Two more dividend aristocrats raised their distributions last week, bringing the total number of raisers in the elite index to 30. This is quite impressive, given the fact that there are almost 5 more months to go before the year is out and that there are only 51 components in it.
Dover Corporation (NYSE:DOV), manufactures industrial products and components, as well as provides related services and consumables in the United States and internationally, increased its quarterly dividend by 4% to 26 cents per share. Dover Corporation is a dividend aristocrat, which has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the past fifty-four consecutive years. The stock currently yields 2.90%.
Leggett & Platt (NYSE:LEG), which designs and produces a range of engineered components and products worldwide, increased its quarterly dividend by 4% to 26 cents per share. Leggett & Platt is a dividend aristocrat, which has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the past 38 years. The stock currently yields 5.80%. The company has been unable to cover its dividend payment in 2007 and 2008, so this move is definitely a surprising one from this High-Yield dividend stock at risk. On the positive side, over the past two years the company had a $1.42 and $1.16 in cash flow per share, which still barely leaves any funds for other activities. Another positive fact is that the company has announced that as long as cash flows from operations exceed $300 million, which is enough for capex and distributions, dividends are safe.
Aqua America (NYSE:WTR), which operates regulated utilities that provide water or wastewater services in the United States, increased its quarterly dividend by 7.4% to 14.50 cents per share. Aqua America is a dividend achiever, which has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the past eighteen years. The stock currently yields 3.00%.
Carlisle (NYSE:CSL), is a diversified global manufacturing company, increased its quarterly dividend by 3.20% to 16 cents per share. This marks the 33rd consecutive year of dividend increases for Carlisle, which is a member of the dividend champion’s list. The stock currently yields 1.90%.
On July 29, 2009, the Board of Directors of Church & Dwight Co (NYSE:CHD), which evelops, manufactures, and markets a range of household, personal care, and specialty products under various brand names in the United States and internationally, increased its quarterly dividend by 55.60% to 14 cents per share. Church & Dwight Co is a dividend achiever, which has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the past thirteen years. The stock currently yields only 1.00%.
BCE Inc. (NYSE:BCE), which provides a suite of communication services to residential and business customers in Canada, increased its quarterly dividend by 5% to 40.50 Canadian cents per share. This increase is funded from free cash flow and is consistent with the company's target dividend payout ratio of 65% to 75% of Adjusted EPS. The stock currently yields 6.10%.
Apollo Investment Corporation (NASDAQ:AINV) announces that its Board of Directors has declared its second fiscal quarter 2010 dividend of $0.28 per share. Apollo Investment Corporation is business Development Company specializing in investments in middle market companies. Apollo Investment Corporation cut its quarterly per share distributions by half in 2009, from $0.52 to $0.26. The current distribution raise is a positive, as long as the company can sustain the momentum of distribution raises over time. The stock currently yields 14.00%.
Chemed Corporation (NYSE:CHE), provides hospice care services, increased its quarterly dividend by an astounding 100% to 12 cents per share. Before you get too excited about this dividend increase, please be alert that this is the first raise since 2002; furthermore the new distribution of 12 cents/share is still way below Chemed’s 26.50 cents/share quarterly distribution before it cut its dividends in 1999. The stock currently yields 1.10%.
Atrion Corporation (ATRI), which designs, develops, manufactures, sells, and distributes products and components for the medical and healthcare industry, increased its quarterly dividend by 20% to 36 cents per share. Atrion has consistently paid and increased its quarterly dividend since 2003. The stock currently yields 0.90%.
Despite the recent outperformance of speculative stocks since March 2009, long term investors are beginning to put their money in stable companies which share portions of their profits with shareholders. While markets can go up and down, creating and destroying capital gains in seconds, investors who focus on getting "a bird in hand" should do well overtime as they receive an ever increasing stream of income from their investments.
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