Dividend checks continue to get fatter in corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates.
Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.
Let's start with XL Group (NYSE: XL ) . The global property and casualty insurer's new quarterly dividend of $0.11 a share is a 10% improvement over its previous rate. The insurance giant may be incorporated in Bermuda, but its principal executive offices are in Dublin. Yes, even Irish companies are smiling these days.
Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT ) is also giving its investors more shopping money. The world's largest retailer's boosting its quarterly payouts 21% to $0.365 a share. It's a bold upgrade considering that domestic same-store sales have fallen for seven quarters in a row.
Canadian Natural Resources (NYSE: CNQ ) is also fueling its distributions. The Calgary-based oil and natural gas producer is bumping its quarterly rate 20% higher to $0.09 a share. Canadian Natural Resources has jacked up its yield for 11 years in a row.
Finally we have General Dynamics (NYSE: GD ) going on the offensive. The defense contractor is fortifying its dividend by 12%. Shareowners will now be receiving $0.47 a share every three months. There may be concerns out there that defense contractors will be tested under the country's budgetary constraints, but General Dynamics obviously feels it has enough wiggle room to return more of its money to investors.
These four companies join discount retailer Fred's (Nasdaq: FRED ) , tech lender Hercules Tech Growth Capital (Nasdaq: HTGC ) , and oil and gas producers Devon Energy (NYSE: DVN ) in improving their payouts.
Subscribers to the 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.
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