December 15th, 2015

Dividend Stocks: 25 New Increases for Yield Seekers By Diane Alter

As markets enter a seasonal period with a reputation as being sluggish for equities, dividend stocks can add some oomph to portfolios. Providing income and stability, dividend-paying stocks help buffer market volatility, deliver yield, and offer potential for capital appreciation. Some 68 companies hiked dividends last week, including three Dow Jones components and four notable financial firms. The post Dividend Stocks: 25 New Increases for Yield Seekers appeared first on Money Morning - Only the News You Can Profit From .

As markets enter a seasonal period with a reputation as being sluggish for equities,
dividend stocks can add some oomph to portfolios.

Dividend Stocks Providing income and stability, dividend-paying stocks help buffer market volatility, deliver yield in a low-interest-rate environment, and offer potential for capital appreciation.

Since 1926, dividends have represented more than 40% of the S&P 500 Index's return, according to Ned Davis Research. Moreover, from 2000-2009, the broad-based benchmark's total return of negative 9% would have been a heftier negative 24% had it not been for the 15% contributions from dividends, according to a May 2013 report from Goldman Sachs.

Some 68 companies hiked their dividends last week, including three Dow Jones Industrial Average components and four notable financial firms.

Following are 25 noteworthy dividend stocks that increased payouts in the week ending May 2.

Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Boosted Payouts

Airgas Inc. (NYSE: ARG) upped its quarterly dividend $0.07 to $0.55 per share for a 1.82% yield.

American Water Works Co. Inc. (NYSE: AWK) raised its quarterly dividend $0.03 to $0.30 a share for a 2.7% yield.

Ameriprise Financial Inc. (NYSE: AMP) increased its quarterly payout 11.5% to $0.58 a share for a 2.07% yield. Spun off from American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) in September 2005, the diversified financial company has been enhancing dividends annually since splitting from its parent company.

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Aon Plc (NYSE: AON) upped its quarterly dividend 43% to $0.25 a share for a 1.18% yield.

BP Plc ADS (NYSE ADR: BP) boosted its quarterly dividend 2.6% to $0.58 per share for a 4.45% yield. It was the second increase in six months from the British oil behemoth, with more increases likely. "As well as progressive growth in the dividend per share, we expect to use surplus cash to support further distributions through share buybacks or other mechanisms," Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley said in an April 29 statement.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) raised its quarterly dividend $0.07 to $1.07 a share for a 3.43% yield. The increase from this Dow component, the second largest U.S. oil company, marks its 27th consecutive annual hike.

Costco Wholesale Corp. (Nasdaq: COST) increased its quarterly dividend 14.5% to $0.355 a share for a 1.23% yield. Payouts from this discount warehouse operator have been increasing for 10 straight years.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. (Nasdaq: CBRL) fattened its quarterly dividend a quarter to $1.00 a share for a 4.13% yield.

Deluxe Corp. (NYSE: DLX) upped its quarterly dividend a nickel to $0.30 a share for a 2.17% yield.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) boosted its quarterly dividend $0.06 to $0.69 a share for a 2.71% yield. This Dow member, the second largest publicly traded company by market cap behind only Apple Inc. (Nasdaq: AAPL), has been paying uninterrupted dividends since 1882.

Humana Inc. (NYSE: HUM) hiked its quarterly dividend a penny to $0.28 a share for a 1.3% yield.

International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE: IBM) increased its quarterly dividend $0.15 to $1.10 a share for a 2.3% yield. The boost was Big Blue's 19th straight annual increase, as well as its 11th consecutive double-digit boost. Since the start of 2000, this Dow component has hiked distributions some 800% and doubled it over the last five years.

Invesco Ltd. (NYSE: IVZ) grew its quarterly distribution 11% to $0.25 a share for a 2.78% yield.

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JMP Group Inc. (NYSE: JMP) goosed its quarterly payout 11.1% to $0.05 a share for a near 3% yield. It was the third increase from the investment banking firm in as many quarters. The hike restores the company's payout to the level held in March 2009, before it was slashed to a penny per share.

Jones Lang LaSalle Inc. (NYSE: JLL) upped its quarterly dividend 4.5% to $0.23 a share for a 0.39% yield.

Legg Mason Inc. (NYSE: LM) hiked its quarterly payout $0.03 to $0.16 a share for a 1.37% yield. The 2008 financial crisis forced this global asset management firm to cut its $0.24 a share quarterly payout to just $0.03 in March 2009.

Manpower Group Inc. (NYSE: MAN) boosted its quarterly dividend 6.5% to $0.49 a share for a 1.2% yield.

North Europe Oil Royalty Trust (NYSE: NRT) increased its quarterly dividend $0.02 to $0.56 a share for an 8.76% yield.

Paccar Inc. (Nasdaq: PCAR) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.22 a share 1.39% yield.

Royal Dutch Shell A (NYSE: RDS.A) raised its quarterly payout $0.04 to $0.94 a share for a 4.73% yield. It was the oil giant's second dividend increase in six months.

Seadrill Partners LLC (NYSE: SDLP) sweetened its quarterly distribution 14% to $0.50 a share for a 6.52% yield.

Teva Pharmaceutical Indus. Inc. (NYSE ADR: TEVA) hiked its quarterly payout 0.7% to $0.347 a share for a 2.56% yield.

UGI Corp. (NYSE: UGI) upped its quarterly dividend 4.4% to $0.295 a share for a 2.55% yield.

Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) boosted its quarterly dividend a nickel to $0.35 a share for a 2.82% yield. The increase for Q2 of 2014 is part of the company's 2014 Capital Plan approved by the U.S. Federal Reserve in March 2014. Chairman and CEO John Stumpf said retuning more capital to shareholders remains a priority at Wells.

WW Grainger Inc. (NYSE: GWW) raised its quarterly payout $0.15 to $1.08 a share for a 1.71% yield.

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