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Last week the markets broke through yet another set of support levels to the lowest point in 11 years. Pundits, technical analysts and others kept getting more bearish on the markets and the economy. There were however several stocks which showed enough confidence in their financial situation that they decided to stick with their dividend payment plans. I view stocks that increase their dividends in this tough environment as defensive, recession proof corporations, who have survived many downturns, recessions and credit crisis. They view the current financial hiccup as only temporary in nature, which in turn shows the confidence in their business models.
The companies that increased their dividend payments to stockholders include:

Donaldson Company, Inc. (NYSE:DCI) announced that its Board has approved a 5.00% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.11 to $0.115 per common share. Donaldson Company is a dividend achiever which has increased its dividends for over thirteen years. The stock currently yields 1.80%.

Sysco Corporation (NYSE:SYY) announced that its Board has approved a 9% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.22 to $0.24 per common share. Sysco Corporation is a dividend champion which has increased its dividends for over thirty seven years. The stock currently yields 4.10%.

NIKE, Inc. (NYSE:NKE) announced that its Board has approved a 9% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.23 to $0.25 per common share. Nike has increased its dividends for seven years. The stock currently yields 2.10%.

The Laclede Group (NYSE:LG), which was one of the original twelve components in the Dow Industrials Index, announced that its Board has approved a 2.6% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.375 to $0.385 per common share. The Laclede Group has increased its dividends for over thirteen years. The stock currently yields 3.10%.

Roper Industries, Inc. (NYSE:ROP) announced that its Board has approved a 13.80% increase in its quarterly dividend from $0.0725 to $0.0825 per common share. Roper Industries, Inc.is a dividend achiever which has increased its dividends for over ten consecutive years. The stock currently yields 0.90%.

NSTAR. (NYSE:NST) announced that its Board has approved a 7.10% increase in its quarterly dividend to $1.50 per common share. NSTAR is a dividend achiever which has increased its dividends for over eleven consecutive years. The stock currently yields 4.50%.

SkyWest, Inc. (NASDAQ:SKYW) announced that its Board has approved a 33% increase in its quarterly dividend to $0.04 per common share. This regional airline stock currently yields 1.40%.

Disclosure: Author is long SYY.

Source: Companies Show Confidence in Economy by Sticking with Dividend Increases