Regional natural gas and energy distributor New Jersey Resources (NYSE:NJR), which operates in states from the Gulf Coast to New England, pumped up its quarterly payout by 5.6% to 38 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid on Jan. 3 to shareholders of record on Dec. 15. The new dividend yield, based on the Nov. 16 closing price of $47.17, is 3.22%.
Royal Gold Inc. (NASDAQ:RGLD) is a company that owns interest in gold and precious metals mining companies. The company buffed out its quarterly payout to shareholders by increasing the shine on its dividend by 36%. The new dividend of 15 cents per share is payable Jan. 20 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 6. The new dividend yield, based on the Nov. 16 closing price of $79.61, is 0.75%. The company currently has investment and royalty interest in 37 active precious metals mines.
Sysco Corp (NYSE:SYY) is a food distributor to restaurants and hotels, but this week it provided some fiscal nourishment to shareholders. The company increased the portion size on its quarterly payout, by a penny to 27 cents per share. The new dividend is payable on Jan. 27 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 6. The new dividend yield, based on the Nov. 16 closing price of $27.52, is 3.92%. Along with the dividend increase, Sysco said it will buy back up to 20 million of its common shares. The company said it launched the share repurchase program as part of an ongoing goal to keep the number of diluted shares outstanding relatively constant. The company has an estimated 586 million shares outstanding.
The dividend train keeps on rolling for Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) shareholders. This week, the company announced its second dividend increase this year, upping its quarterly payout by 26% to 60 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Jan. 2 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 30. The new dividend yield, based on the Nov. 17 closing price of $100.92, is 2.38%. Dividends per share in 2011 have increased a total of 58%. Union Pacific has an outstanding track record of 112 consecutive years of paying dividends.
Natural gas producer and transportation giant Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB) expanded its pipeline to shareholders, raising its quarterly dividend by 25% to 25 cents per share. The increased payout will be made on Dec. 27 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 9. The new dividend yield, based on the Nov. 17 closing price of $30.29, is 3.3%. The new dividend is double the amount paid in December 2010. The company has paid a common stock dividend every quarter since 1974.
As of this writing, Jim Woods did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. For more payout winners, see previous weeks’ lists of Companies Increasing Dividends.