by Jim Woods | August 12, 2011 12:37 pm
If you missed the news that a number of companies increased dividends this week, then you’re probably not alone. In a week dominated by headlines of 400-plus point Dow swings each day, it’s quite understandable if news of a half-dozen payout increases failed to hit the radar screen. But amid the wild volatility on Wall Street, Main Street companies continue making money, and they continue to dish out dividends to shareholders.
This week’s pack of payout performers come from a host of different industries, including big media, big mining, big financial — and even one straight from the garden. The diversity we see with companies increasing dividends this week shows there always are multiple ways for investors to get continue getting paid even when there’s stomach-churning volatility going on in the major market indices. The following are six companies increasing dividends amid the wild and wooly Wall Street ride:
The supplier of cutting, safety and measuring products, Acme United Corp. (AMEX:ACU) measured up a 17% increase to its quarterly dividend, upping its payout to 7 cents per share. The new dividend yield, based on the stock’s closing price of $9.31 on Aug. 10, is 3.01%. The new dividend is payable Oct. 24 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 3. The dividend increase was the sixth such move by Acme since 2004, and the increase comes a few weeks after the company reported a 17% bump in net sales during the previous quarter.
The provider of technology services for financial institutions, Broadridge Financial Solutions (NYSE:BR), programmed a 7% increase in its quarterly dividend, raising its payout to 16 cents per share from 15 cents. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 11 closing price of $20.93, is 3.06%. On that day, Broadridge also reported earnings results for its fiscal fourth quarter. The company said it saw revenues of $2.167 billion, and net earnings from continuing operations of $172 million. Diluted earnings per share from continuing operations were $1.34, which excludes a $6 million charge from costs associated with its IBM data center migration. The new dividend is payable on Oct. 3 to shareholders of record on Sept. 15.
Canadian-based mining giant Kinross Gold (NYSE:KGC) more than doubled its quarterly profit in the second quarter, as the glitter in gold bullion prices helped boost the company’s bottom line. Kinross saw gold production rise nearly 26% to 676,245 ounces, while revenue rose 42% to $987.8 million. The shiny quarter prompted Kinross to raise its semi-annual dividend payout by a penny per share to 6 cents. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 10 closing price of $16.26, is 0.74%. The new dividend is payable on Sept. 30 to shareholders of record at the close of business Sept. 23.
Media behemoth News Corp. (NASDAQ:NWS) made headlines Aug. 10 when it raised its quarterly dividend by 27% to 9.5 cents per share, two pennies above the previous quarterly payout. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 10 closing price of $14.21, is 1.34%. The owner of Fox TV and The Wall Street Journal made the announcement along with fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analysts’ estimates. The company said it also plans to pursue stock buybacks beyond the previously announced $5 billion repurchase plan. This announcement is welcome news for NWS shareholders, as many were wondering what the company would do with the cash freed up when it abandoned efforts to acquire the near 70% of British Sky Broadcasting PLC it doesn’t already own. The deal fell through during the hacking scandal that led to the closure of the company’s News of the World British tabloid.
Lawn and garden products maker Scotts Miracle-Gro (NYSE:SMG) grew its quarterly dividend by 20%. The new payout of 30 cents per share will be made Sept. 9 to shareholders of record on Aug. 26. The new dividend yield, based on the Aug. 8 closing price of $40.41, is 2.97%. Despite the growth in Scotts’ quarterly dividend, the company’s 10% decline in fiscal Q3 revenue, and disappointing guidance going forward, caused shares to slide. SMG now trades just above its 52-week low.
Financial services holding company SunTrust Banks (NYSE:STI) boosted its quarterly cash dividend by a whopping 400% to 5 cents per share. The new dividend, based on the Aug. 9 closing price of $19.98, is 1%. The company is the latest bank to increase its dividend following the Federal Reserve’s stress test results released in March. The new dividend is payable on Sept. 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business Sept. 1. The move is a welcome change from the company’s August 2009 dividend cut down to just a penny per share.
At the time of publication, Jim Woods held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned in this article.
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