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Friday, July 23, 2010

* 15 Dividend Stocks Defending Shareholder Returns

Dividend stocks are sometimes referred to as defensive stocks since many investors flee to them in an economic downturn. Their dividends, if sustainable, provide a minimum level of positive return. This cushions the downward pressure from the market. Better yet, great dividend companies not only sustain their dividends in a downturn - they actually raise them.

Below are several stocks displaying confidence in the future by increasing their cash dividends:

Stanley Black & Decker (SWK) is a diversified global provider of hand tools, power tools and related accessories and systems. The company is a result of the the March 2010 merger of StanleyWorks and Black & Decker. July 16th the company increased its quarterly dividend 3% to $0.34/share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 21 to shareholders of record on Sept. 3. The ex-dividend date is September 1. SWK is a Dividend Aristocrat and has raised its dividend for 43 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 2.58%.

Ryder System (R) provides truck leasing and rental, logistics and supply chain management solutions. July 16th the company raised its quarterly dividend to $0.27/share. The dividend is payable on September 17, 2010, to shareholders of record on August 23, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.60%.

Digital Realty Trust (DLR) is a REIT specializing in the ownership, acquisition, development, redevelopment, and management of technology-related properties. July 20th the company raised its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.53/share. The dividend is payable on September 30, 2010, to common stockholders of record as of the close of business on September 15, 2010, with an ex-dividend date of September 13, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 3.44%.

Lindsay Corp. (LNN) designs, makes and markets center pivot and lateral move irrigation systems. It also produces crash cushions, specialty barriers and diameter tubing, and offers outsource manufacturing. July 20th the company raised its quarterly dividend 6% to $0.085/share. The dividend is payable August 31, 2010, to shareholders of record on August 17, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 13, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.02%.

Western Gas Partners (WES) engages in the business of gathering, compressing, treating and transporting natural gas for its ultimate parent, Anadarko Petroleum Corp., and others. July 20th the partnership increased its quarterly distribution 3% to $0.35/unit. The distribution is payable on August 13, 2010 to unitholders of record at the close of business on July 30, 2010. The ex-distribution date is July 28, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.88%.

El Paso Pipeline Partners (EPB) owns and operates natural gas transportation pipelines and storage assets. July 20th the partnership raised its quarterly distribution 5% to $0.40/unit. The distribution will be paid August 13, 2010 on all outstanding common and subordinated units to holders of record as of the close of business on July 30, 2010. The ex-dividend date is July 28, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.17%.

Applied Industrial Technologies (AIT) is a North American distributor of industrial products and provides fluid power, mechanical, and rubber shop services. July 20th the company raised its quarterly dividend 13% to $0.17/share. The dividend is a payable on August 31, 2010, to shareholders of record on August 16, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 12, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.55%.

AptarGroup, Inc. (ATR) designs, manufactures, and sells consumer product dispensing systems for the personal care, fragrance/cosmetic, pharmaceutical, household, and food/beverage markets. July 20th the company raised its quarterly dividend 20% to $0.18/share. The dividend is payable August 24, 2010 to shareholders of record as of August 3, 2010. The ex-dividend date is July 30, 2010. ATR is a Dividend Achiever and has raised its dividend for 16 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 1.79%.

Airgas (ARG) is a leading distributor of industrial, medical, and specialty gases and related equipment also distributes safety and other disposable supplies through its network of stores. July 21st the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.25/share. The yield based on the new payout is 1.54%.

Vanguard Natural Resources (VNR) acquires and develops natural gas and oil properties in the Appalachian Basin, primarily in Kentucky and Tennessee, and in Texas and New Mexico in the Permian Basin. July 21st the company raised its quarterly distribution 4.8% to $0.55/unit. The distribution will be payable on August 13, 2010 to unitholders of record on August 6, 2010. The ex-distribution date is August 4, 2010. Yield on the distribution is 9.1%. The yield based on the new payout is 8.98%.

Eaton (ETN) is a diversified industrial manufacturer of products including electrical systems and components for power management, truck transmissions and fluid power systems, and services for industrial, mobile and aircraft equipment.
July 21st the company increased its quarterly dividend 16% to $0.58/share. The dividend is payable on August 27, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 9, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 5, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 3.17%.

Westfield Financial Inc. (WFD) provides various banking products and services to businesses and individuals in Massachusetts. July 21st the company raised its quarterly dividend 20% to $0.06/share. The dividend is payable on August 18, 2010 to all shareholders of record on August 4, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 2, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.97%.

Starbucks Corp. (SBUX) is the leading coffee roaster and retailer of high-quality coffee products in the world, which it sells through its approximately 16,700 retail stores globally, as well as increasingly through multiple retail channels. July 21st the company increases its quarterly dividend 30% to $0.13/share. The dividend is payable on August 20, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 4, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 2, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.07%.

Navios Maritime Partners (NMM) owns and operates drybulk carriers in Greece. July 22nd the partnership raised its quarterly distribution 1.2% to $0.42/unit. The distribution is payable on August 12, 2010 to unit holders of record as of August 9, 2010. The ex-distribution date is August 5, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 9.45%.

Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) transports natural gas through interstate pipeline systems, and stores natural gas in underground facilities in the United States. July 22nd the partnership increased its quarterly dividend 2.4% to $0.43/unit. The distribution is payable on August 13, 2010, to unitholders of record at the close of business on August 3, 2010. The ex-distribution date is July 30, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 4.80%.

Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends; it is not a list of recommend buys. As always, due diligence should be performed before buying or selling any stock. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see this list.

Full Disclosure: No position in the aforementioned stocks. See a list of all my income holdings here.

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(Photo Credit)
Tags: [AIT] [ARG] [ATR] [DLR] [EPB] [ETN] [LNN] [NMM] [R] [SBUX] [SEP] [SWK] [VRN] [WES] [WFD]

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