Friday, April 30, 2010

* How Often Should A Stock Pay And Raise Dividends?

In the U.S. and Canada, most companies pay dividends quarterly. In other parts of the world, it is not uncommon for companies to pay an annual or a semi-annual dividend. That is not to say that North American companies sometimes choose not to pay quarterly dividends. For many years McDonald’s (MCD) paid an annual dividend. Since 2000, Walt Disney Co. (DIS) has paid an annual dividend and Ruby Tuesday, Inc. (RT) pays a semi-annual dividend. Going in the other direction, Realty Income Corp. (O) and Alpine Total Dynamic Dividend Fund (AOD) pay monthly dividends.


Though I prefer quarterly dividends, there is something more important than frequency -- dividend increases. Below are several companies satisfying their shareholders desire for more cash by increasing their dividends:

Travelers (TRV) is a leading provider of commercial property-liability and homeowners and auto insurance. April 23rd the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.36/share. The dividend is payable June 30, 2010, to shareholders of record as of the close of business June 10, 2010. The ex-dividend date is June 8, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.85%.

Costco Wholesale (COST) operates about 565 membership warehouses in the U.S., Puerto Rico, Canada, the U.K., Taiwan, Japan, Korea, and Mexico. April 23rd the company raised its quarterly dividend 14% to $0.205/share. The dividend of $.205 per share is payable May 21, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on May 7, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 5, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.39%.

Holly Energy Partners (HEP) operates refined product pipeline and terminal facilities. April 23rd the partnership raised its quarterly distribution to $0.815/unit. The distribution will be paid May 14, 2010, to unitholders of record May 4, 2010. The ex-distribution date is April 30, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 6.98%.

International Paper (IP) is a leading worldwide producer and distributor of printing papers and packaging products. On April 26th the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.125/share. The dividend is payable June 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on May 17, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 13, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.85%.

Alliance Holdings GP, L.P. (AHGP) produces and markets coal primarily to utilities and industrial users in the U.S. It offers a range of steam coal with varying sulfur and heat contents. April 26th the partnership increased its quarterly distribution 2.8% to $0.465/unit. The distribution is payable on May 20, 2010, to AHGP’s unitholders of record as of the close of trading on May 13, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 13, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.49%.

Community Bank System (CBU) provides financial services in upstate New York, and in northeastern Pennsylvania as First Liberty Bank & Trust. April 26th the company raised its quarterly dividend 9.1% to $0.24/share. The dividend is payable on July 9, 2010, to shareholders of record as of June 15, 2010. The ex-dividend date is June 11, 2010. CBU is a Dividend Achiever and has paid a higher dividend for 17 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 3.89%.

Inergy Holdings (NRGP) operates a retail and wholesale propane supply, marketing and distribution business. April 26th the company increases its quarterly distribution 3.7% to $0.975/unit. The distribution will be paid on May 14, 2010, to unitholders of record as of May 7, 2010. The ex distribution date is May 5, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.31%.

EarthLink (ELNK) is one of the largest U.S. Internet service providers, based on paying subscribers. April 27th the company increases it quarterly dividend to $0.16/share. This increase will be reflected in the next quarterly dividend to be paid on June 28, 2010 to shareholders of record on June 14, 2010. The ex-dividend date is June 12, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 6.88%.

Williams Partners (WPZ) engages in gathering, transporting, processing, and treating natural gas, as well as fractionating and storing natural gas liquids. April 27th the company increases its quarterly distribution 3.5% to $0.66/unit. The distribution is payable on May 14, 2010, to unitholders of record at the close of business on May 7, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 6.31%.

IBM (IBM) products and services include information technology services, software, computer hardware equipment, fundamental research, and related financing. April 27th the company raised its quarterly dividend 18% to $0.65/share. The dividend is payable June 10, 2010 to stockholders of record May 10, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 6, 2010. This is the 15th year in a row that IBM has increased its quarterly cash dividend, and 7th year in a row of double-digit percent increases. With the payment of the June 10th dividend, this Dividend Achiever will have paid consecutive quarterly dividends every year since 1916. The yield based on the new payout is 2.02%.

Sunoco Logistics Partners LP (SXL) owns and operates a group of refined product and crude oil pipelines and terminal facilities. April 27th the company increases its quarterly distribution 2.3% to $1.11/unit. The yield based on the new payout is 6.54%.

WW Grainger (GWW) is the largest global distributor of industrial and commercial supplies such as hand tools, electric motors, light bulbs and janitorial items. April 28th the company raised its quarterly dividend 17% to $0.54/share. April 28th the company raised its quarterly dividend 17% to $0.54/share. The dividend is payable on June 1 to shareholders of record on May 10. The ex-dividend date is May 6. GWW is a Dividend Aristocrat and has paid a higher dividend for 39 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 1.99%. See recent analysis.

Exxon (XOM) is the world's largest publicly owned integrated oil company. April 28th the company raised its quarterly dividend 4.8% to $0.44/share. The dividend is payable on June 10, 2010 to shareholders of record of Common Stock at the close of business on May 13, 2010. XOM is a Dividend Aristocrat and has paid a higher dividend for 28 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 2.54%.

Chevron (CVX) is a global integrated oil company that has interests in exploration, production, refining and marketing, and petrochemicals. April 28th the company increased its quarterly dividend 5.9% to $0.72/share. The dividend is payable June 10, 2010, to holders of common stock as shown on the transfer records of the Corporation at the close of business on May 19, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 17. The amount represents a 5.9 percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend. CVX is a Dividend Achiever and has paid a higher dividend for 23 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 3.37%.

Sturm, Ruger & Co. (RGR) designs, manufactures, and sells firearms to domestic customers; it offers products in four industry product categories: rifles, shotguns, pistols, and revolvers. April 28th the company raised its quarterly dividend 55% to $0.093/share. The dividend will be paid on May 28, 2010 to stockholders of record as of May 14, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 12, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.16%.

TransAlta Corp. (TAC) is an independent power producer and wholesale marketing company owns a portfolio of generation assets in Canada, the United States, Mexico, and Australia. April 29th the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.29/share. The dividend is payable July 1, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business June 1, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 28, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.59%.

Cullen/Frost Bankers (CFR) is the largest multi-bank holding company headquartered in Texas, has more than 80 offices in various cities in the state. April 29th the company increases its quarterly dividend 4.7% to $0.45/share. The dividend is payable June 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on June 1, 2010. The ex-dividend date is May 28, 2010. CFR is a Dividend Achiever and has paid a higher dividend for 16 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 3.02%.

Duff & Phelps (DUF) is an independent financial advisory company operates worldwide in two segments, Financial Advisory and Investment Banking. April 29th the company raised its quarterly dividend by 20% to $0.06/share. The yield based on the new payout is 1.50%.

Frequency of dividends increases is one of the most important things to consider when adopting a dividend growth investment strategy. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see this list.

Full Disclosure: Long MCD, AOD, CVX, O, PG, JNJ. See a list of all my income holdings here.
(Photo Credit)

Tags: [AHGP] [AOD] [CBU] [CFR] [COST] [CVX] [DIS] [DUF] [ELNK] [GWW] [HEP] [IBM] [IP] [MCD] [NRGP] [O] [RGR] [RT] [SXL] [TAC] [TRV] [WPZ] [XOM]

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