Friday, March 27, 2009

* Champion Dividend Stocks

There are winners and there are champions in every walk of life. The difference is subtle, but very real. A champion is driven for success and will not let anything stand in its way. Some dividend stocks can be classified as champions. A bad economy, tight credit markets and a dark cloud of uncertainty are enough send some dividend companies running for the exit. However, these are the times that champions stand firm.

This week a few companies answered the call and rewarded their shareholders with higher cash dividends:

Hatteras Financial Corp. (HTS) increased its quarterly dividend to $1.05/share for the first quarter of 2009. The dividend will be paid on April 24, 2009, to stockholders of record on April 3, 2009, with an ex-dividend date of April 1, 2009. “We are pleased to announce an increased dividend, which corresponds to the completion of our 2009 first quarter,” said Michael R. Hough, the Chief Executive Officer of Hatteras. The new dividend yield is 17.84%. HTS is an externally managed mortgage real estate investment trust (REIT) formed to invest in adjustable-rate and hybrid adjustable-rate single-family residential mortgage pass-through securities guaranteed or issued by a United States Government agency.

Raytheon (RTN) raised its quarterly dividend by 11% to $0.31/share. The dividend is payable on May 1, 2009 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 7, 2009. The new dividend yield is over 3%. RTN is the world's fifth largest military contractor, specializes in making high-tech missiles and electronics.

Pepsi Bottling Group (PBG) increased its quarterly dividend by 5.8% to $0.18/share. The dividend will be paid on June 30, 2009 to all PBG shareholders of record as of June 6, 2009. The new dividend yield is over 3%. PBG is the world's largest manufacturer, seller and distributor of carbonated and non-carbonated Pepsi-Cola beverages.

The dividend raisers continue to be outnumbered by the slashers, but raisers are still there, if you look for them. For more companies around the world with a long string of consecutive dividend increases, see my updated Stock Ideas page.

Full Disclosure: No position in any of the aforementioned securities.

Tags: [HTS] [PBG] [RTN]