Friday, May 8, 2009

* PepsiCo Sustains Its String Of Dividend Increases

Dividend investors love companies that can sustain consistent dividend growth through the good times and the bad. For three years in a row PepsiCo (PEP) has been named to the Dow Jones Sustainability Index in recognition of the company's economic, environmental and social performance.
On May 6th, PEP extended its string of dividend increases to 37 consecutive years by announcing a 6% increase in the annual dividend to $1.80/share. The quarterly dividend of $0.45 is payable June 30, 2009, to shareholders of record on June 5, 2009. PepsiCo Chairman and CEO Indra Nooyi said, "We are pleased to announce our thirty-seventh annual dividend increase, reflecting the strength of our cash flow and balance sheet. Even in this difficult economy, we are committed to return cash to our shareholders while continuing to invest in the long-term growth of our business." Based on the new rate, PEP is currently yielding 3.64%. (Analysis)

Below are several other companies, like PEP, that are returning cash to their shareholders with higher cash dividends:
  • Alcon (ACL) increases its annual dividend 39% to $3.49, yielding 3.63%
  • Spectra Energy Partners (SEP) raises its quarterly dividend 11.4% to $0.39/share, yielding 6.90%
  • Tower Group (TWGP) boosts it quarterly dividend 40% to $0.07/share, yielding 1.04%
  • Avista (AVA) bumps its quarterly dividend 16.7% to $0.21/share, yielding 5.04%
  • RLI (RLI) increases its quarterly dividend 3.8% to $0.27/share, yielding 2.30%
  • Expeditors Int'l of Washington (EXPD) raises quarterly dividend 19% to $0.19/share, yielding 2.26%
It is great to see a substantial number of companies raising their dividends and keeping alive the momentum that was started last week. For more companies with a long string of consecutive dividend increases, see this list.

Full Disclosure: Long PEP. See a list of all my income holdings here.