It was yet another bout of huge volatility on Wall Street as stocks oscillated between über-bullish and über-bearish throughout the trading week. Hopes and fears over a European bailout deal fueled much of the back and forth among traders, as the yet-to-be-resolved issue remains a big overhang for the markets. The volatile week marks the end of a dismal third quarter that saw stocks suffer one of the worst three-month performances since the 2008 financial crisis began.
As of this writing, the Dow Jones Industrial Average was off more than 10% in Q3 while the S&P 500 was down more than 12%. Yet despite the shaky market environment, we continue to see a steady stream of companies increasing dividends. Here are five high-profile companies doing just that this week.
Consulting firm Accenture (NYSE:ACN) consulted with its board of directors and decided to raise its semi-annual cash dividend by 50% to 67.5 cents per share on its Class I common shares. The new payout will be made on Nov. 15 to shareholders of record on Oct. 11. The new dividend yield, based on the Sept. 27 closing price of $53.65 (the day Accenture announced the dividend), is 2.52%. In addition to the dividend increase, Accenture’s board approved a new $5 billion repurchase authorization, which brings its total buyback authority to $6 billion. Along with the increased payout and buyback plan, the company reported fiscal Q4 results that easily bested expectations. Accenture also increased its full-year growth and revenue forecasts.
Telecom firm Atlantic Tele-Network (NASDAQ:ATNI) — which provides telecommunications services to rural and niche markets in the United States, Bermuda and the Caribbean — rang up a penny-sized dividend increase, upping its quarterly payout to 23 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Oct. 14 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 7. The new dividend yield, based on the Sept. 29 closing stock price of $33.69, is 2.73%. The move represents the 13th consecutive annual increase in the company’s dividend.