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Not every company is slashing its dividend these days. Some of the market's better performers are easing up on their purse strings, sending more money to their shareholders.
Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.
Let's start with Frisch's Restaurants (AMEX: FRS ) . Joining Darden Restaurants (NYSE: DRI ) in rewarding shareholders, the company behind the Frisch's Big Boy chain is increasing its quarterly dividend by 8% to $0.13 a share. Its mammoth burgers and homemade pies may be tasty, but investors have to love that Frisch's has been profitable every single year since going public in 1960.
Can you hike me now? Good. Verizon (NYSE: VZ ) is also calling in with a chunkier payout. Its new rate is $0.475 a share, a 3% improvement over its recent distributions. Both Verizon and rival AT&T (NYSE: T ) now carry dividend yields over 6%. Verizon has now boosted its yield in each of the past three years, always during the month of September, so mark your calendars for 2010.
Some of these moves may not seem like much, but consider the less savory moves that took place in recent days. Ameriana Bancorp became the latest banker to slash its dividend to a token penny. It's an ugly trend, as even industry heavyweights Bank of America (NYSE: BAC ) and Citigroup (NYSE: C ) did the same thing earlier this year. CBL & Associates (NYSE: CBL ) also chopped its quarterly distributions.
Subscribers to the Motley Fool Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. The newsletter singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.
Want to see what is being recommended these days? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that gets hiked will be your interest.