Monday, February 22, 2010

Four notable dividend increases

Three well-known dividend aristocrats raised dividends last week. The companies include Coca-Cola (KO), Abbott Labs (ABT) and Sherwin-Williams (SHW). Another promising dividend raiser included Swiss Company Nestle (NSRGY). In dividend investing it is important not only to concentrate on companies with solid competitive advantages, but also ones which grow earnings and dividends along the line.

The Coca-Cola Company (KO) manufactures, distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverage concentrates and syrups worldwide. The company’s board of directors recently approved the Company's 48th consecutive annual dividend increase, raising the quarterly dividend approximately 7 percent from $0.41 to $0.44/share. This dividend aristocrat currently yields 3.20%. (analysis)

Abbott Laboratories (ABT) manufactures and sells health care products worldwide. The company’s board of directors increased its quarterly dividend by 10% to 44 cents/share. This marks the 38th consecutive year that Abbott has increased its dividend. This dividend aristocrat currently yields 3.20%. (analysis)

Nestle (NSRGY) engages in the nutrition, health and wellness sectors. The company is proposing a dividend increase of 14.3% to CHF 1.60/share ($1.477). This international dividend achiever has raised distributions each year since 1997. The stock currently yields 3%.

The Sherwin-Williams Company (SHW) engages in the development, manufacture, distribution, and sale of paints, coatings, and related products. The company boosted its quarterly dividend by 1.40% to 36 cents/share. This marks the thirty-second consecutive annual dividend increase for this dividend aristocrat. The stock currently yields 2.20%.(analysis)

Of the four stocks mentioned, Coca-Cola (KO) and Abbott Labs (ABT) are attractively valued at the moment. Sherwin-Williams (SHW) not only has a low current yield but also the last two dividend increases have been disappointing, making the stock a hold. Nestle (NSRGY) does look like a promising candidate for addition to a dividend growth portfolio, since it would also bring in some international diversification. I would place it on my list for further research.

Full Disclosure: Long ABT and KO

Relevant Articles:

- Coca Cola (KO) Dividend Stock Analysis
- Abbott Labs (ABT) Dividend Stock Analysis
- Dividend Aristocrats List for 2010

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