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Best Dividend Stocks with Recent Dividend Increases

As earnings season comes near the end, there are still companies increasing their dividends.  These companies raised their payouts and also have a Bullish outlook based on the equity summary score.

H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) scaled back its long-term growth rates slightly as the ketchup-maker plans to invest more into its business amid a challenging global environment.  H.J. Heinz Co. (HNZ) announced that its fiscal fourth-quarter profit fell $175.3 million, or 54 cents, compares to $223.9 million, or 69 cents a share a year ago.  Heinz fourth-quarter sales rose to $3.05 billion, from $2.89 billion a year ago.  HNZ was downgraded by several brokerages including S&P from 5-stars to 4-stars.  Still Heinz raised the annualized common stock dividend by $0.14 to $2.06 per share, an increase of 7.3%.  HNZ has a dividend yield of 3.85%.  HNZ has an equity summary score of 7.8 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

Portland General Electric (POR), headquartered in Portland, Ore., is a fully integrated electric utility that serves approximately 825,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in Oregon.  POR declared a quarterly common stock dividend of 27 cents per share, up from last quarter’s dividend of 26.5 cents per share.  This is the sixth consecutive annual increase since going public in 2006,   POR has a dividend yield of 4.29%.  POR has an equity summary score of 8.0 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc. (MMC), a professional services company, provides advice and solutions in the areas of risk, strategy, and human capital.  MMC announced its quarterly dividend of 23 cents per share, an increase of about 5% over its prior dividend in April of 22 cents. The dividend is payable on August 15 to shareholders of record on July 11.  MMC has a dividend yield of 2.85%.  MMC has an equity summary score of 7.6 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

W. R. Berkley Corporation (WRB), an insurance holding company, operates as commercial lines writers in the property casualty insurance business primarily in the United States.  WRB raised its quarterly dividend 13% as the specialty insurer looks to boost shareholder value.  The one-cent increase brings WRBs quarterly payout to $0.9 per share and a 0.93% dividend yield.  WRB has an equity summary score of 7.5 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

In other dividend news, McDonalds Corporation (MCD) maintained its quarterly dividend of 70 cents per share (8.9 out of 10 for Bullish outlook).  McKesson Corporation (MCK) maintained its quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share (8.9 out of 10 for Bullish outlook).  Molson Coors Brewing Company (TAP) maintained its quarterly dividend of 32 cents per share (8.4 out of 10 for Bullish outlook).  Yum Brands Incorporated (YUM) maintained its quarterly dividend of 28.5 cents per share (7.4 out of 10 for Bullish outlook).

Stocks Increasing Quarterly Dividends

Here is the latest list of companies increasing their quarterly dividends that are rated as bullish or better by a consensus group of analysts through the equity summary score.

AmTrust Financial Services, Inc. (AFSI) announced that its Board of Directors approved an 11.1% increase in the common stock quarterly cash dividend, raising it from $0.09 to $0.10 per share of common stock. The dividend will be payable on July 16, 2012 to shareholders of record as of July 2, 2012. AFSI has a dividend yield of 1.43%.  AFSI has an equity summary score of 9.7 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

VSE Corporation (VSEC) reported that the Company’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.08 per share, increasing the cash dividend by 14% for an annual payout rate $0.32 per share. The dividend will be paid on August 8, 2012, to stockholders of record as of July 25, 2012.  VSE has paid cash dividends since 1973 and has increased its dividend each year since 2004.  VSEC has a dividend yield of 1.36%.  VSE has an equity summary score of 9.2 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

Cardinal Health (CAH) announced that its board of directors has approved a 10.5 percent increase in the company’s quarterly dividend to $0.2375 per share, or $0.95 per share on an annualized basis.  The regular dividend is payable on July 15 to shareholders of record on July 1. Cardinal Health has paid a $0.215 per share quarterly dividend since July 15, 2011. This is the 111th consecutive regular quarterly dividend.  CAH has a dividend yield of 2.21%.  CAH has an equity summary score of 9.3 out of 10 for a VERY Bullish outlook.

The Board of Directors of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (CPK) declared a quarterly cash dividend of$0.365 per share on the Company’s common stock. The Board’s action raises the annualized dividend eight cents per share from $1.38 to $1.46 per share, equating to a 5.8% increase over the prior year.  The $0.365 per share dividend will be paid July 5, 2012 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on June 15, 2012.  CPK has a dividend yield of 3.49%.  CPK has an equity summary score of 7.9 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

PepsiCo Inc. (PEP) announced that it’ll increase its annual dividend by 4% to $2.15 a share, from $2.06 a share. Shareholders of record as of June 1 will be issued a quarterly payment of 53.8 cents as share on June 29. It’s the 40th consecutive annual dividend increase for the Purchase, N.Y., drinks and snack maker.  PEP has a dividend yield of 3.23%.  PEP has an equity summary score of 7.7 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

Stocks Increasing Dividends to Buy Now

As the earnings season continues to look good, many dividend stalwarts are increasing their annual dividend payouts.  There are many companies increasing dividends but not all are stocks to buy.  I  used the equity summary score, a consensus of financial analysts at different firms, to determine that these stocks are rated Bullish or better.  For investors seeking dividend income, these stocks make great additions to your portfolio.

Coach (COH) dressed up shareholders with a 33% increase in its quarterly payout to 40 cents per share.  The new dividend will start being paid in July. The new dividend yield is 2.16%.  The luxury handbag, accessories and leather-goods maker has seen its profit grow for over two years on the strength of its North American direct-to-consumer businesses and global expansion. The company also is broadening its men’s business with more male-oriented products and by opening men’s stores in the U.S. and Japan.  COH has an equity summary score of 9.7 out of 10 for a Very Bullish outlook.

International Business Machines (IBM) reprogrammed its dividend with a 13% increase to 85 cents per share. The new payout will be coded on June 9 to shareholders of record as of May 10. The new dividend yield is 1.64%. This is the 17th straight year that IBM has increased its quarterly dividend, and the ninth year in a row of double-digit-percent increases.  IBM also authorized an additional$7 billion to buy back shares as the company looks to return more of its rising cash levels to shareholders.  IBM has an equity summary score of 9.7 out of 10 for a Very Bullish outlook.

Exxon Mobil (XOM) delivered a 21.2% boost in its quarterly dividend payment to 57 cents per share. The new payout will be made on June 11 to shareholders of record as of May 14. The new dividend yield is 2.65%. If Exxon Mobil’s CEO stays true to his word…and keeps the yield competitive, there should be further dividend increases before next year.  The company has increased its annual dividend every year for the past 30 years.  XOM has an equity summary score of 9.6 out of 10 for a Very Bullish outlook.

Chevron Corporation (CVX) engages in petroleum, chemicals, mining, power generation, and energy operations worldwide. It operates in two segments, Upstream and Downstream.  CVX unearthed an 11.1% increase in its quarterly dividend to 90 cents per share. The new dividend will start being paid in June.  The new dividend yield is 3.39%. CVX has a significant amount of cash in its balance sheet –$18.9 billion at the end of first quarter.  The company also announced it purchased $1.25 billion of its common stock in the first quarter 2012 under its share repurchase program.  CVX has an equity summary score of 9.4 out of 10 for a Very Bullish outlook.

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) put a Band-Aid on its quarterly payout, increasing its dividend 7% to 61 cents per share. The new payout will be made on June 12 to shareholders of record as of May 29. The new dividend yield is 3.76%.  This is the 50th straight year the health-care products giant has decided to raise its payout to shareholders.  JNJ recently reported a higher first-quarter profit due to a foreign-exchange- related gain and lower expenses, though the currency impacts also weighed on sales.  JNJ has an equity summary score of 8.4 out of 10 for a Bullish outlook.

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