One week ago, this dividend increase column covered the first-ever Cisco dividend. But networking products giant Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) isn’t the only tech giant changing its stock dividend information. This week it was database software leader Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ: ORCL). The company upped its quarterly payout to 6 cents a share from 5 cents. The new dividend will be payable May 4 to shareholders of record as of April 13.
The increased dividend came along with a stellar fourth-quarter profit that easily bested Wall Street expectations. The company, led by the inimitable Larry Ellison, said that rising demand for database software and hardware from Oracle-owned Sun Microsystems helped the software giant bring in a 37% increase in sales over the same quarter a year ago.
The company reported third quarter net income of $2.1 billion, or 41 cents per share, compared with $1.19 billion, or 23 cents per share, in the year-ago period. Excluding one-time items, adjusted profit was 54 cents per share. Analysts were expecting a profit of 50 cents per share on revenue of $8.7 billion.
Of course, Oracle wasn’t the only company that bumped its payout. Here are seven more companies increasing dividends last week.
American Greetings (NYSE: AM). The iconic greeting card company brings smiles to faces everyday, but last week it brought a smile to investors’ faces. The company upped its quarterly dividend by a penny to 15 cents per share. The new payout will be made on April 21 to shareholders of record as of April 11. American Greetings raised its quarterly dividend by 2 cents to 14 cents per share last March, and that was the first time the company had raised its dividend since 2008.
Bank of New York Mellon (NYSE: BK). The banking behemoth shared the wealth with investors following the Federal Reserve’s approval of its comprehensive capital plan, by announcing a 44% increase in its quarterly dividend. The new dividend of 13 cents per share is payable on May 10 to shareholders of record as of April 29.
Discover Financial Services (NYSE: DFS). Last week, the company reported a $465 million quarterly profit, recovering strongly from its year-earlier loss. The outstanding results prompted Discover to raise its quarterly dividend by 2 cents to 6 cents per share. The new payment will be made on April 21 to shareholders of record as of April 7.
Fifth Third Bancorp (NASDAQ: FITB). The diversified financial services company moved to please shareholders last week by upping its quarterly dividend a whopping 500% to 6 cents a share. The boosted payout is slated to be made on April 21 to shareholders of record as April 1. The increase is a positive sign for the bank, and represents a big departure from the two dividend cuts it made in 2008.
Medicis Pharmaceuticals (NYSE: MRX). The independent specialty pharmaceutical company focuses on dermatological and aesthetic treatments, and this quarter it provided a salve of sorts for dividend-dehydrated shareholders. Medicis increased its quarterly dividend 33% to 8 cents per share. The new payout will be made on April 29 to shareholders of record as of April 1.
Raytheon (NYSE: RTN). The defense contractor provides all kinds of weapons and systems necessary for modern warfare, and last week it flew a favorable financial sortie aimed at shareholders. The company increased its quarterly dividend 15% to 43 cents a share. The new fiscal payload will be delivered April 28 to shareholders of record as of April 6.
Steelcase, Inc. (NYSE: SCS). The office furniture maker announced fiscal fourth-quarter profit that topped Wall Street expectations, as sales growth and cost-cutting helped the company rebound from a year-ago loss. Steelcase also decided to furnish shareholders with a little something extra, and it did so to the tune of a 50% bump in its quarterly dividend to 6 cents per share. The new payout will be made on April 13 to shareholders of record as of April 1.
At the time of publication, Jim Woods held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.