Stocks enjoyed another solid move to the upside during the past week, and though the gains for domestic equities have been somewhat modest so far in 2015, the path of least resistance definitely has a bullish bias.
This week marked the official start of earnings season, as Alcoa Inc (NYSE:AA) reported mixed results. Over the next several weeks, we’ll hear from a host of bellwether firms, and that will likely help determine the fate of the major indices for the next several months.
We’ll also get a lot more news on the dividend front, as income investors are hoping to squeeze out more financial juice from their favorite holdings. This week, a solid group of dividend stocks gave income players what they crave — which is a bigger slice of the dividend pie.
One well-known firm decided it was going to raise a toast to shareholders by announcing its first dividend. Beer, wine and spirits giant Constellation Brands, Inc. (NYSE:STZ) said it plans to pay its first-ever dividend on May 22. The beverage giant plans to pour a dividend of 31 cents per share to investors that own Class A common stock and 28 cents per share for Class B shareholders. Given the size and fiscal strength of STZ, this is one worth checking out if you’re looking for dividend stocks.
And what about already-established dividend stocks increasing payouts this week? Let’s take a look at the scorecard.
Airgas, Inc. (NYSE:ARG) inflated its quarterly payout by 9.1% from 55 cents to 60 cents per share. The supplier of industrial, medical and specialty gases will make the new dividend payable June 30 to shareholders of record as of June 15. The stock goes ex-dividend on June 11.
ARG Dividend Yield: 2.25%.
Brookfield Asset Management Inc. (USA) (NYSE:BAM) announced a three-for-two stock split of its Class A shares. The split will take the form of a stock dividend, whereby shareholders will receive one-half of a Brookfield Class A Share for each Class A and Class B share held. The stock dividend will be payable on May 12 to shareholders of record as of May 5. The financial firm also increased the dividend by 5.9%, upping the payout from 11.33 cents to 12 cents per share. No official ex-dividend date was supplied.
BAM Dividend Yield: 1.18%.
Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE:EPD) edged its distribution to unitholders higher by 1.4%, from 37 cents to 37.5 cents per unit. The midstream energy services firm will begin its new payment amount on May 7 to unitholders of record as of April 30. The units go ex-dividend on April 28.
EPD Dividend Yield: 4.46%.
HB Fuller Co (NYSE:FUL) increased its payout by 8.3%, from 12 cents to 13 cents per share. The maker of adhesives, sealants, paints and other specialty chemical products will seal the new dividend deal with shareholders on May 7 to owners of record as of April 23. The stock becomes ex-dividend on April 21.
FUL Dividend Yield: 1.19%.
IDEX Corporation (NYSE:IEX) dispensed 14.3% more fiscal flow to shareholders, upping its dividend from 28 cents to 32 cents per share. The meter and fluid solutions firm will send the new payment on April 30 to shareholders of record as of April 21. IEX goes ex-dividend on April 17.
IEX Dividend Yield: 1.67%.
Pier 1 Imports Inc (NYSE:PIR) redecorated its quarterly payout by 16.7%, from 6 cents to 7 cents per share. The home furnishings and accessories retailer will pay the new dividend on May 6 to shareholders of record on April 22. The shares will become ex-dividend on April 20.
PIR Dividend Yield: 2.03%.
Qualcomm, Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM) boosted the processing speed on its dividend by 14.3%, from 42 cents to 48 cents per share. The wireless semiconductor chip maker will send out the new dividend on June 24 to shareholders of record as of June 3. The stock will go ex-dividend on June 6.
QCOM Dividend Yield: 2.79%.
Saratoga Investment Corp (NYSE:SAR) is a business development company that specializes in the middle market, or mezzanine, funding business. This week, the company added to the funds shareholders receive, upping its payout 22.7%, from 22 cents to 27 cents per share. The higher payment will be sent on May 29 to shareholders of record as of May 4. SAR shares go ex-dividend on April 30.
SAR Dividend Yield: 5.35%.
As of this writing, Jim Woods did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.