The stock market came roaring back in the first week of February, as the 3%-plus drop the major indices suffered in January now seems like a distant memory.
Leading the charge higher were large-cap stocks, and particularly many dividend stocks increasing payouts. This week we saw another big-name group of dividend stocks increasing payouts, with the biggest company on the list not actually officially announcing a dividend increase, although telling Wall Street it was going to do just that in the second quarter.
On the back of very strong Q1 earnings beat, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) announced that it intends to raise its quarterly payout by 20% to 36 cents per share from sometime in the second quarter. The country’s biggest automaker, and a perennial dividend stock stalwart, has yet to have this proposed increase approved by its board, hence the unofficial announcement.
Still, it can be said that this week GM has raced out in front of a star-studded pack of dividend stocks increasing payouts.
Let’s take a look at the top eight dividend stocks that actually made their increases official this week.
Archer Daniels Midland Company (NYSE:ADM) poured on the fiscal fertilizer to shareholders, growing its dividend 16.7% to 28 cents per share from 24 cents. The feed, seed and agricultural tech giant will pay the fiscally modified dividend on March 10 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 17. Shares go ex-dividend on Feb. 12.
ADM Dividend Yield: 2.35%
Federal Agricultural Mortgage Corp. (NYSE:AGM) boosted the dividend on its common shares by 14.3% to 16 cents per share from 14 cents. The rural real estate mortgage loan agency will allow shareholders to harvest the new payout on March 31 to owners of record as of March 16. The shares become ex-dividend on March 12.
AGM Dividend Yield: 2.1%
Harley-Davidson Inc (NYSE:HOG) makes the coolest motorcycles in the world, and this week the company added a cool 12.7% boost in horsepower to its quarterly payout to 31 cents per share from 27.5 cents. The more potent dividend will be paid on March 6 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 18. HOG shares go ex-dividend on Feb. 13.
HOG Dividend Yield: 1.95%
Ingersoll-Rand PLC (NYSE:IR) added heft to its quarterly payout, boosting its dividend 16% to 29 cents per share from 25 cents. The diversified industrial and commercial products firm will make the new dividend payment on March 31 to shareholders of record as of March 13. The stock becomes ex-dividend on March 11.
IR Dividend Yield: 1.73%
L Brands Inc (NYSE:LB), parent company of intimate apparel maker Victoria’s Secret, announced it would sex up its quarterly dividend payment by 47% to 50 cents per share from 34 cents. The company also said it would pay a special dividend of $2 per share. The special dividend is slated for payment on March 6; however, no official dates for the regular dividend were announced.
LB Dividend Yield: 2.19% (based on the quarterly payment of 50 cents per share)
Meredith Corporation (NYSE:MDP) is the publisher of popular magazines such as Better Homes and Gardens and Family Circle, and this week the company published a 5.8% increased in its quarterly dividend to 45.75 cents per share from 43.25 cents. The publisher has set a release date for its new dividend on March 13 to owners who subscribe to the stock by Feb. 27. MDP becomes ex-dividend on Feb. 25.
MDP Dividend Yield: 3.36%
Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE:UNP) chugged down the fiscal track and added a nickel to its quarterly dividend, a 10% boost to 55 cents per share from 50 cents. The new payment will arrive at shareholders’ stations on March 30 to owners of record as of Feb. 27. The stock goes ex-dividend on Feb. 25.
UNP Dividend Yield: 1.79%
United Technologies Corporation (NYSE:UTX) is one of the biggest industrial and aerospace tech firms around, and this week it let its quarterly dividend take flight with an 8.5% liftoff to 64 cents per share from 59 cents. The new dividend will reach payout altitude on March 10 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 13. UTX shares become ex-dividend on Feb. 11.
UTX Dividend Yield: 2.12%
As of this writing, Jim Woods did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.
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