Dividend hikes you should not miss
This past week was a rough one for the markets. Both the Dow Jones Industrial Average and the S&P 500 hit new all-time highs, only to sell off handily from the peak before recovering late on Friday. It is now called a stock picker’s market rather than a raging bull market, and the belief is that investors will continue flocking toward companies that are increasing dividends and those paying safer big dividends. Here are some dividend hikes from the past week that investors should know about, according to 247wallst.com: American Express raised its dividend early this past week. It needs to raise its payout by even more to get back on par. This is a DJIA component and its dividend hike is going to $0.26 per share from $0.23, for a yield of only 1.2% after the hike occurs, among the worst yields of the Dow.
Gentex Corp. may sound like a biotech outfit, but it makes the dimming rear-view mirrors. A 14% dividend increase to $0.16 per share per quarter from $0.14 is a commitment that it sees continued growth. Gentex’s new dividend will be more than 2.2%.
Hewlett-Packard remains in a long-run turnaround plan under the guidance of CEO Meg Whitman. It announced a regular dividend of $0.16 on Wednesday, up from a prior $0.145 per share. With no real growth expected this year or next and with so many people having been let go, investors may have doubted if this dividend hike would come. The new yield is almost 2%.
Macy’s announced it would hike its payout by 25% to $0.3125 per share per quarter. With shares closing at $58.07 and its stock not getting much higher than $60 of late, it is doing what it can to keep investor interest alive. The new dividend yield will be almost 2.2%, relatively high for retail stocks. Southwest Airlines keeps returning capital to its shareholders, with a hike of 50%.
The payout jumped to $0.06 per share from $0.04, giving it north of a 1% yield now. Airlines have not been the biggest dividend payers in the market, but the consolidation via mergers and the ability to charge more and more fees (and higher ticket prices) is changing that.