These 3 Companies Just Raised Their Dividends

Two firms energized their distributions last week, and they were joined by a regional bank headquartered in Arkansas.

Jul 7, 2014 at 10:00AM

Last week was a short one due to the Independence Day break, and perhaps as a result there weren't too many dividend increases from companies on the market. But what they lacked in volume they made up for in magnitude.

Let's take a look at a large-cap oil and gas concern, another a power company of long standing, and a regional bank that's about to start returning more money to its shareholders.

BreitBurn Energy Partners
A well-diversified energy firm, BreitBurn Energy Partners (NASDAQ:BBEP) has assets in a clutch of plays across the U.S., including the hot Permian Basin in Texas and New Mexico.

Lately, BreitBurn Energy Partners has favored growth through acquisitions, most notably inking a huge deal worth around $846 million to acquire a set of Oklahoma assets from a subsidiary of Whiting Petroleum (NYSE:WLL) last summer.It still has its wallet open, as management has set a target of $600 million in new buys for this year.

That's yet to materialize, which could be a relief for income investors worried that such outlays put the dividend at risk.

That concern might be justified. BreitBurn Energy Partners is a serial dividend-payer, and it's shelling out often: Since the beginning of this year, it has handed out its distribution on a monthly basis. Meanwhile, its capital expenditures are high, and it's been free-cash-flow negative lately. 

Regardless, BreitBurn just lifted its dividend slightly, bumping it by 1% to $0.1675 per unit for a chunky yield of 9%. The upcoming monthly payout will be dispensed on July 16 to unit holders of record as of July 11.

Duke Energy
Due to the steady and generally predictable nature of its business, the utilities sector can be a fine source of steady income.

Exhibit A is North Carolina-seated Duke Energy (NYSE:DUK), a traditional power company doing business in six states on or near the eastern seaboard. To broaden these offerings, the company also operates renewable-energy sources and draws revenue from non-U.S. operations located chiefly in Latin America.

That wide customer base has helped Duke Energy improve its results notably so far this decade -- the company has grown its revenues and net profit every fiscal year since 2009.

This gives the company plenty of scope to increase its quarterly distribution, which it's done once per year like clockwork starting in 2007 (adjusted for a 1-for-3 reverse split effected in 2012). At the end of its most recently reported quarter, Duke Energy had over $1.5 billion in cash and strong operating cash flow, making it rather likely that it'll stick to this habit.

Last week Duke Energy stayed true to form and raised its payout by 2% to $0.795 per share, which yields 4.4% at the current share price. The dividend is to be paid on September 16 to shareholders of record as of August 15.

Bank of the Ozarks
On the subject of good dividend raise track records, Bank of the Ozarks (NASDAQ:OZRK) has been adding to its distribution for 16 straight quarters (when adjusted for a stock split effected in June). OK, those increases have been of the $0.01 or $0.02 variety, but that's still a pretty good streak.

That steady growth from the regional lender has been matched by similar gains in total assets, specifically net loans, and more specifically mortgages. All three line items have risen admirably over the past few years, with total assets climbing from $2.8 billion in 2009, to $3.8 billion two years later, to $4.8 billion in 2013.

Meanwhile, the bank lands well and consistently in the black, and its total dividend payout is typically much lower than its operating cash flow,  so its distribution looks secure at the moment.

Bank of the Ozarks' most recently declared dividend is $0.12 per share. This is $0.01, or 4%, higher than the preceding payout (again, adjusted for that recent stock split), and yields 1.4% on the share price. The distribution will be paid on July 18 to shareholders of record as of July 11.

Top dividend stocks for the next decade
The smartest investors know that dividend stocks simply crush their non-dividend paying counterparts over the long term. That's beyond dispute. They also know that a well-constructed dividend portfolio creates wealth steadily, while still allowing you to sleep like a baby. Knowing how valuable such a portfolio might be, our top analysts put together a report on a group of high-yielding stocks that should be in any income investor's portfolio. To see our free report on these stocks, just click here now.

Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends BreitBurn Energy Partners. 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.

1 Key Step to Get Rich

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better. Whether that’s helping people overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we can help.

Feb 1, 2016 at 4:54PM

To be perfectly clear, this is not a get-rich action that my Foolish colleagues and I came up with. But we wouldn't argue with the approach.

A 2015 Business Insider article titled, "11 websites to bookmark if you want to get rich" rated The Motley Fool as the #1 place online to get smarter about investing.

"The Motley Fool aims to build a strong investment community, which it does by providing a variety of resources: the website, books, a newspaper column, a radio [show], and [newsletters]," wrote (the clearly insightful and talented) money reporter Kathleen Elkins. "This site has something for every type of investor, from basic lessons for beginners to investing commentary on mutual funds, stock sectors, and value for the more advanced."

Our mission at The Motley Fool is to help the world invest better, so it's nice to receive that kind of recognition. It lets us know we're doing our job.

Whether that's helping the entirely uninitiated overcome their fear of stocks all the way to offering clear and successful guidance on complicated-sounding options trades, we want to provide our readers with a boost to the next step on their journey to financial independence.

Articles and beyond

As Business Insider wrote, there are a number of resources available from the Fool for investors of all levels and styles.

In addition to the dozens of free articles we publish every day on our website, I want to highlight two must-see spots in your tour of

For the beginning investor

Investing can seem like a Big Deal to those who have yet to buy their first stock. Many investment professionals try to infuse the conversation with jargon in order to deter individual investors from tackling it on their own (and to justify their often sky-high fees).

But the individual investor can beat the market. The real secret to investing is that it doesn't take tons of money, endless hours, or super-secret formulas that only experts possess.

That's why we created a best-selling guide that walks investors-to-be through everything they need to know to get started. And because we're so dedicated to our mission, we've made that available for free.

If you're just starting out (or want to help out someone who is), go to, drop in your email address, and you'll be able to instantly access the quick-read guide ... for free.

For the listener

Whether it's on the stationary exercise bike or during my daily commute, I spend a lot of time going nowhere. But I've found a way to make that time benefit me.

The Motley Fool offers five podcasts that I refer to as "binge-worthy financial information."

Motley Fool Money features a team of our analysts discussing the week's top business and investing stories, interviews, and an inside look at the stocks on our radar. It's also featured on several dozen radio stations across the country.

The hosts of Motley Fool Answers challenge the conventional wisdom on life's biggest financial issues to reveal what you really need to know to make smart money moves.

David Gardner, co-founder of The Motley Fool, is among the most respected and trusted sources on investing. And he's the host of Rule Breaker Investing, in which he shares his insights into today's most innovative and disruptive companies ... and how to profit from them.

Market Foolery is our daily look at stocks in the news, as well as the top business and investing stories.

And Industry Focus offers a deeper dive into a specific industry and the stories making headlines. Healthcare, technology, energy, consumer goods, and other industries take turns in the spotlight.

They're all informative, entertaining, and eminently listenable ... and I don't say that simply because the hosts all sit within a Nerf-gun shot of my desk. Rule Breaker Investing and Answers contain timeless advice, so you might want to go back to the beginning with those. The other three take their cues from the market, so you'll want to listen to the most recent first. All are available at

But wait, there's more

The book and the podcasts – both free ... both awesome – also come with an ongoing benefit. If you download the book, or if you enter your email address in the magical box at the podcasts page, you'll get ongoing market coverage sent straight to your inbox.

Investor Insights is valuable and enjoyable coverage of everything from macroeconomic events to investing strategies to our analyst's travels around the world to find the next big thing. Also free.

Get the book. Listen to a podcast. Sign up for Investor Insights. I'm not saying that any of those things will make you rich ... but Business Insider seems to think so.

Compare Brokers