September 23, 2010
McDonald's (NYSE: MCD ) just can't be stopped. Not only has its share appreciation been a winner for investors over recent years, but now it's raised its dividend again, to boot.
Mickey D's is boosting its quarterly dividend by 11% to $0.61 per share, which will add up to $2.44 per share on an annual basis. McDonald's dividend yield is now 3.2%.
The fast food behemoth's shareholders are surely smiling right now. The stock's up 39% in the last year alone, and that dependable dividend is a tasty added bonus. And that payout is one reason my Foolish colleague Jim Royal called the stock a dividend play for a lifetime. McDonald's beats the conventional wisdom that dividend payers are necessarily slow growers.
There are of course other solid dividend payers out there in the restaurant space, like rivals Starbucks (Nasdaq: SBUX ) and Yum! Brands (NYSE: YUM ) . Of course, a dividend that grows less than expected can occasionally throw a wet blanket on a stock price. Microsoft's (Nasdaq: MSFT ) recent dividend increase fell short of expectations and cast a pall on the stock. But increases usually signal that a company is confident in its current prospects and therefore is able to relinquish some cash.
Investors shouldn't bet against McDonald's. It's a far superior stock to longtime struggler Wendy's/Arby's (NYSE: WEN ) , which pays out a modest 1.3%. Mickey D's has been excelling operationally, too. It is still a solid stock for long-term portfolios.