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Seven Dividend Hikers in the News

I scanned the list of companies raising distributions in the past week and highlighted the stocks that have raised dividends for at least five years in a row, yielding over 2%. I then provided a brief comment behind each stock below:

Stryker Corporation (SYK), together with its subsidiaries, operates as a medical technology company. The company raised quarterly distributions by 24.70% to 26.50 cents/share. This dividend achiever has boosted dividends for 20 years in a row.

Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost distributions by 33.50%/year. Currently, it is trading at 14.60 times earnings and yields 2%. Stryker earned 3.45$/share in 2011. Estimates are for EPS to reach $4.05 in 2012 and $4.30 in 2013. I would add the stock to my list for future analysis.

Nucor Corporation (NUE), together with its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of steel and steel products in North America and internationally. The company raised quarterly distributions by 0.70% to 36.75 cents/share. This dividend champion has boosted dividends for 40 years in a row. Yield: 3.60%

The company’s business model is exposed to the cyclical swings in the economy. Between 2006 and 2008 the company’s business was booming, and it was passing on special dividends to shareholders. Since then, the company’s dividend increases have been small. Once business picks up again, dividends will grow at a higher rate. I do not plan on adding to my position in the stock however. Check my detailed analysis of the stock.

C.H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (CHRW), a third-party logistics company, provides freight transportation services and logistics solutions to companies in various industries worldwide. The company raised quarterly distributions by 6.10% to 35 cents/share. This dividend achiever has boosted dividends for 16 years in a row.

Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost distributions by 27.80%/year. Currently, it is trading at 22 times earnings and yields 2.30%. Although the stock is overvalued, I would add it to my list for further research.

Hubbell Incorporated (HUB.B) engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of electrical and electronic products in the United States and internationally. The company raised quarterly distributions by 9.80% to 45 cents/share. Hubbell Incorporated has boosted dividends for 6 years in a row. Yield: 2.20%

The yield is lower than my entry of 2.50%, and the streak is lower than 10 years. However, I would continue monitoring the company, and may add it to my list for further research.

First Financial Corporation (THFF), through its subsidiaries, provides financial services. The company raised semi-annual distributions by 2.10% to 48 cents/share. This dividend champion has boosted dividends for 25 years in a row. Yield: 3.20%

Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost distributions by 5.20 %/year. Currently, it is trading at 11.50 times earnings and yields 3.10%. In 2002 EPs was $2.01/share, which means that earnings have not increased much over the past decade. Given analysts’ expectations for low earnings decrease over the next two years to $2.38 in 2012 I do not expect much in future dividend growth either.

Hillenbrand, Inc. (HI) designs, manufactures, distributes, and sells funeral service products to licensed funeral directors operating licensed funeral homes. The company raised quarterly distributions by 1.30% to 19.50 cents/share. This dividend stock has boosted dividends for 5 years in a row. Yield: 3.70%

Currently, it is trading at 12.60 times earnings and yields 3.70%. The past three dividend increases have been anemic at best. The slow pace of dividend hikes is particularly interesting in comparison to the rosy outlook for EPS growth to $1.89/share in 2013 and $2.19/share in 2014. Compare this to the EPS from 2012, which was $1.68/share.

Linear Technology Corporation (LLTC), together with its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets various analog integrated circuits (ICs) worldwide. The company raised quarterly distributions by 4% to 26cents/share. This dividend achiever has boosted dividends for 21 years in a row.

Over the past decade, the company has managed to boost distributions by 20.40%/year. Currently, it is trading at 20 times earnings and yields 3.10%. Over the past five years however, dividend growth has slowed down, as the dividend payout ratio has crossed 50%. I would add the stock to my list for further research.

Full Disclosure: Long NUE

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Dividend Growth Investor
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