MarkWest Energy Partners Increases Distribution AgainMarkWest Energy Partners L.P. (NYSE:MWE) declared a quarterly distribution of $0.67 per unit after today’s closing bell. That’s a 3.1% increase over last quarter’s payout, and a 4.7% improvement over the distribution paid during the same period last year. This is the second consecutive quarter the partnership has raised its distribution.
MarkWest closed Thursday’s session trading at $50.16 (+0.86%), where they now yield 5.34%.
Aside from a flat period stretching nine quarters from 2008 to 2010, MarkWest has raised its distribution nearly every single quarter since it began returning cash to investors in 2002.
Donegal Raises Dividend for Eighth Straight YearDonegal Group Inc. (NASDAQ:DGICA) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.12 per share today, a 4.3% increase over the $0.115 per share paid each of the previous four quarters by the insurance holding company. This marks the eighth consecutive year Donegal has given shareholders a raise. Shares of DGICA are currently trading at $13.61 (+0.44%), where they now feature a 3.53% dividend yield.
Donegal has increased its dividend every year since it began returning cash to shareholders in 2003, pushing its payout higher by a total of 94% over that span.
Amgen Becomes the First Dividend-Paying Biotech StockAmgen (NASDAQ:AMGN) announced plans to pay its first quarterly dividend this morning, as the company outlined future growth objectives and capital allocation goals. The dividend will be a first for not just the company, but the first for any major biotech firm.
Amgen said it will declare its first payout with its second quarter 2011 earnings results, and plans to “increase the dividend meaningfully over time” while maintaining a 20% annual payout ratio.
Based on current earnings estimates, I think shareholders can expect an initial quarterly dividend of $0.20 to $0.30 per share, depending on how much space Amgen wants to leave for future dividend growth.
Shares of Amgen are currently trading at $54.56 (-2.88%). At that level, the stock would feature a dividend yield in the 1.47% to 2.20% range, based on the aforementioned payout estimates.