Monday, March 19, 2012

Three Companies Boosting Distributions

Several companies raised distributions over the past week. I scanned through the list and eliminated those that have raised distributions for less than 5 consecutive years. In dividend investing I value consistency in dividend payments as well as dividend increases. After all, bills still have to be paid each month, and inflationary pressures result in increase in the overall cost of living over time. That’s why dividend companies that consistently raise distributions are essential ingredients in retiree’s portfolios.

The following three companies raised distributions over the past week:

Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. (APD) provides atmospheric gases, process and specialty gases, performance materials, equipment, and services worldwide. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 10.30% to 64 cents/share. This dividend aristocrat has raised distributions for 30 years in a row. Yield: (analysis)

Realty Income Corporation (O) engages in the acquisition and ownership of commercial retail real estate properties in the United States. The monthly dividend company raised its distributions to 14.58 cents/share. This dividend achiever has raised distributions for 18 consecutive years. Yield: 4.80% (analysis)

Xilinx, Inc. (XLNX) designs, develops, and markets programmable platforms in North America, the Asia Pacific, Europe, and Japan. The company raised its quarterly dividend by 15.80% to 22 cents/share. This dividend stock has raised distributions for 10 years in a row. Yield: 2.40%

These companies are characteristic of the trends we have witnessed in the world of dividend investing over the past several months. It has been business as usual at Air Products and Chemicals, which keeps raising distributions at a respectable pace, which it has done for three decades now.

Realty Income on the other hand has been pretty disappointing in terms of dividend increases since 2008. This is still a great accomplishment however, in relation to its peers, most of which severely cut distributions during the financial crisis. The stability in Realty Income’s distributions has attracted hordes of dividend investors, who have pushed its yield to historic lows.

Xilinx (XLNX), a former tech high-flyer from the 1990’s, seems to have undergone a complete transformation over the past decade. Many cash rich tech companies, most of which escaped the financial crisis, have enjoyed strong business growth and have adopted policies that reward shareholders with strong dividend increases.

Overall I find Realty Income to be a hold, APD to be attractively valued and Xilinx to be interesting enough to place on my list for further research.

Full Disclosure: Long APD and O

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