Wall Street had one of its worst weeks in years, and the capitulation selling that took root Thursday culminated with a 512-point plundering of the Dow. Nearly every sector of the market was hit that day, including commodities like oil and gold.
On Friday, the July employment report showed better-than-expected job growth, as nonfarm payrolls increased 117,000. That number easily surpassed expectations for a gain of 85,000. The unemployment rate dipped to 9.1% from 9.2% in June, and that was one of the few positives in an otherwise dismal week dominated by recession fears.
Another, almost overlooked, positive this week was the hefty number of companies increasing dividends. This week’s payout performers include one of the largest gold mining concerns, the premier agricultural chemicals company, and the company that rakes in a little profit for itself every time an options trade is executed. The following are nine companies increasing dividends in this memorable week of tumultuous trading.
Boardwalk Pipeline Partners L.P.
Natural gas limited partnership Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE:BWP) turned up the heat on its quarterly cash distribution to 52.5 cents per unit. The new distribution, announced Aug. 1, is payable on Aug. 18 to unitholders of record as of Aug. 11. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 1 closing price of $28.55, is 7.36%. Boardwalk’s distribution increase came even as its second-quarter net income fell by two-thirds. Although the loss was due largely to absorbed accounting charges and other expenses, Boardwalk earned just $15.2 million, or 7 cents per common unit, down from $54.4 million, or 28 cents per unit, during the same period last year. Analysts had expected net income of 32 cents per unit.