Friday, April 17, 2009

* Procter & Gamble (PG) Increases Dividend 10%

If you closely follow the daily financial news, it is easy become jaded and start believing that there isn't any good news good news out there. Don't be confused by the noise. There are still great companies committed to generating superior returns and rewarding their shareholder ever-increasing dividends. One blue-blood aristocrat did just that this week.

On Tuesday April 14, 2009, The Procter & Gamble Company (PG) announced a 10% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.44/share. The dividend is payable on or after May 15, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 24, 2009. This dividend increase extends PG's string to 53 consecutive years. After the increase, PG's dividend yield is 3.61%. PG is focused on providing branded consumer goods products. The Company markets its products in more than 180 countries. (Analysis)

This week several other companies joined PG and rewarded their shareholders with higher cash dividends:

Anworth Mortgage Asset Corporation (ANH) increased its quarterly common stock dividend 15.4% to $0.30/share. The dividend is payable on May 19, 2009 to common stockholders of record as of the close of business on April 30, 2009. The new dividend yield is 18.18%. Anworth is a mortgage real estate investment trust which invests primarily in securities guaranteed by U.S. Government-sponsored agencies, such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae.

International Speedway Corporation (ISCA) declared an annual dividend of $0.14 per share, payable on June 30, 2009, to common stockholders of record on May 29, 2009. The dividend represents a 16.6% increase from the annual dividend of $0.12 declared last year. The new dividend yield is 0.70%. ISCA promotes motorsports activities in the U.S., and owns and/or operates major motorsports facilities.

H.B. Fuller (FUL) raised its quarterly dividend by 3% to $0.068/share. The dividend is payable on May 14, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 30, 2009. The new dividend yield is 1.55%. FUL is an international manufacturer of adhesives, sealants, coatings, paints and specialty products.

Donegal Group (DGICA) boosted its quarterly dividend by 7.1% to $0.1125/share. The dividend will be payable on May 15 to shareholders of record on May 1. The new dividend yield is 2.72%. DGICA offers personal and commercial lines of insurance to businesses and individuals in 18 Mid-Atlantic, Midwestern and Southeastern states.

Southside Bancshares (SBSI) increased its quarterly dividend by 7.7% to $0.14/share. The new dividend yield is 2.55%. Headquartered in Tyler, TX, SBSI is a community-focused financial institution that offers a range of financial services to individuals, businesses, municipal entities and non-profit organizations in the communities served by it.

It was good to see the dividend raisers return. This is a busy time of the year for dividend increases. I look forward to seeing an increase in activity over the coming weeks. For the best companies with a long string of consecutive dividend increases, see this list.

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

Tags: [ANH] [DGICA] [FUL] [ISCA] [PG]