A stock dividend, also known as a "scrip dividend," is a dividend payment made with stock instead of cash. Sometimes when companies are tight on cash, they will declare and pay a stock dividend in lieu of a cash dividend.
Most shareholders feel like they are getting something. But are they really? In short, a stock dividend is nothing more than a glorified stock split. At the end of the process, the shareholder has more shares that are worth less. Like a stock split, you can not create value by issuing paper and getting nothing in exchange.
This week we only have two notable companies that recently decided to raise their cash dividends:
Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (NASDAQ:OZRK) operates as the bank holding company for Bank of the Ozarks that provides a range of retail and commercial banking services. July 1, the company increased its quarterly dividend 5.6% to $0.19 per share. The dividend is payable payable July 22, 2011, to shareholders of record as of July 15, 2011. The yield based on the new payout is 1.4%.
Solar Senior Capital Ltd. (NASDAQ:SUNS) is a closed-end investment company that invests primarily in leveraged, middle market companies in the form of senior secured loans including first lien, unitranche, and second lien debt instruments. July 7, the company increased its monthly dividend payment 40% to $0.07 per share. The dividend is payable Aug. 1, 2011, to stockholders of record on July 18, 2011. The yield based on the new payout is 4.6%.
In addition, the following companies are expected to announce dividend increases later this month:
National Retail Properties Inc. (NYSE:NNN) is a publicly owned equity real estate investment trust. The firm acquires, owns, manages and develops retail properties in the United States. Last July the company increased its dividend 1.3% to $0.38 per share. The stock is currently yielding 6.1%.
AptarGroup Inc. (NYSE:ATR) engages in the design, manufacture and sale of consumer product dispensing systems. Last July the company increased its dividend 20% to $0.18 per share. The stock is currently yielding 1.4%.
A. O. Smith Corporation (NYSE:AOS) engages in the manufacture and sale of water heating equipment to the residential and commercial markets in the United States and internationally. Last July the company increased its dividend 7.7% to $0.14 per share. The stock is currently yielding 1.3%.
Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends; it is not a list of recommend buys. As always, due diligence should be performed before buying or selling any stock. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see this list.
Full Disclosure: Long NNN. See a list of all my income holdings here.
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