About the Author FerdiS

My hobby is investing in stocks and options. I read several investment newsletters and manage four personal portfolios using different strategies. I blog about my dividend growth portfolio, DivGro, which I started in January 2013.

Dividend Increases, February 2-6, 2015

In the past few weeks I’ve noticed a significant number of dividend increase announcements. One reason is that many companies announce dividend increases at the end of their fiscal year. Also, it seems like master limited partnerships announce new distributions around this time of year.

In a recent article, I present no fewer than 32 dividend and distribution increases for companies on my watch list. Those increases vary from as high as 45% to as low as 0.75%. This article presents dividend increases announced during the week of February 2-6, 2015.

As regular readers of my blog know, I monitor dividend increases for stocks in my watch list because it is a convenient way to identify dividend growth candidates. Companies that regularly increase dividends show confidence in their future earnings growth potential.

Another reason is that I track the yield on cost (YoC) of stocks in DivGro. When dividends increase, I make YoC adjustments and update DivGro’sprojected annual dividend income, a measure of the income potential of the portfolio over the next 12 months.

In the first week of February, the following stocks in my watch list announced dividend increases. The table is sorted by last column, %Incr., and dividends are annualized. Yield indicates the new dividend yield for the market closePrice on 02/08/2015. 5-yr DGR is the compound annual growth rate of the dividend over a five year period. PEG ratio is the Price/Earnings to Growth ratio, or P/E divided by the 5-year future growth rate.

Dividend Increases: February 2-6, 2015

Company Ticker Yield Price
(8 FEB)
Yrs 5-yr
Lazard Limited LAZ 2.36% $50.81 7 21.7% 0.94 1.00 1.20 +20.00
Dr Pepper Snapple Group DPS 2.46% $77.99 5 n/a 2.55 1.64 1.92 +17.07
Neenah Paper Inc NP 1.99% $60.23 5 20.6% 1.54 1.08 1.20 +11.11
United Technologies UTX 2.14% $119.81 21 8.9% 1.62 2.36 2.56 +8.47
Church & Dwight CHD 1.63% $81.96 18 40.1% 2.86 1.24 1.34 +8.06
Meredith Corp MDP 3.37% $54.33 21 14.0% 1.32 1.73 1.83 +5.78
WGL Holdings Inc WGL 3.40% $54.45 38 3.6% 5.01 1.76 1.85 +5.11
PartnerRe Limited PRE 2.31% $121.08 21 7.3% 9.75 2.68 2.80 +4.48
Avista Corp AVA 3.74% $35.26 12 9.4% 3.73 1.27 1.32 +3.94
Nu Skin Enterprises Inc NUS 2.65% $52.76 14 24.6% n/a 1.38 1.40 +1.45

Previous post: Dividend Increases: January 19-30, 2015

In the table, the three DivGro holdings that received dividend increases are highlighted:

• Meredith Corp (NYSE:MDP)
Founded in 1902 and headquartered in Des Moines, Iowa, MDP is the leading media and marketing company serving American women. The company has two business segments: publishing and broadcasting. The publishing segment includes magazine and book publishing, integrated marketing, interactive media, brand licensing, and other related operations. The broadcasting segment includes the operations of network-affiliated television stations and syndicated television program marketing and development.

I bought shares of MDP in March 2014 at an initial YoC of 3.83%. On Monday, MDP announced an increase in its quarterly dividend of 5.78% to 45.75¢ a share. The dividend is payable on 13 March to shareholders of record at the close of business on 27 February. The increase raises MDP’s YoC to 4.05% and DivGro’s projected annual dividend income by $5.50.

• PartnerRe Limited (NYSE:PRE)
Incorporated in Bermuda in August 1993, PRE is a leading global reinsurer, providing reinsurance through its wholly owned subsidiaries. Risks reinsured include property, casualty, motor, agriculture, aviation, catastrophe, credit, engineering, energy, marine, specialty property, specialty casualty, multi-line and other lines, mortality, longevity, accident and health and alternative risk products.

The company declared a quarterly dividend of 70¢ per share, an increase of 4.48% over the prior quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable 27 March. When I bought shares of PRE in May 2014, YoC was 2.79%. Now PRE’s YoC is 3.05% and projected annual dividend income is $3.24 higher.

• Avista Corp (NYSE:AVA)
AVA is a diversified energy company engaged in the generation, transmission and distribution of energy in North America. Avista Utilities is an operating division of AVA that comprises of its regulated utility operations. It serves customers in Washington, Idaho and Oregon and contributes over 90% of AVA’s earnings. Ecova is the company’s primary, non-utility subsidiary, providing energy efficiency and cost management services for multi-site customers. AVA was founded in 1889 and is headquartered in Spokane, Washington.

AVA’s board of directors approved an increase in its quarterly dividend to 33¢ per share, an increase of nearly 3.94%. The dividend is payable on 13 March, to shareholders of record on 20 February. I purchased shares of AVA in October 2014 with a YoC of 3.72%. This dividend increase adds $3.75 to DivGro’s projected annual dividend income and increases AVA’s YoC to 3.87%.

Other Dividend Increases
• Lazard Limited (NYSE:LAZ)
LAZ is a Bermuda-based holding company founded in 1848 in New Orleans. The company operates as a preeminent international financial advisory and asset management firm, serving corporations, governments, institutions, partnerships and high net-worth individuals in 41 cities across 26 countries. On 4 February, the board of directors approved an increase to its regular quarterly dividend from 25¢ per share to 30¢ per share, an increase of 20.00%. The first payment will be on 19 February to stockholders of record on 13 March.

• Dr Pepper Snapple Group (NYSE:DPS)
Incorporated in 2007 and headquarters in Plano, Texas, DPS is one of the largest beverage companies in the Americas. DPS has a diverse portfolio of flavored carbonated soft drinks, including brands such as Dr Pepper, Sunkist and 7UP, as well as non-carbonated beverages such as Snapple, Hawaiian Punch, and Rose’s. On 5 February, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 48¢ per share, payable on 7 April to shareholders of record on 16 March. The new dividend represents an increase of 17.07%.

• Neenah Paper Inc (NYSE:NP)
NP was incorporated in April 2004 and is organized into two primary businesses. The technical products business produces transportation and other filter media and coated substrates for industrial products backings. The fine paper business supplies premium writing, cover and other specialty papers. On 2 February, the company declared a quarterly dividend of 30¢ per share, payable on 3 March to shareholders of record on 13 February.

• United Technologies (NYSE:UTX)
UTX, based in Hartford, Connecticut, provides a broad range of high technology products and services to the building and aerospace industries. Products include Pratt & Whitney aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines; Carrier heating, air conditioning and refrigeration; Otis elevator, escalator and people movers; Hamilton Sundstrand aerospace and industrial products; Sikorsky helicopters and International Fuel Cells power systems. On 2 February, the board of directors declared a quarterly dividend of 64¢ per share, payable on 10 March to shareholders of record on 13 February. The new dividend represents an increase of 8.47%.

• Church & Dwight (NYSE:CHD)
CHD develops, manufactures and markets a range of household, personal care and specialty products. The company sells its consumer products under a range of brands through a distribution platform that includes supermarkets, mass merchandisers, wholesale clubs, drugstores, convenience stores, specialty stores, and websites. CHD was founded in 1846 and is headquartered in Ewing, New Jersey. On 3 February, the company declared a quarterly dividend of 33.5¢ per share, payable on 2 March to shareholders of record on 10 February. The new dividend represents an increase of 8.06%.

• WGL Holdings Inc (NYSE:WGL)
Founded in 1848 and headquartered in Washington, D.C., WGL is a leading source for clean, efficient and diverse energy solutions. Through subsidiaries, WGL sells and delivers natural gas and provides energy-related products and services to customers in Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, Pennsylvania, and the District of Columbia. On 3 February, the company declared a quarterly dividend of 46.25¢ per share, payable on 1 May to shareholders of record on 10 April. The new dividend represents an increase of 5.11%.

• Nu Skin Enterprises Inc (NYSE:NUS)
Founded in 1984, NUS is a global direct selling company with operations in 53 markets worldwide. The company develops and distributes innovative, premium-quality anti-aging personal care products and nutritional supplements under its Nu Skin and Pharmanex brands, respectively. The company is headquartered in Provo, Utah. Recently, the board of directors of NUS declared a quarterly dividend of 35¢ per share. The dividend is payable on 18 March, to shareholders of record on 27 February.

Please note that I’m not recommending any of these stocks. Readers should do their own research on these companies before buying shares.

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