Asia Entertainment & Resources Initiates DividendAsia Entertainment & Resources Ltd. (AERL) has announced its first dividend, a semiannual payment of $0.10 per share. The holding company for Asian VIP gaming promoters said it plans to distribute 15% of its earnings on an annual basis moving forward.
The company will pay a dividend of $0.10 per share following the release of its six-month financial results each year and distribute the remaining balance to shareholders at the end of each year.
For example: If the company were to earn $1.00 per share this year, it would need to distribute a total of $0.15 per share via dividends to reach its 15% payout target. Investors would receive their fixed $0.10 per share dividend halfway through the year, and their year-end payout would be $0.05 per share.
The company also announced the authorization of a two million share repurchase program, which will expire on June 30, 2012.
Shares of AERL closed Tuesday’s session trading at $5.61. Without a full-year earnings figure, it’s impossible to pin an exact dividend yield on its shares, but the company did say last month it expects to earn $62 to $68 million in 2011. Based on its most recent share count, that would give the company fully-diluted earnings of $1.76 to $1.93 per share — and a full-year dividend of $0.26 to $0.29 per share. The midpoint of that dividend range would produce a 4.90% dividend yield at Tuesday’s closing price.
Realty Income Raises Monthly Dividend Yet AgainRealty Income Corporation (O) has increased its monthly dividend once again, making this the 55th consecutive quarter the commercial REIT has given its shareholders a raise.
The new payout of $0.144875 per share is 0.22% higher than the amount paid each of the last three months by the company, and a 0.87% improvement over the dividends paid during the same period last year.
Shares of O are currently trading at $33.72, where they now feature a 5.16% dividend yield.
Realty Income touts itself as “The Monthly Dividend Company” and has certainly lived up to that billing. Since being listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994, the company has never missed a monthly dividend, raising its payout 62 times over that span. The company has declared nearly 500 consecutive monthly dividends overall, going all the way back to 1970.
UDR Continues Dividend Recovery With 8% IncreaseUDR, Inc. (UDR) has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.20 per share, boosting its payout by 8.1%. This is the second dividend hike in nine months from the real estate investment trust, which slashed its payout two years ago.
UDR cut its quarterly dividend by more than 45% (from $0.33 per share all the way down to $0.18 per share) in early 2009 to preserve capital, and the multifamily REIT held its payout there until giving it a half-penny boost in September of last year.
Shares of UDR opened Wednesday’s session trading at $24.72, where they now feature a 3.24% dividend yield.
L-3 Communications Hits 52-Week High on Large Activist StakeL-3 Communications Holdings Inc. (LLL) blew through its previous 52-week high today on news that activist firm Relational Investors had purchased a large chunk of the defense contractor.
In a LLL),+Seeks+Sale+or+Spin-Offs+of+Underperforming+Units/6596849.html">13D filing on behalf of Relational, the group confirmed owning 6,347,694 shares (nearly 6% of those available). Relational said in the filing that the stock has underperformed its peers and the broader market in recent years, and are currently undervalued, citing a sub-optimal business mix and flawed strategy (which is Activist Code for: “We need to break this sucker up.”)
Relational suggests tactical actions to earn a higher share price and/or earning multiple, such as “a spin-off of underperforming or low-growth, low-margin assets,” noting that “several companies within the defense industry have recently benefited from taking such actions.” A prime example of this is Northrop Grumman (NOC)spinning-off its shipbuilding unit, Huntington Ingalls (HII), earlier this year.
Relational may not be a household name, but it isn’t new to big moves like this. Deal Journal has a nice rundown of “previous prey” the firm has targeted in recent years, including ITT Corporation (ITT) and Home Depot (HD).
Shares of LLL have popped as high as $87.68 (+6.43%) today, which is a level they hadn’t reached since April 2010. The stock features a 2.05% dividend yield at that price.
Despite the issues outlined above, L-3 has been a budding dividend growth superstar since it began returning cash to shareholders in 2004. The company has raised its dividend every year since its initiation, pushing it higher by a total of 350% during that short period. L-3 gave its shareholders a 12.5% raise in February, which actually registered as its smallest dividend hike to date.
Robbins & Myers Surges on Strong Q3, Raised GuidanceRobbins & Myers (RBN) reported blowout third-quarter sales and gave strong earnings guidance this morning, pushing its stock to a level unseen in nearly three years.
The supplier of engineered equipment and systems posted adjusted earnings of $0.53 per share, which matched the consensus view, while record revenue of $237.1 million crushed the average analyst estimate of just $211.6 million.
The company now expects to earn $0.65 to $0.75 during the fourth quarter and $2.23 to $2.33 for the full year, with both ranges landing completely above the average analysts forecasts ($0.62 and $2.19 per share, respectively) coming into the day.
Shares of RBN have popped as high as $49.34 (+10.38%) today, where they carry a paltry 0.36% dividend yield. The stock hasn’t closed above $50 since Aug. 1, 2008.
Robbins & Myers’ yield is clearly lacking, but the company did improve its payout for the fifth consecutive year back in January when it gave shareholders a 6% raise.
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