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40 Blue Chips Increasing Dividends in Q3 2012

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

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Companies Increasing DividendsIf 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
New Payout % Increase Yield as of 10/1 Payment Date Record Date
$2.27/share 4.6% 5.29% Oct. 15 Sept. 14
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%.

Article printed from InvestorPlace Media,

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