Monday, April 6, 2009

Dividend Stocks in the News

There were few dividend increases last week. The companies that raised their payments were WSO, EWST and MFA.

Energy West (EWST) raised its monthly dividend payment to $0.045 from $0.04. The distributor and seller of natural gas to end-use residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the United States has been consistently raising its dividends since 4Q 2005 and currently yields 6.80%.

MFA Financial (MFA) raised its quarterly dividends to $0.22/share from $0.21. The company primarily invests in mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that include hybrid and adjustable-rate MBS (ARM-MBS). The dividend is pretty volatile and despite the high current yield of 14.30%, it doesn’t seem worthy of income consideration at this moment.

Watsco (WSO), which distributes air conditioning, heating, and refrigeration equipment, raised its quarterly dividends for a 6th year in a row to $0.48/share. The 5 year average dividend growth is 36.1% annually. WSO would be an interesting addition to a dividend growth portfolio if it reaches a 10-year streak of consistent dividend increases 3 years from now. The stock currently yields 4.90%.

Despite the slow week for dividend increases, I am looking forward to a busy April, since historically some well-known dividend aristocrats tend to raise their dividends during the current month.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) has raised its dividend every April over the past five years. This dividend growth stock has been raising dividends for 46 consecutive years and has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 14.10%. (analysis)

Procter & Gamble (PG) has raised its dividends every March or April for the past four years. This dividend aristocrat has been rewarding shareholders with a rising dividend for 55 consecutive years. PG has a 5-year dividend growth rate of 10.94%. (analysis)

Exxon Mobil (XOM) has raised its dividends in April during four of the last five years. The oil giant has rewarded stockholders for 26 years with an increasing stream of dividend income. The five-year dividend growth rate for XOM is 9.49%. (analysis)

W.W. GRAINGER (GWW) is another dividend aristocrat which has increased its dividends in every in April over the past five years, while achieving an annualized dividend growth of 17.08%. GWW has a 37-year record of consecutive dividend increases. (analysis)

Full Disclosure: Long JNJ, PG, and GWW

Relevant Articles:

- Selected Dividend Increases in April

- Why do I like Dividend Aristocrats?

- Procter & Gamble (PG) Dividend Stock Analysis

- Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) Dividend Stock Analysis

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