Management typically evaluates short and mid-term economic and business conditions when they decide on allocation of limited resources. Cash is one such resource, which could either be reinvested back in the business, or returned to shareholders. Companies typically achieve some optimal balance in allocating cash flows from earnings between owners and the business. It is interesting to note than when management expects rosy business conditions in the next two to three years, dividends have a higher chance of getting raised. Back in 2007 and 2008 when the economic picture was particularly gloomy, the boards of directors of many companies cut dividends in anticipation of financial Armageddon. With assistance from the US Government this Armageddon has been averted. While the economic situation is not as good as it were during the 1990’s, nevertheless the boards of many companies have started raising dividends at an increasing pace. This is a bullish sign, as it shows that managers are mostly optimistic for near-term business conditions.
Dover Corporation (DOV) and its subsidiaries manufacture industrial products and components, as well as provide related services and consumables in the United States and internationally. Dover Corporation increased its quarterly cash dividend to $0.275 per share, from the previous $0.26 per share, an increase of 6%. This dividend aristocrat has raised distributions for 55 consecutive years. Yield: 2.30% (analysis)
Leggett & Platt (LEG), Incorporated designs and produces a range of engineered components and products worldwide. Leggett & Platt raises its quarterly dividend by 3.8% from $0.26 to $0.27 per share. The company is a member of the dividend aristocrats index, and has raised distributions for 40 years in a row. Yield: 5.10%
Carlisle Companies Incorporated (CSL) manufactures construction materials in the United States and internationally. This dividend champion raised its quarterly dividend by 6.30% to 17 cents/share. This was the 34th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend champion. Yield: 2.10% (analysis)
Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW) manufactures a range of industrial products and equipment worldwide. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 9.70% to 34 cents/share. This was the 46th consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend champion. Yield: 3% (analysis)
Harleysville Group Inc. (HGIC), through its subsidiaries, engages in the property and casualty insurance business primarily in the eastern and Midwestern United States. The company increased its quarterly dividend by 11% to 36 cents/share. This dividend achiever has raised distributions for 24 consecutive years. Yield: 4.70%
Aqua America, Inc. (WTR), through its subsidiaries, operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States. Aqua America’s Board of Directors announced a 6.90% increase in the company’s quarterly dividend to 15.50 cents/share. This dividend achiever has raised distributions for 19 years in a row. Yield: 3.10%
Murphy Oil Corporation (MUR) engages in the exploration and production of oil and gas properties worldwide. It explores for and produces crude oil, natural gas, natural gas liquids, condensate, and synthetic oil. Murphy Oil raised its quarterly dividend payment by 10% from $0.25 to $0.275 per share. The company, which is a member of the dividend achievers index, has raised its annual dividend since 2000. Yield: 2%
Acme United Corporation (ACU) produces and sells cutting devices, measuring instruments, and safety products for school, office, home, hardware, and industrial use in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. Acme United Corporation increased its quarterly dividend by 20% to 6 cents/share. The company has raised dividends for 5 consecutive years. Yield: 2.40%
Monsanto Company (MON), together with its subsidiaries, provides agricultural products for farmers in the United States and internationally. Monsanto Company increased in the quarterly dividend on its common shares from $0.265 cents per share to $0.28 per share. The company has raised annual dividends since 2002. Yield 1.90%
Delphi Financial Group, Inc. (DFG), together with its subsidiaries, provides integrated employee benefit services. Delphi Financial Group, Inc. increased its quarterly dividend by 10% to 11 cents/share. The company has raised annual dividends since 2002. Yield: 1.70%
Microchip Technology Incorporated (MCHP), together with its subsidiaries, develops and manufactures semiconductor products for various embedded control applications. Microchip, Inc. (MCHP) increased its Quarterly dividend to $0.34/share. The company has consistently raised distributions since 2003. Yield: 4.40%
W&T Offshore, Inc.(WTI), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the acquisition, exploitation, exploration, production, and development of oil and natural gas properties in the Gulf of Mexico. W Offshore, Inc increased the regular cash quarterly dividend to $0.04 per share from $0.03 per share. This was the first dividend increase since 2006. Yield: 1.60%
Atrion Corporation (ATRI) develops and manufactures ophthalmology, cardiovascular, and fluid delivery devices primarily for medical applications in the United States and internationally. Atrion Corporation announced an increase in its quarterly cash dividend from $0.36 per share to $0.42 per share. The company has consistently raised dividends since 2004. Yield: 1.20%
STERIS Corporation (STE) develops, manufactures, and markets infection prevention, contamination control, microbial reduction, and surgical support products and services to healthcare, pharmaceutical, scientific, research, industrial, and governmental customers worldwide. Steris’s Board of Directors has authorized a four cent increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.15 per common share. The company has consistently raised annual dividends since 2005. Yield: 1.90%
Euroseas Ltd. (ESEA), together with and subsidiaries, provides ocean-going transportation services worldwide. Euroseas increased its quarterly dividend by 20% to 6 cents/share. Yield: 6.80%
NuStar GP Holdings, LLC (NSH) owns general partner and limited partner interests in NuStar Energy L.P. that engages in the terminalling and storage of petroleum products, transportation of petroleum products and anhydrous ammonia, and marketing of asphalt and fuels. NuStar GP Holdings, LLC increased its quarterly distribution to 46 cents/unit, which was 2.20% higher than last quarter’s rate of distribution. The company has consistently raised distributions since 2007. Yield: 6%
Buckeye GP Holdings L.P. (BGH), through its interest in Buckeye Partners, L.P., primarily operates refined petroleum products pipeline systems in the United States. Buckeye GP Holdings L.P. raised its quarterly cash distribution to 45 cents/unit, which represents an increase in the quarterly distribution rate of 4.7 percent compared to the most recent cash distribution of $0.43 paid in May 2010 and an increase of 21.6 percent compared to the quarterly cash distribution of $0.37 paid with respect to the second quarter of 2009. This master limited partnership has raised distributions every quarter since 2007 and yields 4.20%.
PetMed Express, Inc. (PETS), doing business as 1-800-PetMeds, markets prescription and non-prescription pet medications; and other health products for dogs, cats, and horses direct to the consumer in the United States. PetMed Express, Inc. raised its quarterly distribution by 25% to 12.50 cents/share. Yield: 3.10%
Nationwide Health Properties, Inc. (NHP) operates as a real estate investment trust (REIT) that invests primarily in healthcare-related senior housing and long-term care facilities in the United States. Nationwide Health Properties, Inc. raised its quarterly dividend by 2.20% to 46 cents/share. Yield: 4.80%
Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (BR) provides technology-based solutions to the financial services industry in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Broadridge Financial Solutions, Inc. (BR) announced that its Board of Directors has approved a 7% increase in its quarterly cash dividend of $0.15 per share. Yield: 2.90%
EXCO Resources, Inc. (XCO), an independent oil and natural gas company, engages in the exploration, exploitation, development, and production of onshore North American oil and natural gas properties. EXCO Resources, Inc. (XCO) declared a third quarter cash dividend of $0.04 per share, a $0.01 per share (33%) increase from the previous quarterly rate of $0.03 per share. Yield: 1%
Chemed Corporation (CHE), through its subsidiaries, provides hospice care, and repair and maintenance services in the United States. The company raised its quarterly distribution by 16.70% to 14 cents/share. This was the second consecutive dividend increase since 2009. Yield: 1.10%
CMS Energy Corporation (CMS), through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company primarily in Michigan. It operates in three segments: Electric Utility, Gas Utility, and Enterprises. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 40% to 21 cents/share. The company has raised dividends since 2008. Before you get excited about this increase however, it is important to notice that CMS Energy suspended its dividend for a 4 year period between 2003 and 2007. Yield: 5%
BCE Inc. (BCE) provides a suite of communication services to residential and business customers primarily in Canada. BCE increased annual dividend by 5% to $1.83 per year. Yield: 5.80%
Full Disclosure: Long DOV and ITW
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