It’s been another busy week for dividend growth. A number of blue chip stocks saw dividend increases, including tech giant IBM (IBM) and retail stock Costco (COST). Forest products company International Paper (IP) also saw a quarterly dividend boost. Small cap stocks that raised dividend yields include metal products maker Valmont Industries (VMI), offshore oil driller Ensco (ESV) and regional bank Community Bank System (CBU).
This is on the heels of dividend growth last week in stocks that include Procter & Gamble (PG), Johnson and Johnson (JNJ) and Southern Company (SO). As for the recent dividend growth in stocks, here are all the details about the increases we saw on Wall Street in the last week or so:
IBM Dividend Growth
IBM (IBM), or more formally International Business Machines, announced on Tuesday, April 27, that it plans to raise its quarterly dividend by 18% to 65 cents per share. That will bump the high dividend yield of IBM to a 2% annualized rate and makes it 15 years in a row that the tech company has increased its quarterly payout. IBM Dividend growth has really become a habit.
IBM also revealed that it will buy back $8 billion worth of stock. That’s on top of the $2 billion repurchasing plan the company previously announced in March. And to top it off, IBM stock leaders said further stock buybacks could be on the table again this fall. IBM’s dividend growth and stock repurchase plans should really keep investors happy.
Costco Wholesale COST Dividend Growth
Costco Wholesale (COST), the largest U.S. warehouse club operator, saw dividend growth late last week. Costco raised its quarterly common stock dividend 14% percent to 20.5 cents per share from 18 cents previously. The dividend is payable on May 21 to shareholders of record as of May 7.
The dividend growth at Costco comes after strong COST same store sales figures for March. Specifically, Costco stores open at least a year saw a 10% increase, which was significantly better than forecasts. International same-store sales at Costco increased 28% according to the same sales report.
International Paper IP Dividend Growth
Forestry products giant International Paper Co. (IP) announced a huge boost to its dividend growth plans on Monday, April 26. Specifically, International Paper said it would raise its quarterly dividend from to 12.5 cents from 2.5 cents. The company said improvement in the company’s quarterly earnings results warranted a high dividend yield.
Separately, the blue chip paper company announced it would be buying out the Asian operations of Swedish paper and packaging company Svenska Cellulosa AB. The deal is estimated to be about $200 million.
Valmont Industries VMI Dividend Growth
On Wednesday, April 27, Valmont Industries (VMI) increased its quarterly cash dividend to 16.5 cents a share. That’s a boost of 10%. The dividend increase will take affect this summer, payable on July 15 to shareholders of record as of June 25. This dividend growth at Valmont gives the company an annual dividend rate of 66 cents per share.
Valmont is a leader in designing and manufacturing poles, towers and other structures for infrastructure companies and utilities. From local traffic signals to wireless telecommunications towers, VMI is seeing brisk business. Valmont also has a large operation that sells mechanized irrigation equipment for agriculture uses.
Ensco ESV Dividend Growth
Offshore drilling stock Ensco (ESV) reported strong earnings late last week that included earnings per share of $1.11 — topping forecasts of $1.01. Reported EPS on April 22 was $1.33, including 22 cents of earnings from discontinued operations. Thanks to these strong results, Ensco saw dividend growth with the announcement that it wil raise its quarterly payout to 35 cents a share. Annualized, the rate is $1.40 for the company.
Though not really much of a dividend stock, considering the yield for ESV stock will increase from 0.2% to 0.7%, the dividend growth is substantial. Ensco is upping the quarterly payout from 10 cents a share to 35 cents — a 250% increase to the oil stock’s dividend.
Community Bank System CBU Dividend Growth
Regional bank stock Community Bank System (CBU) reported earnings on Monday, April 26, that included quarterly net income of $14.0 million, or 42 cents a share. That was an increase of 33.8% over last year, thanks to a 7.4% increase in revenue. CBU earnings were strong, so Community Bank System boosted its dividend as a result.
Dividend growth at Community Bank System included a 9.1% increase to CBU stock quarterly payout, from 22 cents a share up to 24 cents a share. The dividend growth represents an annualized yield of 3.8% for CBUs stock. The company also approved a share repurchase program for up to one million common shares effective through December 31, 2011.
Celanese CE Dividend Growth
Celanese Corporation (CE) a leading global chemical company, announced Monday, April 26, that it will see dividend growth of 25%. CE stock increased its quarterly common stock cash dividend from 4 cents to 5 cents a share, making the annual payout 20 cents. The new dividend rate will be applicable to dividends payable in August.
Celanese Corporation makes products for consumer and industrial applications, including food preservatives and polymers for automobile and electronics manufacturers. The company is headquartered in Dallas, Texas.