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Dividend Roundup: HBAN, MNRO, RFIL, LSTR, ANCX

July 21, 2011 | About:
Here are the five latest dividend-related developments featured on The Dynamic Dividend:

Huntington Delivers First Post-Cut Dividend Hike; Quadruples Payout

Huntington Bancshares (HBAN) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.04 per share within today’s second-quarter earnings release, quadrupling its previous payout. This is the first time the bank holding company has given its shareholders a raise since slashing its dividend more than two years ago.

Following years of steady growth, Huntington’s quarterly dividend was sitting at a peak of $0.265 per share to start 2008. But the company reduced its payout by more than 96% over the next four quarters, all the way down to $0.01 per share — which is where it sat until today.

After spending the last two years strengthening its financial position, Huntington now says it’s ready to target a payout ratio in the 20 - 30% range. Today’s rate is pretty much dead on, as it represents 27.1% and 23.5% of the consensus earnings estimates for 2001 and 2012, respectively. As such, I doubt this is a “starter rate” that the company intends to ramp up in the coming quarters.

Shares of HBAN opened Thursday’s session trading at $6.30, where they now carry a 2.54% dividend yield. The stock entered the year paying just 0.58%.

Monro Raises Dividend Again; Yield Tops 1%

Monro Muffler Brake (MNRO) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.09 per share within today’s mixed first quarter earnings release, which is a 12.5% improvement over the $0.08 paid each of the last three quarters by the auto service chain.

This marks the sixth time Monro has raised its dividend since it began returning cash to shareholders in 2005. The company has improved its dividend output every year, more than quadrupling its payout in the process.

Monro earned $0.48 per share during its first quarter, topping the consensus analyst estimate ($0.46 per share) and its own guidance range ($0.44 to $0.47 per share). The company said it expects to earn $0.46 to $0.50 per share in the second quarter and $1.65 to $1.77 per share for the full year, both in line with analyst estimates.

The company’s first quarter sales figure of $164.8 million fell short of the average analyst forecast ($168.8 million). Monro maintained its full-year revenue guidance of $690 to $705 million, which sits completely below the consensus view of $707.5 million.

Shares of MNRO opened Thursday’s session trading at $35.78, where they now carry a 1.01% dividend yield.

RFI's Third Dividend Hike of 2011 Pushes Yield Over 5%

RF Industries (RFIL) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.05 per share this morning, doubling its previous payout. The provider of interconnect products also declared a special dividend of $0.025 per share, adding to an already-remarkable year of shareholder returns.

RFI reinstated its dividend last September after skipping its payout for two quarters, and has more than made up for the temporary lull in 2011. The company gave its shareholders a 33% raise in February before increasing its dividend by 25% last month. With today’s move, the company has now improved its quarterly payout by a whopping 233% since the start of the year.

Including the special dividend announced today, RFI has now declared dividends totaling $0.12 per share in 2011 — already quadrupling its 2010 output with a full quarter to go.

Shares of RFI closed Wednesday’s session trading at $3.98, where they now feature a 5.03% dividend yield. Not bad for a stock that entered the year paying just 1.78%.

Landstar Raises Dividend For Sixth Straight Year

Landstar System (LSTR) declared a quarterly dividend of $0.055 per share within this morning’s impressive second-quarter earnings release, pushing its payout higher by 10%. This marks the sixth consecutive year the provider of freight transportation services and supply chain solutions has given its shareholders a raise.

Landstar initiated its quarterly dividend in July 2005 and has raised its payout every 12 months since then, pushing it higher by a total of 120%. This is the third consecutive year the company has increased its quarterly dividend by just a half-penny, despite its forward payout ratio languishing in the single digits.

As for its second quarter performance, the company beat expectations, earning $0.62 per share on $675.6 million. The average analyst forecast called for a profit of only $0.59 per share and sales of just $659.3 million.

Shares of LSTR closed Wednesday’s session trading at $46.75, where they now carry a paltry 0.47% dividend yield.

Landstar is the sixth and final company from my July dividend hike preview (“These Six Companies Will Raise Their Dividends in July”) to increase its dividend. I was hoping the company would reward its shareholders with a bigger raise (“25% to 100%”), but they’re going to keep things conservative for the time being.

Access National Has Now Quadrupled Dividend in 2011

Access National Corporation (ANCX) announced a 33% dividend hike within today’ssecond-quarter earnings release, marking the third consecutive quarter the parent company of Access National Bank has given its shareholders a big raise.

Access declared a quarterly dividend of $0.04 per share, a one-third improvement over the $0.03 paid last quarter. The bank holding company entered the year with a payout of just $0.01 per share, but has bumped it by one cent with each passing quarter — quadrupling its dividend in the process.

Shares of ANCX closed Wednesday’s session trading at $7.73, where they now carry a 2.07% dividend yield. Not too shabby for a stock that entered the year paying just 0.61%.

Access initiated its quarterly dividend in 2006, and has never cut or suspended its payout.

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Dynamic Dividend
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