These Companies Raised Their Dividends Last Week

Deere and Lowe's lead the most recent pack of payout hikers.

Jun 2, 2014 at 1:00PM

Last week, Memorial Day meant one less trading day than usual. Coincidentally, my research suggests that one less company raised its dividend last week -- eight companies in all, down from nine during the preceding week. 

That's not to say there weren't notable companies delivering dividend boosts. Let's have a look at the highlight reel.

Arguably the most prominent stock in the bunch was storied agricultural machinery producer Deere (NYSE:DE). Even though the company recently posted quarterly numbers that represented declines from the year-ago period -- particularly, revenue that dropped 9% to $9.9 billion and attributable net income that fell 10% to $981 million -- it's resolutely bullish on the future. According to Deere projections, the annual total for U.S. farm cash receipts will stay near the current historical high of about $400 billion for the remainder of 2014.

The company is putting its money where its mouth is with an 18% dividend hike. The new $0.60-per-share distribution will be paid on Aug.1 to shareholders of record as of June 30.

That 18% raise was quite nice, but it didn't come close to trumping Lowe's (NYSE:LOW) fat dividend raise of almost 28%. The home improvement retailer had a strong 2013 and reported an encouraging 16% year-on-year improvement in net profit for its first quarter. This is a particularly good result given the awful weather during those months that slammed the building industry (and the economy at large).

Lowe's new dividend amounts to $0.23 per share, which is to be dispensed on Aug. 6 to holders of record as of July 23. There's almost certainly more where that came from -- the company has paid a dividend every quarter since going public more than 50 years ago.

In the financial sector, north-of-the-border lender Bank of Montreal (NYSE:BMO) enacted a modest $0.02 increase to its quarterly common stock payout, for a new total of $0.78 per share. This was announced concurrently with the bank's second-quarter results, which revealed that the company grew net income by 12% on a year-over-year basis, to $1.08 billion. Standouts for the period were the bank's wealth management division, which reported a 38% year-over-year rise in net income, and capital markets, which was up 17% from the second quarter of 2013. Bank of Montreal's just-declared payout will be dispensed on Aug. 26 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 1.

Rounding out last week's quarterly dividend hikes, Extra Space Storage (NYSE:EXR) found plenty of extra space for a nearly 18% raise to $0.47 per share, payable on June 30 to holders of record as of June 13. And business software solutions provider Pegasystems (NASDAQ:PEGA) doubled its payout from $0.015 to $0.03 per share. The new dividend will be paid on July 15 to those in possession of the stock as of July 1. 

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Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Pegasystems. 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

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

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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