Grow your dividend, and your shareholders grow with you. At least that's one way to approach a stock that is ratcheting up its distributions. Not only do you have a company rewarding its investors with a little more pocket change, but you also have a stock with improving fundamentals.
Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.
We'll start with Wrigley
The announcement came at a peculiar time -- on the same day that Wrigley had announced its second consecutive disappointing quarter. Even the company admitted that the hike was going to result in a higher payout ratio. That's not a good thing, because it means the company will be paying more out of its earnings base to cover the dividend distributions, which translates into earnings in 2006 growing slower than the 14% dividend uptick.
Black & Decker
Finally, we have UPS
Subscribers to our Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. Analyst Mathew Emmert has often singled out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.
Want to see what Mathew's liking these days? Go ahead and give his newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz pays attention to yield signs. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.