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 Merck (NYSE: MRK ) .
The drugmaker prescribed a more potent dividend, boosting its quarterly rate 11% to $0.42 a share. This is the first time since 2004 that Merck has juiced up its yield. The seven-year lull has been the result of billion-dollar drugs going off patent and a pipeline that has been slow to replenish the pharmaceuticals giant's fleet of treatments.
Lincoln National (NYSE: LNC ) is also on the move, increasing its quarterly distributions by a whopping 60% to $0.08 a share. The company behind insurance titan Lincoln Financial assures shareholders that the move will not get in the way of any future share repurchases.
Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP ) knows a thing or two about processing disbursements. ADP is a giant in the outsourcing of human resources and payroll. ADP's new quarterly rate of $0.395 a share is a 10% improvement. Shareholders should be used to this by now, since the company has managed to increase its dividend for 37 consecutive years.
Finally, we have Prudential Financial (NYSE: PRU ) rocking hard. You can't squeeze blood from a stone, but investors are getting a bigger piece of this Rock. The financial services behemoth is jacking up its annual dividend 26% to $1.45 a share.
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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If you want to track these stocks to see if and when they hike their payouts again, consider adding them to My Watchlist.