Dividend Yield: 1.2%
Last Dividend Increase: 15%, announced April 2013
It’s been a bit of a strange dividend run for financial giant American Express (AXP). Admittedly, times were tough in 2008-09, when AmEx was paying out 18 cents per quarter. But as the economy slowly came back to life in the next couple years … AXP just kept its foot on the brake.
In fact, it wasn’t until 2012 that American Express finally starting amping up its payouts, raising it twice since then — including its April announcement of an August increase — for a total improvement of 27% in that time.
It’s hard to complain too much considering the stock boomed more than 500% out of the depths, and is about 20% better than its pre-collapse highs. Still, with $3 billion in cash and just more than $1.3 billion in free cash flow to cover what amounts to a $255 million quarterly payout — and a yield closer to 1% than 2% — American Express has some room to give here.
Marc Bastow is an Assistant Editor at InvestorPlace.com. As of this writing, he did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.