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40 Blue Chips Increasing Dividends in Q3 2012

Hunting stability AND yield? Check out these payout-hiking heroes

IncreasingDividends 40 Blue Chips Increasing Dividends in Q3 2012If you kept your eyes on the headlines this past quarter, you wouldn’t be blamed for thinking 2012 might just be the year of the dividend. For instance:

  • “Standard & Poor’s is predicting that the S&P 500 index will pay a record total dollar amount of dividends this year.” (Investopedia)
  • “More U.S. stocks are paying dividends that exceed bond yields than any time in at least 15 years.” (Daily Crux)
  • “U.S. technology companies have pushed their dividends to the highest level on record. Computer and software makers … will pay out $45.10 in total dividends per share in the next 12 months.” (Bloomberg Businessweek)

That last point highlights one of the more interesting aspects about the stocks featured in the past quarter’s worth of Companies Increasing Dividends lists. Yes, they included traditional dividend heavyweights, like telecoms and tobacco. But they also featured technology stocks — a noticeably growing area of dividend improvement — as well as a number of financials from our friendly neighbor up north.

Also of note: Some of the top-paying components of the Dow Jones Industrial Average — the high-water market for blue-chips — hiked their payouts, too.

So, if you’re looking for large, more dependable companies that are increasingly using their cash to reward shareholders, this list of 40 blue-chip dividend stocks is a good place to start. In fact, several of the stocks listed here have yet to go ex-dividend, giving you time to get in before their first newly fattened payout.

Here’s a look at these 40 companies, including the new payout, the percentage increase, yield based on the end-of-quarter stock price, and payment and record dates:

Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF)
New Payout % increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record date
$0.175/share 3% 2.06% Sept. 11 Aug. 27
Altera Corp. (ALTR)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.10/share 25% 1.18% Sept. 4 Aug. 10
Altria (MO)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.44/share 7.3% 5.27% Oct. 10 Sept. 14

Altria (NYSE:MO) was one of two tobacco companies bolstering their payouts this quarter; its spun-off international unit, Philip Morris (NYSE:PM), was the other. Altria has been paying out dividends for 25 years now and has been steadily increasing them the whole time. Of course, its 5%-plus dividend is hardly a sign that the growth is over, and MO shares have just barely underperformed the market this year, posting respectable gains of more than 12% year-to-date.

Bank of Montreal (BMO)
new payout % increase Yield as of 10/1 payment date record date
$0.72/share 2.7% 4.94% Nov. 28 Nov. 1

Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) was one of several Canadian financials that jacked up their dividends in the course of a week earlier this quarter. Bank of Nova Scotia (NYSE:BNS), Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) and Toronto-Dominion Bank (NYSE:TD) all joined in, too, though BMO is the highest-yielding of the quartet at nearly 5%.

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.58/share 6% 4.23% Oct. 29 Oct. 2
Baxter International (BAX)
New payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.45/share 34% 2.99% Oct. 1 Sept. 7
BCE (BCE)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$2.27/share 4.6% 5.29% Oct. 15 Sept. 14
CBS (CBS)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.12/share 20% 1.23% Oct. 1 Sept. 10
Cincinnati Financial (CINF)
new payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.4075/share 12.5% 4.3% Oct. 15 Sept. 9

Cincinnati Financial (NASDAQ:CINF) is one of our Dependable Dividend Stocks – companies that have increased dividend payouts for a minimum of 25 consecutive years. Of course, CINF is far past the bare minimum, with more than 50 straight years of writing bigger checks — and its yield is a healthy 4.3%.

Cisco Systems (CSCO)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.14/share 75% 2.93% Oct. 24 Oct. 4

Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) has had a relatively weak 2012 but got back into the black for the year-to-date after announcing Street-beating fourth-quarter earnings — as well as putting a monster charge into its dividend the same day. Cisco, which started paying out a dividend only in early 2011, now yields almost 3%.

ConAgra (CAG)
new payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.25/share 4% 3.62% Dec. 4 Oct. 31
Covidien (COV)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.26/share 16% 1.75% Nov. 5 Oct. 11
Cummins (CMI)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.50/share 25% 2.17% Sept. 1 Aug. 22
Expedia (EXPE)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.13/share 44.4% 0.9% Sept. 18 Aug. 28

Travel site Expedia‘s (NASDAQ:EXPE) big-time dividend increase certainly was welcome, though the stock still yields less than 1%. And the new payout is a mere footnote compared to the stock’s performance in 2012. Expedia is the third best-performing stock in the S&P 500, having nearly doubled in just nine months!

Fastenal (FAST)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.19/share 11.8% 1.77% Aug. 24 July 27
Fifth Third Bancorp (FITB)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.10/share 25% 2.58% Oct. 18 Sept. 28
Harris (HRS)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.37/share 12% 2.89% Sept. 19 Sept. 7

Like Expedia, Harris (NYSE:HRS) — a Florida-based communications and IT firm — has had a blowout 2012, netting shareholders 40%-plus gains through the first three quarters. And like Expedia, HRS decided to share a little more wealth with investors with a 12% payout hike earlier this year. Unlike Expedia, Harris’ nearly 3% yield isn’t something to sneeze at.

J.M. Smucker (SJM)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.52/share 8% 2.41% Sept. 4 Aug. 10
Kinder Morgan (KMI)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.35/share 9% 3.94% Aug. 15 July 31
Lockheed Martin (LMT)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$1.10/share 15% 4.93% Dec. 28 Dec. 3
Marathon Petroleum (MPC)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.35/share 40% 2.56% Sept. 10 Aug. 16

How is Marathon Petroleum (NYSE:MPC) doing after being spun-off from Marathon Oil (NYSE:MRO) more than a year ago? Pretty darn good, thanks for asking! MPC shares have returned 46% since July 2011, including a 64% run year-to-date. And most recently, it boosted its quarterly dividend by a whopping 40% to yield roughly 2.5%.

McDonald’s (MCD)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.77/share 10% 3.36% Dec. 17 Dec. 3

How is McDonald’s (NYSE:MCD) doing? Well … not as well as MPC. McDonald’s dividend increase is probably one of the year’s better pieces of news for MCD investors, who have watched their shares lose more than 8% this year while the rest of the market thrives.

Microsoft (MSFT)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.23/share 15% 3.09% Dec. 13 Nov. 15

While Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is up 15% this year — good enough to rank fourth in our Top 10 Stocks for 2012 contest — there’s serious concerns about the company’s ability to rake in future gains amid a seeming decline in innovation over the years. Still, a dividend north of 3% should prove enough to entice at least a few more income investors.

Monsanto (MON)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.375/share 25% 1.65% Oct. 26 Oct. 5
Mosaic (MOS)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.25/share 400% 1.74% Aug. 16 Aug. 2

The ag sector was another thriving area for dividend improvements this quarter. Seeds and chemicals firm Monsanto (NYSE:MON), as well as Mosaic (NYSE:MOS) and Potash (NYSE:POT) — which produce phosphates, potash and other agricultural products — all hiked their payouts. But Mosaic was the belle of the dividend ball, injecting a 400% booster shot to its quarterly check.

Motorola Solutions (MSI)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.26/share 18% 2.06% Oct. 15 Sept. 14
Murphy Oil (MUR)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.3215/share 14% 2.33% Sept. 4 Aug. 17
Norfolk Southern (NSC)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.50/share 6.4% 3.14% Sept. 15 Aug. 13

It has been a pretty poor year for railroad operator Norfolk Southern (NYSE:NSC), with shares down more than 12% year-to-date. Things were looking good during the summer, as NSC staged a recovery and announced a slight increase in its dividend, but lowered guidance announced in September took NSC shares off the tracks.

ONEOK (OKE)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$0.33/share 8.2% 2.73% Aug. 15 Aug. 6
Philip Morris International (PM)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.85/share 10.4% 3.78% Oct. 11 Sept. 27

Philip Morris (NYSE:PM) continued to catch up with its higher-yielding tobacco brethren this quarter. After its latest increase, PM now is paying out 85 cents a share — an 80%-plus improvement upon its original post-spin-off dividend, resulting in a yield of almost 3.8%.

Potash (POT)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.21/share 50% 1.93% Nov. 5 Oct. 15
Royal Bank of Canada (RY)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.60/share 5% 4.21% Nov. 23 Oct. 25
Royal Caribbean (RCL)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.12/share 20% 1.59% Oct. 9 Sept. 25
Seagate Technology (STX)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.32/share 28% 4.13% Aug. 29 Aug. 14

Seagate Technology (NASDAQ:STX), a manufacturer of hard-disk drives and other memory products, also ranks among the best-performing stocks through 2012. But in addition to roughly 80% gains in 2012, STX investors also were rewarded with a plumper dividend as of August.

Stanley Black & Decker (SWK)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.49/share 20% 2.57% Sept. 18 Sept. 7
Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.77/share 7% 3.72% Oct. 31 Oct. 3
Texas Instruments (TXN)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.21/share 24% 3.05% Nov. 19 Oct. 31
Williams Cos. (WMB)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.3125/share 4% 3.57% Sept. 10 Aug. 24
Verizon (VZ)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.515/share 3% 4.52% Nov. 1 Oct. 10

Telecom giant Verizon (NYSE:VZ) didn’t do much to its dividend, ticking it up a mere 3% in the third quarter, but investors aren’t complaining. For one, Verizon is boasting market-matching 14% gains year-to-date — a nice move for a supposedly no-growth telecom stock. But more important, at 4.5%, Verizon continues to be the second-best-yielding Dow Dividend stock, outdone only by rival AT&T (NYSE:T)

Yum! Brands (YUM)
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment date Record date
$0.335/share 18% 2.02% Nov. 2 Oct. 12

Kyle Woodley is the assistant editor of InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. Follow him on Twitter at @IPKyleWoodley.


Article printed from InvestorPlace Media, http://investorplace.com/2012/10/40-blue-chips-increasing-dividends-in-q3-2012/.

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