The market may be suffering from big losses of late, but that hasn’t stopped many of Wall Street’s biggest names from upping their dividend. Last week, we saw pumped-up payouts from several high-profile companies, including the remaining superpower in retail electronics and the king of high-tech medical devices.
The lifted largess to shareholders last week was buoyed by Best Buy (NYSE: BBY), as the retailer of consumer electronics, home office products, entertainment products and appliances turned up the volume on its quarterly dividend by 7% to 16 cents per share. The new dividend is payable on Oct. 25, to shareholders of record as of Oct. 4. Best Buy also is attempting to juice up its share price by having its board authorize a $5 billion buyback program. That’s enough cash to purchase about 40% of the company’s outstanding shares.
Putting a stent in its dividend stream last week was medical-device maker Medtronic (NYSE: MDT). The company not only raised its dividend, but like Best Buy, it also authorized a stock buyback. The 8% increase in its quarterly payout to 24.25 cents per share will be paid on July 29, to shareholders of record on July 8. The company also said it added 75 million shares to its stock repurchase program. That represents approximately 7% percent of Medtronic’s outstanding shares. The company has said it’s repurchased 195 million shares over the past six years, or about $9 billion in stock.
In addition to Best Buy and Medtronic, there were five other prominent companies adding to shareholders’ pocketbooks last week. Let’s take a look at each now.
Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK): The energy behemoth turned up the rheostat on its quarterly dividend just slightly, increasing its payout to shareholders by a half-cent to 25 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Sept. 16, to shareholders of record Aug 12. The stalwart energy firm has paid dividends now for 85 consecutive years.
Fulton Financial (NASDAQ: FULT): The multi-bank holding company looked into its vault and found a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend. The new payout of 5 cents per share will be made on July 15, to shareholders of record as of July 5.
IAMGOLD Corp. (NYSE: IAG): The Canadian mineral and mining company with the funny name wasn’t laughing last week when it announced a 150% increase in its annual dividend payment. That annual payout will climb to 20 cents Canadian per share. The next semi-annual dividend payment in the amount of 10 cents Canadian per share will be paid on July 20, to shareholders of record as of July 5.
Realty Income (NYSE: O): The commercial retail real estate firm signed a new lease with shareholders last week, slightly bumping up its dividend by 0.2% to 14.48 cents per share. The new payout is scheduled to be made on July 15, to shareholders of record as of July 1. The increase, albeit slight, represents the 55th consecutive quarterly increase and the 62nd dividend increase since Realty Income went public in 1994.
UDR Inc. (NYSE: UDR): The multifamily real estate investment trust found a few pennies under the welcome mat, and they’ve decided to give some back to shareholders. The company’s board declared a regular quarterly dividend on its common stock for the second quarter of 2011 in the amount of 20 cents per share, which will be paid on Aug. 1, to shareholders of record as July 11.
At the time of publication, Jim Woods held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.