Dividend checks continue to get fatter in Corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates. Readers of the Income Investor newsletter service can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher these past few days.
We can start with Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ ) . The world's leading PC maker surprised investors with a better-than-expected quarterly report, and it's sharing the wealth. HP's new rate of $0.1452 a share is a 10% increase to its earlier rate.
HP had come through with springtime increases in the two prior years, but it seemed as if the streak would end, given the sluggish state of global PC sales lately. HP came through for its patient stakeholders.
Permian Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE: PBT ) is also flowing more freely with its distributions. The trust's new rate of $0.088488 per unit may seem to be a numerical stretch, but it's a healthy 45% pop from its prior monthly payout. Increased oil production and higher oil prices helped the company generate more money that it passes on to its investors.
National Oilwell Varco (NYSE: NOV ) , a maker of oil and gas drilling and oilfield services equipment, doubled its quarterly dividend to $0.26 a share.
"This dividend increase reflects the company's strong financial condition and our confidence in our business going forward," its CEO states. Yes, payout increases -- even the ones less dramatic than National Oilwell Varco's outright doubling -- are strong signs of near-term confidence.
Finally we have American Tower (NYSE: AMT ) connecting with its investors. The company builds antenna towers and then leases them out to wireless carriers and broadcasters. It reorganized as a REIT last year, and it has declared higher distributions every single quarter since. Things weren't any different this past week, as American Tower's new quarterly rate of $0.27 a share is 4% ahead of what it shelled out just three months earlier.
Checks and balances
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