The market has gotten off to a strong start in 2012, and in the face of tepid retail sales, a rise in new jobless claims, and the ever-present uncertainties in Europe, stocks have been remarkably resilient. With the backdrop of this hearty market, we’ve picked up where we left off last year when it comes to companies raising dividends. Last week, we saw more big names lifting their payouts to shareholders, including several energy companies, a retail leader, and an engineered-equipment maker. Here are five companies that are increasing dividends.
Midstream oil-and-gas company Genesis Energy L.P. (NYSE:GEL) boosted its quarterly payout by 10.2%, to 44 cents per unit. The company will pay the new dividend on Feb. 14 to shareholders of record as of Feb 1. The new dividend yield, based on the Jan. 11 closing price (the day the dividend was announced) of $28.60, is 6.15%. The increased dividend represents the 26th consecutive quarter in which Genesis has increased its distribution.
Oil-and-gas transportation giant Plains All American Pipeline L.P. (NYSE:PAA) delivered a 7% increase in its dividend, to $1.025 per unit. The new distribution will be made on Feb. 14 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 3. The new dividend yield, based on the Jan. 10 closing price of $73.27, is 5.60%. The company has upped its payout in 29 of the past 31 quarters, and consecutively in each of the last 10 quarters.
Industrial engineered-equipment maker Robbins & Myers (NYSE:RBN) engineered an 11% jump in its quarterly dividend, to 5 cents per share. The new payout will be made on Feb. 17 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 20. The new dividend yield, based on the Jan. 6 closing price of $48.83, is 0.41%. The company also reported that its fiscal first-quarter profits more than doubled due to strong demand for its energy and chemical products.
Natural gas and liquefied natural gas company Targa Resources Partners L.P. (NYSE:NGLS) lifted its quarterly dividend by 3%, to 60.25 cents per unit. The new distribution will be paid on Feb. 14 to holders of record as of Jan. 23. The new dividend yield, based on the Jan. 12 closing price of $38.81, is 6.22%.
Specialty home-products retailer Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) decorated shareholders’ portfolios with a 29% increase in its quarterly payout, to 22 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid on Feb. 24 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 27. The new dividend yield, based on the Jan. 12 closing price of $34.32, is 2.56%.The company also announced a new $225 million share-buyback program.
Unfortunately for shareholders, the good dividend news also came with a not-so-good profit outlook. The company said that high marketing costs will hurt its fourth-quarter earnings. Williams-Sonoma lowered its profit forecast to $1.10-$1.15 from $1.15-$1.20, well below current forecasts for earnings of $1.19.
At the time of publication, Jim Woods held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned here.