partnership has consistently boosted distributions since 2007. The units yield 5.60%.
Future Dividend Growth Stocks
EarthLink, Inc. (ELNK) is an Internet service provider (ISP), providing nationwide Internet access and related value-added services to individual and business customers. The company's Board of Directors has increased the amount of its quarterly cash dividend on its common stock from $0.14 per share to $0.16 per share. This is the first dividend increase since EarthLink initiated a dividend policy in 2009. The stock yields 7.40%.
Ameriprise Financial, Inc. (AMP) provides financial planning, products and services that are designed to be utilized as solutions for its clients' cash and liquidity, asset accumulation, income, protection, and estate and wealth transfer needs. The company raised its quarterly dividend from $0.17 to $0.18. The company has had higher annual dividend payments for four years in a row. The stock yields 1.50%.
Costco Wholesale Corporation (COST) operates membership warehouses that offer a selection of branded and private label products in a range of merchandise categories in no-frills, self-service warehouse facilities. The company approved a quarterly increase from $0.18 to $0.205 per share. This is the sixth consecutive dividend increase since the company initiated a dividend policy in 2004. The stock yields 1.40%.
Kellogg Company (K), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and marketing of ready-to-eat cereal and convenience foods. The Company's Board of Directors announced plans to increase the quarterly dividend by 8% to $0.405 per share beginning with the third quarter of 2010. This would have been the sixth consecutive dividend increase for the company. The stock yields 2.90%.
International Paper Company (IP) operates as a paper and packaging company with operations in North America, Europe, Latin America, Russia, Asia, and North Africa. The company approved an increase in its quarterly common stock dividend from $0.025 per share to $0.125 per share. This is the first dividend increase since the company slashed distributions by 90% in 2009. The stock yields 1.70%.
Celanese Corporation (CE) is an integrated producer of chemicals and advanced materials. The company approved a 25% increase in the company’s quarterly dividend to $0.05 per share. The stock yields 0.60%.
Legg Mason, Inc., (LM) through its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified group of global asset management firm serving individual and institutional investors worldwide. The company’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend on its common stock in the amount of $0.04 per share which is a 33.33% increase over the previous dividend of $0.03. This is the first dividend increase for the company since it slashed dividends by 87.50 % in 2009 and lost its status as a dividend aristocrat after just one year in the elite index. The stock yields 0.50%.
Valmont Industries, Inc. (VMI) produces fabricated metal products; pole and tower structures; and mechanized irrigation systems in the United States and internationally. The board of directors increased the Company's quarterly cash dividend by 10% from $0.15 to $0.165 per share. This is the ninth consecutive annual dividend increase for the company. The stock yields 0.80%
Sturm, Ruger & Company, Inc. (RGR) engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of firearms in the United States. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 55% to 9.3 cents/share. The stock yields 2.10%.
TransAlta Corporation (TAC) operates as a non-regulated electricity generation and energy marketing company. The company raised its quarterly dividends by 6.40% to 29 cents/share. This is the third consecutive annual dividend increase for the company.The stock yields 5.60%.
Duff & Phelps Corporation (DUF), through its subsidiaries, provides independent financial advisory and investment banking services worldwide. The company increased quarterly dividend by 20% to $0.06 per share. This is the first dividend increase for the company since its started paying dividends in 2009. The stock yields 1.50%.
The list of dividend increases should not be viewed as a buy recommendation. Readers are advised to use it only as a starting reference point for further research, provided that any of those companies interest you.
Full Disclosure: Long CVX, GWW and XOM
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