This company's origins are with auto manufacturer Ransom E. Olds, who founded Olds Motor Vehicle Company in 1897. Later, the company was known as Oldsmobile and would become part of General Motors (NYSE:GM). Having left his company years before it was acquired by GM, Olds established a new company in 1905, REO Motor Car Company in Lansing, Mic.
Though Olds' cars, including the luxurious REO Flying Cloud, were popular, they were not profitable, and the company's more successful truck business featuring the famous REO Speed Wagon was still not sufficiently profitable to avoid a bankruptcy filing in 1938.
As part of the bankruptcy reorganization, REO exited the car business to concentrate on trucks. The reorganized company continued to underperform, and finally in December 1954, REO sold off its entire manufacturing operations. After the sale, REO was left with $16 million in cash and no businesses.
The company initiated liquidation proceedings. However, a group of dissident shareholders noticed the tax loss and successfully challenged the liquidation in September 1955. In what amounted to a "reverse hostile takeover," activist shareholders forced REO to take over a tiny nuclear services company called Nuclear Consultants Inc.
Nuclear then followed the example of other companies in the 1950s and '60s and attempted to become a conglomerate. But Nuclear the conglomerate fared no better than Nuclear the nuclear services company or REO the car/truck/lawn mower manufacturer, and in March 1965 filed for bankruptcy for the second time in 27 years.
F. Kenneth Iverson and Samuel Siegel, the newly named president and CFO, quickly reorganized Nuclear around its only profitable business and moved its headquarters to Charlotte, N.C. In 1972 the company, recognizing that there was nothing "nuclear" about its business, adopted its current name.
Nucor Corporation (NYSE:NUE)
The company engages in the manufacture and sale of steel and steel products in North America and internationally. Dec. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.3675 per share. The dividend is payable on Feb. 11, 2013, to stockholders of record on Dec. 31, 2012. Nucor has increased its regular dividend for 40 consecutive years – every year since it first began paying dividends in 1973. The yield based on the new payout is 3.6%.
Below are several other companies that have recently increased their cash dividends to shareholders:
Associated Estates Realty Corporation (AEC) is an independent real estate investment trust. Dec. 6, the company increased its quarterly dividend 5.6% to $0.19 per share. The dividend is payable Feb. 1, 2013 to shareholders of record on Jan. 15, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 5.0%.
Wisconsin Energy Corporation (NYSE:WEC) generates and distributes electric energy, as well as distributes natural gas. Dec. 6, the company increased its quarterly dividend 13% to $0.34 per share. The dividend is payable March 1, 2013, to stockholders of record on Feb. 14, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.6%.
Horace Mann Educators Corporation (NYSE:HMN) operates as a multiline insurance company in the U.S. Dec. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend 23% to $0.16 per share. The dividend is payable on Dec. 31, 2012 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 17, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 3.3%.
Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE:HI) designs, manufactures, distributes and sells funeral service products to licensed funeral directors operating licensed funeral homes. Dec. 5, the company increased its quarterly dividend 1.3% to $0.195 per share. The dividend is payable Dec. 31, 2012, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 17, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 3.7%.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Company (NYSE:BMY), a biopharmaceutical company, engages in the discovery, development, licensing, manufacturing, marketing, distribution and sale of biopharmaceutical products that help patients prevail over serious diseases worldwide. Dec. 4, the company increased its quarterly dividend 3% to $0.35 per share. The dividend is payable Feb. 1, 2013, to stockholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 4, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.3%.
Chatham Lodging Trust (NYSE:CLDT) is a hotel real estate investment trust (REIT) focused on investing in upscale extended-stay hotels and premium branded select-service hotels. Dec. 4, the company increased its quarterly dividend 5% to an annual rate of $0.84 per share, and to convert the company’s current quarterly dividend to a monthly dividend of $0.07 per share beginning in January 2013. The dividend is payable Feb. 22, 2013, to shareholders of record Jan. 31, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 5.8%.
Hubbell Incorporated (HUBA) engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of electrical and electronic products in the U.S. and internationally. Dec. 4, the company increased its quarterly dividend 9.8% to $0.45 per share. The dividend is payable Dec. 26, 2012 to shareholders of record on Dec. 14, 2012. The yield based on the new payout is 2.4%.
Mid-America Apartment Communities Inc. (NYSE:MAA) is an independent real estate investment trust. The firm invests in the real estate markets of the U.S. Dec. 4, the company increased its quarterly dividend 5.3% to a quarterly payment of $0.695 per share. The dividend is payable on Jan. 31, 2013, to shareholders of record on Jan. 15, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.4%.
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 NUE in my Dividend Growth Portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.
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(Photo Credit) Nucor history from Wikipedia
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