Several companies expressed their confidence in their future business prospects, by raising their dividends. One of them was Realty Income (NYSE:O), which engages in the acquisition and ownership of commercial retail real estate properties in the United States. The monthly cash dividend was increased to $0.142375 per share from $0.1420625 per share. This represents the 6th increase for the past year. Tom A. Lewis, Chief Executive Officer of Realty Income, commented, "We are pleased that, despite challenging economic conditions, our operations allow us to once again increase the amount of the dividend we pay to our shareholders. With the payment of the July dividend we will have made 468 consecutive monthly dividend payments." Realty Income calls itself The Monthly Dividend Company(R), since it has declared 468 consecutive common stock monthly dividends throughout its 40-year operating history and increased the dividend 54 times since Realty Income's listing on the New York Stock Exchange in 1994. The monthly dividend is supported by the cash flow from over 2,300 retail properties owned under long-term lease agreements with leading regional and national retail chains. Check my analysis of Realty Income (NYSE:O). This dividend achiever currently yields 7.70%.
Medtronic, Inc. (NYSE:MDT), which develops, manufactures, and markets medical devices worldwide, approved a 9% increase in its quarterly dividend to 20.50 cents per share. In addition to that the company also approved an increase in its Share Repurchase Plan, authorizing Medtronic to purchase an additional 60 million shares of its common stock, which represents 5.4% of the company’s outstanding stock issued. Medtronic, Inc. is a dividend champion, which has increased its quarterly dividend for thirty one consecutive years. The stock currently yields 2.20%.
John Wiley & Sons, Inc. (NYSE:JW.A) and (NYSE:JW.B), which publishes print and electronic products that provide content and solutions, raised its quarterly dividend for A and B shares to 14 cents per share. This action represented an almost 8% increase in comparison to the previous dividend payment. This was the 16th annual dividend increase for this dividend achiever. The stock currently yields 1.50%.
Del Monte Foods Company (DLM), which engages in the production, distribution, and marketing of branded food and pet products for the retail market in the United States, announced that its board of directors has approved a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend to 5 cents per share. This is the first dividend increase for Del Monte Foods Company since it initiated its dividend policy in 2006. The stock currently yields 1.80%.
Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE:NLY), which engages in the ownership, management, and financing of a portfolio of investment securities, increased its quarterly dividend by 20% to 60 cents a share. The dividends that Annaly Capital Management, Inc. pays are volatile and have ranged between 10 cents/share in 2005 to 68 cents/share in 2002. The stock currently yields 13.80% based off the past three payments and the new quarterly distribution.
Screening the news for potential additions to my dividend growth portfolio didn’t unveil any new hidden gems except for Realty Income (NYSE:O), which was on my Best High Yield Dividend Stocks for 2009 list.
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