Five Noteworthy Dividend Increases for Friday

Brian is a member of The Motley Fool Blog Network -- entries represent the personal opinion of the blogger and are not formally edited.

In an economy where companies operate with record amounts of cash on their balance sheet and are slow to return capital to shareholders, it is always encouraging to see a company give back. As a result, I am looking at five companies that announced an increase in dividend on Friday or after the market closed on Thursday. These are high-yield stocks that might fit well into your portfolio.

Overvalued but Shareholder Friendly

Ventas (NYSE: VTR) increased in value by nearly 2% on Friday after the company reported earnings that beat expectations. The real estate company is considered by many to be overvalued, with a price/sales over 8 and a forward P/E ratio of more than 40. However, its shareholder-friendly executive staff is what keeps investors happy, and in addition to posting strong earnings the company increased its dividend by 8%. It now pays a forward yield of 3.95%, and offers opportunity as a play in the growing real estate space.

A Change in Direction with a Boost in Yield

Occidental Petroleum (NYSE: OXY) has been a poorly performing stock over the last year as oil and natural gas prices continue to fall and profits have been affected. The company is now embarking on a major organizational change, losing its President and CEO Stephen Chazen. Earlier today the company announced that the search for a successor has begun, and also added an 18.5% increase to its dividend along with the news. The company now pays a yield of 3% and is priced quite attractive in the space. It might be worth your attention.

Real Estate Company Continues to Increase Yield

National Health Investors (NYSE: NHI) rallied more than 2% on Friday after the company raised its dividend by a modest 3.7%, paying a yield of 4.32%. The stock has now returned an incredible 35% over the last year, and the real estate company continues to follow its trend of increasing its dividend.

Modest Increase but High Yield

PPL Corp. (NYSE: PPL) saw very little movement on Friday after the company increased its dividend by 2.1%, and now pays a dividend yield of 4.82%. The utilities company has been consistent with its dividend, and has the high institutional ownership that proves it.

A Dividend Boost Worth Noting

The final large dividend increase comes from Nu Skin Enterprises (NYSE: NUS), and although this was announced was on Wednesday, it is still noteworthy. This is a company that has seen its value decline in the wake of the Herbalife debates, due to similarities between the two businesses. However, on Wednesday the company quieted many of its critics, both with strong growth from earnings and a 50% increase in its dividend. The company is now on pace to pay out a dividend of almost 3% and continues to grow by 20%. Its recent pullback might be a good buying opportunity for investors looking for a long-term gain.

Conclusion

In this economy it’s much more common that we see dividends unchanged, rather than a company raising its yield. Therefore, it is encouraging to see companies such as those above deciding to give back to shareholders. This management style is something you can not measure, but those companies that do return yield to shareholders should be acknowledged and assessed as a potential investment opportunity. 

Thanks for the information, Olek, and welcome to the Blog Network. We’ll let you know if we need any further information.

 

In the meantime, happy blogging!

 

Fool on!

Roger


BrianNichols has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. Is this post wrong? Click here. Think you can do better? Join us and write your own!

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