A stock dividend, also known as a "scrip dividend", is a dividend payment made with stock instead of cash. Sometimes when companies are tight on cash, they will declare and pay a stock dividend in lieu of a cash dividend. Most shareholders feel like they are getting something. But are they really? In short, a stock dividend is nothing more than a glorified stock split. At the end of the process, the shareholder has more shares that are worth less. Like a stock split, you can not create value by issuing paper and getting nothing in exchange.
An increasing cash dividend keeps pressure on management to ensure the company is well run. If there are too many missteps, eventually the dividend will slip. Here are several stocks where management recently met the challenge by delivering real and tangible value in the form of increased cash dividends:
Graco (GGG) is a U.S.-based global producer of industrial pumps, valves, meters and accessories. December 4th the company increased its quarterly dividend 5% to $0.20/share. The dividend is payable on February 3, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on January 19, 2010. The ex-dividend date is January 15, 2009. The yield based on the new payout is 2.80%.
Brandywine Realty Trust (BDN) is a real estate investment trust that owns, manages or has ownership interests in office and industrial properties. December 8th the company raised its quarterly dividend by 50% to $0.15/share. The dividend is payable on January 20, 2010 to holders of record on January 6, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.87%.
Western Union (WU) is a leading independent provider of consumer money transfer services. December 9th the company boosted its quarterly dividend 600% to $0.06/share. The dividend is payable December 30, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 21, 2009. The ex-dividend date is December 17, 2009. The company also authorized a new $1 billion share repurchase authorization. The new $1 billion, three year share repurchase authorization is effective as of January 1, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.27%.
Valspar (VAL) manufactures and distributes a wide range of paints and coatings for architectural, industrial, packaging, automotive refinish and other markets. December 9th the company increased its quarterly dividend 7% to $0.16/share. The dividend is payable January 15, 2010 to all common stockholders of record on December 31, 2009. The ex-dividend date is December 29. VAL is a Dividend Achiever and has increased its dividend for 29 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 3.29%.
DPL Inc. (DPL) is a utility that serves more than 500,000 electric retail customers in west central Ohio. December 9th the company raised its quarterly dividend 7% to $0.3025/share. The yield based on the new payout is 4.27%.
Horace Mann (HMN) markets and underwrites personal lines of property and casualty and life insurance and retirement annuities in the U.S. December 9th the company boosted its quarterly dividend 52% to $0.08/share. The dividend is payable on December 31, 2009 to shareholders of record as of December 21, 2009. The yield based on the new payout is 2.66%.
Erie Indemnity (ERIE) provides sales, underwriting, and policy issuance services to the policyholders of Erie Insurance Exchange in the United States. December 10th the company increased its quarterly dividend $0.48/share. The dividend is payable January 20, 2010, to shareholders of record as of January 5, 2010, with a dividend ex-date of December 31, 2009. ERIE is a Dividend Achiever and has increased its dividend for 19 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 5.15%.
Edison International (EIX) is the holding company for Southern California Edison; businesses include electric power generation, financial investments, and real estate development. December 10th the company boosted its quarterly dividend 2% to $0.315/share. The dividend is payable January 31, 2010, to shareholders of record on December 31, 2009. The yield based on the new payout is 3.55%.
When a company raises its cash dividend, management is making a positive statement on their view of the future. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see this list.
Full Disclosure: No position in the aforementioned securities. See a list of all my income holdings here.
Tags: [BDN] [DPL] [EIX] [ERIE] [GGG] [HMN] [VAL] [WU]
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