by Jim Woods | August 5, 2011 12:25 pm
Wall Street had one of its worst weeks in years, and the capitulation selling that took root Thursday culminated with a 512-point plundering of the Dow. Nearly every sector of the market was hit that day, including commodities like oil and gold.
On Friday, the July employment report showed better-than-expected job growth, as nonfarm payrolls increased 117,000. That number easily surpassed expectations for a gain of 85,000. The unemployment rate dipped to 9.1% from 9.2% in June, and that was one of the few positives in an otherwise dismal week dominated by recession fears.
Another, almost overlooked, positive this week was the hefty number of companies increasing dividends. This week’s payout performers include one of the largest gold mining concerns, the premier agricultural chemicals company, and the company that rakes in a little profit for itself every time an options trade is executed. The following are nine companies increasing dividends in this memorable week of tumultuous trading.
Natural gas limited partnership Boardwalk Pipeline Partners (NYSE:BWP) turned up the heat on its quarterly cash distribution to 52.5 cents per unit. The new distribution, announced Aug. 1, is payable on Aug. 18 to unitholders of record as of Aug. 11. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 1 closing price of $28.55, is 7.36%. Boardwalk’s distribution increase came even as its second-quarter net income fell by two-thirds. Although the loss was due largely to absorbed accounting charges and other expenses, Boardwalk earned just $15.2 million, or 7 cents per common unit, down from $54.4 million, or 28 cents per unit, during the same period last year. Analysts had expected net income of 32 cents per unit.
Diversified manufacturing firm Carlisle Co. (NYSE:CSL) was hard at work manufacturing a 5.9% improvement in its quarterly dividend. The new payout, announced Aug. 4, has been raised to 18 cents per share from 17 cents. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 4 closing price of $36.60, is 1.97%. Carlisle’s new payout will be made on Sept. 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business Aug. 17. The dividend increase represents Carlisle’s 35th consecutive year of increasing its payout to shareholders
There’s been a huge amount of trading volume in the market this week, and that’s great news for CBOE Holdings (NASDAQ:CBOE). On Aug. 2, the holding company for the Chicago Board Options Exchange and its subsidiaries announced it would make its own trade, buying back up to $100 million of its common stock. The company also traded up on its quarterly payout to shareholders, raising its dividend by 20%. The new payout of 12 cents per share will be made Sept. 23 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 2. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 2 closing price of $22.52, is 2.13%.
Diversified industrial products manufacturer Dover Corp. (NYSE:DOV) upped its quarterly dividend by 14.5% to 31.5 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Sept. 15 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 31. Dover made the announcement Aug. 4, giving shareholders an industrial lifeline to an otherwise sullen market day. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 4 closing price of $55.17, is 2.28%.
Residential furnishings and industrial materials giant Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG) did a remodel of its quarterly dividend, upping its payout by a penny per share. The new dividend of 28 cents per share represents a 3.7% increase. The enhanced dividend is payable Oct. 14 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 15. The announcement was made Aug. 2, and based on the closing price of the shares that day of $20.26, the new dividend yield is 5.53%. This is Leggett & Platt’s 40th straight year of dividend increases.
Chemical maker LyondellBasell Industries (NYSE:LYB) mixed up a double dose of its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share from 10 cents. The new dividend will be payable Sept. 7 to shareholders of record Aug. 17. The company, which is based in the Netherlands but run out of Houston, just began paying dividends again in May after emerging from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The announcement was made Aug. 3, and the new dividend yield, based on that day’s closing price of $37.29, is 2.15%.
There’s perhaps no more well-known name in the agricultural chemical industry than Monsanto (NYSE:MON). On Aug. 3, the company distributed some fiscal fertilizer to shareholders by increasing its quarterly dividend to 30 cents per share from 28 cents. The new dividend is payable Oct. 28 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 7. Based on the closing value of the stock on Aug. 3 of $70.91, the new dividend yield is 1.69%. Monsanto’s strong recent earnings performance, driven by unit volume increase in its seeds and genomics and agricultural productivity segments, helped the company’s dividend germinate.
Medical products maker Steris (NYSE:STE) manufactures infection prevention and contamination control products, and this week the company cleaned up its quarterly payout by raising its dividend by 13%. The new payout of 17 cents per share will be made on Sept. 20 to shareholders of record Aug. 23. The company made the announcement Aug. 2, and the new dividend yield, based on closing price that day of $32.31, is 2.1%. The dividend increase came on the same day Steris said it earned $28.7 million, or 48 cents per share, in the quarter ended June 30. In the same quarter a year ago, the company lost $45.2 million, or 76 cents per share.
Mammoth mining firm Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) took advantage of the recent shine in the price of the yellow metal, as the Canada-based company reported a substantial jump in second-quarter earnings. On Aug. 3, Yamana said it earned $186.2 million, or 25 cents a share, much better than the year-ago profit of $84 million, or 12 cents a share, in the same quarter. The company distributed more of that earnings gold to shareholders as well, declaring an increase in its quarterly payout to 4.5 cents per share from 3 cents. The glittering dividend will be paid on Oct. 14 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 30. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 3 closing price of $13.77, is 1.31%.
At the time of publication, Jim Woods held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.
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