It was another extremely news-driven week in the markets, one that included the beginning of the latest European Union leaders’ summit and news that JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) may have sustained even bigger trading losses than it had initially announced — as high as $9 billion.
Of course, the biggest news this week was the Supreme Court’s decision to uphold “Obamacare” as constitutional. Amid the slew of huge headlines, it was easy to miss the fact that some very big corporate names announced plans to boost shareholder payouts. Here are seven companies that made it onto our Companies Increasing Dividends list this week::
Nationwide dining chain Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) served up a 16% bigger fiscal platter to its shareholders, boosting its quarterly payout to 50 cents per share. The parent company of restaurants such as Olive Garden, Red Lobster and Longhorn Steakhouse will pay the new dividend Aug. 1 to shareholders of record as of July 10. The new dividend yield, based on the June 22 closing price of $50.04 (the day the dividend was announced), is 4.00%. Darden also said it continued the buyback of its common stock, purchasing 0.4 million shares in its fiscal fourth quarter, and more than 8.2 million shares for the entire fiscal 2012.
Diversified electric and gas provider Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK) powered up a 2% increase in its quarterly payout, to 25.5 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Sept. 17 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 17. The new dividend yield, based on the June 26 closing price of $22.90, is 4.45%. Duke Energy also announced plans for a reverse 1-for-3 stock split once it completes its acquisition of Progress Energy. This was the 86th consecutive year that Duke Energy has paid a quarterly cash dividend.
Food manufacturing giant General Mills (NYSE:GIS) baked an 8% bigger payout to shareholders that came out to 33 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Aug. 1 to shareholders of record as of July 10. The new dividend yield, based on the June 26 closing price of $38.15, is 3.46%. The company also reported better-than-expected fiscal fourth-quarter earnings per share, though its revenue metric came in shy of estimates.
Book and journal publisher John Wiley & Sons (NYSE:JW-A) opened its own fiscal books and read shareholders the story of a 20% increased payout. The new quarterly dividend of 24 cents per share is payable July 19 to shareholders of record as of July 5. The new dividend yield, based on the June 22 closing price of $47.97, is 2.00%.
Medical device maker Medtronic (NYSE:MDT) fashioned a new fiscal prosthetic that was 7.2% bigger than the prior payout. The new dividend of 26 cents per share is payable July 27 to shareholders of record as of July 6. The new dividend yield, based on the June 22 closing price of $38.16, is 2.73%. Medtronic has more than doubled its dividend over the past five years.
Diversified steel and metals processing company Worthington Industries (NYSE:WOR) forged a new dividend for shareholders, increasing the strength of its payout 8.3%, to 13 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Sept. 28 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 14. The new dividend yield, based on the June 27 closing price of $17.63, is 2.95%. This marks the 179th consecutive quarter that Worthington has paid a dividend since it became a public company in 1968.
Corporate finance and investment company W.P. Carey & Co. (NYSE:WPC) moved the needle slightly higher on its quarterly distribution, increasing its payout to unitholders by 0.44%, to 56.7 cents per share. The new distribution is payable July 16 to shareholders of record as of July 2. The new dividend yield, based on the June 22 closing price of $46.24, is 4.91%. This is the company’s 45th consecutive distribution increase.
At the time of publication, Jim Woods held positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. For more payout winners, see previous weeks’ lists of Companies Increasing Dividends.