5 Companies with Seven-Plus Years of Rising Dividends Boost Payouts Again

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By: Ned Piplovic

Among the 300 companies that declared dividends last week, 94 of them boosted their payouts.

Aside from the top-performing securities highlighted in several articles last week, here are five additional investment opportunities that announced double-digit percentage payout increases that also have track records of raising their dividends for seven-plus consecutive years. The dividend yields of two of the companies are above 3%, which is triple the highest interest rates paid by any U.S. banks right now.

5 Companies with Seven-Plus Years of Rising Dividends Boost Payouts Again_2017-02-14

*Dividend payouts of the Intact Financial Corporation (OTB:IFCZF) and Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU) are denominated in Canadian Dollars. In the table above and the text below the amounts have been converted to U.S. Dollars using the exchange rate from XE.com as of 11:30 am on February 13, 2017.

Equifax, Inc. (NYSE:EFX)

Equifax Inc. offers primarily consumer and commercial information services, such as credit information and credit scoring, credit modeling and portfolio analytics, fraud detection and prevention, and identity verification. Through additional business segments, the company provides employment, income, and social security number verification services, as well as payroll-based transaction and employment tax management services.

The company boosted its most recent quarterly dividend 18.2% from $0.33 to $0.39. The annualized payout of $1.56 is equivalent to a 1.2% yield, which is consistent with its 1.2% average yield over the past five years. The current annual payout is on target to be the eighth consecutive year of rising dividends. Over that period, the dividend grew at an average rate of 33% and has increased almost 10-fold versus the $0.16 annual amount that the company paid in 2009.

The company’s share price gained more than 40% between the 52-week low on February 16, 2016, and the 52-week high on July 26. After the peak in July, the price lost 19% by December 1, 2016, but reversed course afterwards and closed at $130.56 on February 10, 2017, which is only 4.7% short of the July price peak and 34% above the low from February 2016.

Activision Blizzard, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATVI)

Activision Blizzard, Inc. is a developer and publisher of games for personal computers (PC), video game consoles, tablets, smart phones and other handheld and mobile devices. Additionally, the company publishes subscription-based online role-playing games, creates original film and television content, and provides warehousing, logistical, and sales distribution services to third-party software publishers and manufacturers of interactive entertainment hardware products.

The company raised its annual dividend 16% from $0.26 last year to the current $0.30 payout, which is equivalent to a 0.6% yield. Since the company started paying a dividend in 2010, it has increased its payout every year. Over the last seven years, the company grew its dividend by more than 10% annually and the current payout is double the $0.15 amount paid in 2010.

While ATVI’s dividend yield is not as high as some of the other payers, ATVI’s share price climbed strongly since last year’s low of $28.55 on February 16, 2016. The share price rose 67% between February and mid-October 2016, then pulled back 27% by December 2, 2016. After that correction, the share price rose to reach a new 52-week high on February 10, 2017, and closed on the same day at $47.23, which was less than 1% below the peak price. Over the last five years, the share price grew significantly and is currently 305% higher than the February 2012 price.

Reynolds American Inc. (NYSE:RAI)

Reynolds American Inc., through its RJR Tobacco, Santa Fe, and American Snuff subsidiaries, manufactures and sells cigarettes and other tobacco products in the United States.

The company increased its quarterly dividend almost 11% from the previous quarter’s $0.46 to the current $0.51 payout. The annual payout of $2.04 converts to a 3.4% yield. This current dividend boost is the company’s eighth consecutive payout increase since 2009. Since 2004, the company failed to raise its payout only once. That happened in 2009, when RAI paid a dividend equal to the previous year’s payout. Because of an 11.6% average annual growth rate, the current dividend is 140% higher than the 2004 payout.

Reynolds American’s share price fluctuated between $48 and $54 from February to October 19, 2016, when it reached its 52-week low. Immediately after the year’s low, the price jumped up 10% in four days and continued to rise toward its 52-week high of $60.91 on February 8, 2017.

Intact Financial Corporation (OTB:IFCZF)

Intact Financial Corporation provides property and casualty insurance products for individuals and businesses in Canada. It principally underwrites automobile, home, and commercial property and casualty insurance contracts.

The company raised its current quarterly dividend 10.3% versus the amount paid last quarter. The annual payout of $1.96 converts to a 2.7% yield. Since 2005, the company increased its dividend every year at an average growth rate of 9.6% and tripled its payout over the last 12 years.

The share price rose 23% between its 52-week low in February and its 52-week on September 6, 2016. Over the subsequent two months, the share price dropped 8.7% before reversing the downward trend and recovering 60% of that loss to reach $71.70 by February 10, 2017. That level was just 4% below its September high and 17% above the 52-week low in February 2016.

Suncor Energy Inc. (NYSE:SU)

Suncor Energy Inc. is an integrated energy company with a primary focus on developing petroleum resource basins in Canada’s Athabasca oil sands. The company explores, develops, produces and markets crude oil and natural gas in Canada and internationally. Through additional business segments, the company has a stake in refining and transporting crude oil. To that end, it owns interest in six wind power projects and an ethanol plant in Ontario. Founded in 1953 as Suncor Inc., the company changed its name to Suncor Energy Inc. in 1997.

The company’s annual dividend of $0.98 is paid quarterly and converts to a 2.7% yield. Since 2009, the company rose its annual payout every year at an average 22% growth rate. The current payout grew almost five-fold over the past eight years.

Suncor Energy’s share price increased 55% between the 52-week low last February and its 52-week high on December 12, 2016. Since the December high, the price pulled back 6% and closed at $31.71 on February 10, 2017, to mark 40% capital appreciation from the February 2016 52-week low.


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Ned-Piplovic

 

Ned Piplovic is the assistant editor of website content at Eagle Financial Publications. He graduated from Columbia University with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Philosophy. Prior to joining Eagle, Ned spent 15 years in corporate operations and financial management. Ned writes for www.DividendInvestor.com and www.StockInvestor.com.

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