What's Driving the Dow Higher Today? IBM's Dividend Boost!

IBM is adding more points to the Dow today than any other company. Accelerating dividend boosts will do that every time.

Apr 29, 2014 at 2:00PM

There's an old-school flavor to IBM's price catalyst today. Image source: IBM.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES:^DJI) had gained 0.5% as of 1 p.m. EDT. And the biggest driver of today's Dow action so far was IBM (NYSE:IBM), trading 1.3% higher and adding 16 points to the blue-chip index all by itself. Big Blue is doing this on the back of some exciting news.

I'm talking about IBM's latest dividend announcement, which hit the newswires this morning. The payout of $1.10 per share is scheduled for June 10, raining dividend gold over shareholders of record as of May 9.

What's so exciting about a lousy dividend disclosure? It's all about growing payouts.

IBM Dividend Chart

IBM Dividend data by YCharts.

This dividend shows a 16% boost from the $0.95 per share level, where IBM's payouts have spent the last four quarters.

In the announcement, IBM bragged a bit about 16 straight years of raised dividend payouts, not to mention an unbroken string of quarterly payments stretching back to 1916.

Consistency is key for income investors. The true value of a great dividend stock isn't always tied to a fantastic yield, and IBM's forward yield of 2.4% is still not amazing. Dow stocks on average offer a 2.6% yield.

But growing those payouts on a regular basis adds some magic to the dividend's total value. IBM is showing a strong commitment to upping the payouts. While there are no sure things in investing, it seems safe to assume the company will continue boosting its dividend for years to come.

The stock has nearly doubled the Dow's return over the last decade even without reinvested dividend checks. Throw in the shareholder-friendly and ever-increasing payouts, and the total return grows by another 37%.

IBM Chart

IBM data by YCharts.

One last detail: IBM's dividend growth just accelerated. This 16% boost is the largest upward leap that company payouts have taken since summer 2010. Four years ago, the payout was lifted from $0.55 to $0.65 per share for an 18% boost. The steady flow of $0.10 increases since then has now been broken by a beefier $0.15 hike.

Anders Bylund has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of International Business Machines. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

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Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

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David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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