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Dividends Keep Getting Raised despite bleak economic picture

December 09, 2008 | About:
Last week marked yet another rollercoaster performance in the stock market, as major indices clocked in yet another weekly loss. Markets rebounded from their lows on Monday as they were reassured by General Electric (GE) that it will maintain its dividend payment in 2009, which boosted the stock by over $2 in one day. Several more dividend stocks rewarded their patient shareholders with a raise in their quarterly payments. Dividends are normally paid out of earnings and are often used to measure a company’s financial condition. Only the companies that are experiencing significant increases in free cash flow will be in a position to provide a growing stream of dividend payments to their stockholders.

Enbridge Inc (ENB), which engages in the transportation and distribution of crude oil and natural gas, announced that its Board has approved a 12% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.33 to $0.37 per common share. Enbridge is an international dividend achiever which has increased its dividends for over twelve years. The stock currently yields 3.60%.

Stryker (SYK), which operates as a medical technology company, announced that its Board has approved a 21% increase in its annual dividend from $0.33 to $0.40 per common share. Stryker has increased its dividends for almost seventeen years. The stock currently yields 1.10%.

Wisconsin Energy Corporation (WEC), which provides electricity and natural gas services in Wisconsin and Michigan, announced that its Board has approved a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.27 to $0.3375 per common share. Wisconsin Energy Corporation has increased its dividends for almost six years in a row. The stock currently yields 2.60%.

AXIS Capital Holdings Limited (AXS), which is a Bermuda-based global provider of specialty lines insurance, announced that its Board has approved an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.20 per common share. This would mark the fifth consecutive annual increase in AXIS Capital Holdings’ dividends. The stock currently yields 3.00%.

Ecolab Inc. (ECL), which is engaged in cleaning, sanitizing, food safety and infection prevention products and services, announced that its Board has approved an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.14 per common share. Ecolab Inc. is a dividend achiever which has increased its dividends for over two decades. The stock currently yields 1.50%.

OGE Energy Corp. (OGE), which operates as an energy and energy services provider, announced that its Board has approved a 3% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.3475 to $0.355 per common share. This marks the third consecutive dividend increase for OGE Energy Corp. since 2005. The stock currently yields 6.00%.

Lincoln Electric Holdings (LECO), which engages in the manufacture and resale of welding and cutting products worldwide, announced that its Board has approved an 8% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.25 to $0.27 per common share. This represents the seventh consecutive dividend increase for Lincoln Electric Holdings since 2002. The stock currently yields 2.40%.

Graco Inc. (GGG), which provides fluid handling solutions to manufacturing, processing, construction, and maintenance sectors, announced that its Board has approved a 3% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.185 to $0.19 per common share. Graco Inc has increased its dividends for almost nine years. The stock currently yields 3.70%.

Universal Health Realty Income Trust (UHT), one of the few real estate investment trusts to actually increase its dividends, announced that its Board of Trustees has approved an increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.585 to $0.59 per common share. Universal Health Realty Income Trust is a dividend achiever which has increased its dividends for over two decades. The stock currently yields 7.80%.

Source: www.dividendgrowthinvestor.com

About the author:

Dividend Growth Investor
Mark's equity focus is identifying secular growth trends, and the companies most likely to benefit from these macro trends. Stocks are identified through fundamental analysis, although basic technical analysis is used in determining entry and exit points. With a degree in Economics from the University of Michigan, a broader understanding of the economy as a whole, along with interpreting investor psychology is also a major interest for Mark. His career background has focused on financial analysis in corporate America. Visit Mark's website at http://www.fundmymutualfund.com/

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