I love to kick off the new trading week by taking a quick peek at companies that have just hiked their dividends -- and not just because of the money involved. A company willing to open its wallet wider probably has improving fundamentals to back up that generosity.
Readers of the Motley Fool's Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at four of the companies that inched their payouts higher over the past week.
We'll start with defense contractor General Dynamics
National Research Corp.
Finally, Piedmont Natural Gas
Some of these moves may not sound like much, but consider the companies going the other way last week:
(NYSE:WFC)became the latest banking giant to slam its dividend. Its new rate of $0.05 a share is a brutal 85% hit.
- If you think that's bad, International Paper
(NYSE:IP)is slashing its payout by 90%. Maybe it should eliminate the income entirely and save paper.
- Even gaming companies are feeling the pinch. International Game Technology
(NYSE:IGT)is cutting its distributions by 59%. The company claims it will save $100 million annually on the move, but that only means it will be sending its shareholders $100 million less.
Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter can appreciate companies that send more and more money to their investors. The newsletter singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions, with market-thumping results.
Want to see what our team recommends these days? Give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing to 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 in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.