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9 Companies Increasing Dividends This Week

FedEx, Lowe’s, UnitedHealth are among top payout performers

   

The equity markets sprung back to life this week, with the big buying taking place on Wednesday. Renewed hopes of monetary stimulus from the Federal Reserve and hope for a bailout of floundering Spanish banks combined to give Wall Street its best one-day performance of the year.

In the weeks leading up to the buying spree, the market had been mired in selling, so much so that last Friday the Dow closed in the negative for the year. The Industrials are back up into positive territory after this week’s trade, but the volatility in stocks certainly now has investors scratching their heads.

Amid this renewed volatility was a small, but sturdy cadre of well-known corporate names moving to keep shareholders happy with larger payouts. Here are nine companies increasing dividends this week.

Canadian fertilizer producer Agrium (NYSE:AGU) enriched its fiscal soil, growing its semi-annual payout 81.8% to 50 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid July 12 to shareholders of record as of July 1. The new dividend yield, based on the June 7 closing price of $79.14 (the day the dividend was announced), is 1.26%.

Shipping and cargo giant FedEx (NYSE:FDX) delivered a 7.7% larger dividend package to 14 cents per share. The new payout will be made on July 2 to shareholders of record as of June 18. The new dividend yield, based on the June 4 closing price of $85.20, is 0.66%. This is the ninth time since 2002 that FedEx has boosted its dividend.

Baked-goods maker Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO) cooked up a new 7% tastier dividend to 16 cents per share. The new payout will be ready to eat on June 29 to shareholders of record as of June 15. The new dividend yield, based on the June 1 closing price of $22.86, is 2.80%.

Information-management firm Iron Mountain (NYSE:IRM) managed its fiscal affairs well enough to lift its quarterly cash dividend 8% to 27 cents per share. The new payout will be made on July 13 to shareholders of record as of June 22. The new dividend yield, based on the June 5 closing price of $28.40, is 3.80%.

Home-improvement retailer Lowe’s (NYSE:LOW) made a fiscal improvement to shareholders’ portfolios, as the company built a new 14% higher dividend to 16 cents per share. The new payout will be constructed Aug. 8 to shareholders of record as of July 25. The new dividend yield, based on the June 1 closing price of $26.46, is 2.43%.

Diversified natural gas concern National Fuel Gas (NYSE:NFG) turned up the heat on its quarterly payout by 2.8% to 36.5 cents per share. The enhanced dividend will be distributed July 13 to shareholders of record as of June 29. The new dividend yield, based on the June 7 closing price of $44.96, is 3.25%. The dividend increase marks the 42nd year the company has boosted its largess to shareholders.

Software and services provider to the auto insurance industry Solera Holdings (NYSE:SLH) paid out a new claim to shareholders, raising its quarterly dividend 25% to 12.5 cents per share. The company said it would begin making the increased payments in its 2013 fiscal year, which begins in July. The new dividend yield, based on the June 4 closing price of $42.40, is 1.18%.

Oregon-based community bank holding firm Umpqua Holdings (NASDAQ:UMPQ) made a 29% bigger deposit to shareholders’ accounts. The new dividend of 9 cents per share is payable on July 13 to owners of record as of June 29. The new dividend yield, based on the June 5 closing price of $11.89, is 3.03%.

Health insurance behemoth UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH) restructured its fiscal policy to shareholders, boosting the vitality of its payout by over 30% to 21.5 cents per share. The new payout will be made on June 22 to shareholders of record as of June 15. The new dividend yield, based on the June 6 closing price of $57.70, is 1.47%.

At the time of publication, Jim Woods was long UNH. He held no other positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/06/9-companies-increasing-dividends-this-week/.

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