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Friday, August 6, 2010

* 3 Signs of an Impending Dividend Cut

Most investors are not surprised when a company cuts its dividend. They saw the early warning signs well in advance of the actual cut. Here are three signs that a company is heading toward a dividend cut:


1.) An abrupt or permanent shift in a company’s business model as a result of business conditions.
2.) A dividend yield that is higher than average and/or higher than others in the industry.
3.) Diminishing cash available to pay dividends.

Ultimately, the ability of a company to pay its dividend is determined by its cash position – both cash on its balance sheet and its ability to generate cash flow. Below are several companies that are NOT cutting their dividends, but instead raising them:

BreitBurn Energy (BBEP) explores and develops oil & gas properties in U.S. July 30th the company increased its quarterly distribution 2% to $0.3825/unit. The distribution is payable on August 13, 2010 to the record holders of common units at the close of business on August 9, 2010. The ex-distribution date is August 5, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 9.40%.

American Water (AWK) provides water, wastewater and other water-related services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the United States and Canada. July 30th the company raised its quarterly dividend 5% to $0.22/share. The quarterly dividend is payable on September 1, 2010 to all shareholders of record as of August 18, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 16, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 4.08%.

Donaldson Co. (DCI) operates as a worldwide manufacturer of filtration systems and replacement parts. July 30th the company increased its quarterly dividend 4% to $0.125/share. The dividend is payable September 10th to shareholders of record as of August 20, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 18, 2010. DCI is a Dividend Achiever and has raised its dividend for 23 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 1.07%.

NuStar GP Holdings, LLC (NSH) owns the 2% general partner interest, a 16.7% limited partner interest, and the incentive distribution rights in NuStar Energy L.P. August 2nd the partnership raised its quarterly distribution 2% to $0.46/unit. The distribution is payable on August 18, 2010, to holders of record as of August 6, 2010. The ex-distribution date is August 16, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.98%.

PetMed Express (PETS) markets prescription and non-prescription pet medications and other health products for dogs, cats, and horses directly to the consumer. August 2nd the company raised its quarterly dividend 25% to $0.125/share. The dividend is payable on August 27, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 13, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 11, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 3.11%.

Herbalife (HLF) sells weight-management, nutritional supplement, and personal care products. August 2nd the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.25/share. The yield based on the new payout is 1.91%.

W&T Offshore (WTI) is focused on exploring and developing hydrocarbon resources in the Gulf of Mexico, primarily in the deep shelf and deepwater. August 2nd the company raised its quarterly dividend to $0.04/share. The dividend is payable on September 10, 2010, to the shareholders of record on August 20, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.68%.

Steris (STE) develops, manufactures and markets infection prevention, contamination control, microbial reduction, and surgical and critical care support products and services. August 3rd the company increased its quarterly dividend 36% to $0.15/share. The dividend is payable September 21, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 24, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 20, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.88%.

Euroseas (ESEA) provides ocean-going transportation services worldwide. It owns and operates drybulk carriers that transport iron ore, coal, grains, bauxite, phosphate and fertilizers. August 3rd the company raised its quarterly dividend 20% to $0.06/share. The dividend is payable on September 03, 2010 to all shareholders of record as of August 25, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 23, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 5.60%.

Nationwide Health Properties (NHP) invests in senior housing facilities, long-term care facilities and medical office buildings. August 3rd the company increased its quarterly dividend 2.2% to $0.46/share. The dividend is payable on September 3, 2010 to stockholders of record on August 20, 2010, with an ex-dividend date of August 18, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 4.81%.

Broadridge Financial (BR) provides technology-based outsourcing solutions to the financial services industry. August 3rd the REIT raised its quarterly dividend 7% to $0.15/share. The dividend is payable on October 1, 2010, to stockholders of record at the close of business on September 15, 2010. The ex-dividend date is September 13, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.92%.

Atrion Corp. (ATRI) designs, develops, manufactures, markets, sells and distributes various products and components, primarily for the medical and health care industry. August 3rd the company increased its quarterly dividend 16.7% to $0.42/share. The dividend is payable on September 30, 2010 to stockholders of record at the close of business on September 15, 2010. The ex-dividend is September 13, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.68%.

Acme United (ACU) supplies cutting, measuring, and safety products to the school, home, office, and industrial markets in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia. August 4th the company raised its quarterly dividend 20% to $0.06/share. The dividend is payable on October 21, 2010 to stockholders of record on the close of business on October 1, 2010, with an ex-dividend date of September 30, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 2.30%.

Murphy Oil (MUR) has exploration and production interests worldwide, and refining and marketing operations in the U.S. August 4th the company increased its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.275/share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 1 to shareholders of record on August 16. The ex-dividend date is August 12. MUR is a Dividend Achiever and has raised its dividend for 14 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 1.94%.

Leggett & Platt (LEG) makes a broad line of bedding and furniture components and other home, office and commercial furnishings, as well as diversified products for non-furnishings markets. August 4th the company raised its quarterly dividend 3.8% to $0.27/share. The dividend is payable on October 15 to shareholders of record on September 15. The ex-dividend date is September 13. LEG is a Dividend Aristocrat and has raised its dividend for 39 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 5.08%.

Monsanto (MON) is a global provider of agricultural products and integrated solutions for farmers. August 4th the company raised its quarterly dividend 5.7% to $0.28/share. The dividend is payable on October 29, 2010 to shareholders of record on October 8, 2010. The ex-dividend date is October 6, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.88%.

Delphi Financial Group (DFG) provides a diverse portfolio of employee benefit products to customers across the U.S. August 5th the company increased its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.11/share. The dividend is payable on September 1, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on August 18, 2010, with an ex-dividend date of August 16, 2010. The yield based on the new payout is 1.71%.

Dover Corp. (DOV) manufactures a broad range of specialized industrial products and sophisticated manufacturing equipment. August 5th the company raised its quarterly dividend 6% to $0.275/share. The dividend is payable September 15, 2010 to shareholders of record as of August 31, 2010. The ex-dividend date is August 7, 2010. DOV is a Dividend Aristocrat and has raised its dividend for 55 consecutive years. The yield based on the new payout is 2.24%.

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: Long LEG. See a list of all my income holdings here.

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- The 2010 Dividend Stock Ideas List
(Photo Credit)

Tags: [ACU] [ATRI] [AWK] [BBEP] [BR] [DCI] [DFG] [DOV] [ESEA] [HLF] [LEG] [MON] [MUR] [NHP] [NSH] [PETS] [STE] [WTI]

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