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It is a well-documented fact that a significant portion of the historical equity returns are a result of reinvested dividends. In Triumph of the Optimists: 101 Years of Global Investment Returns (2002), the authors looked at equity returns from capital gains and dividends from 1900 to 2000. They determined that performance in any given year was driven by capital appreciation, but long-term returns were largely the result of reinvested dividends.

Here are several companies looking to increase their long-term returns by raising their cash dividends:

Accenture plc (NYSE:ACN) provides management consulting, technology, and business process outsourcing services worldwide. September 26th the company increased its semi-annual dividend dividend 15% to $0.93 per share. The dividend is payable on November 15, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 8, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.5%.

Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE:LMT), a security and aerospace company, engages in the research, design, development, manufacture, integration, and sustainment of advanced technology systems. September 26, the company increased its quarterly dividend 15.7% to $1.33 per share. The dividend is payable December 27, 2013 to holders of record as of the close of business on December 2, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 4.2%.

Campbell Soup Company (NYSE:CPB) engages in the manufacture and marketing of branded convenience food products worldwide. September 25, the company increased its quarterly dividend 7.6% to $0.312 per share. The dividend is payable October 28, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business October 8, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.0%.

Washington Federal, Inc. (NASDAQ:WAFD) operates as the holding company for Washington Federal that provides various financial services in the United States. September 23, the company increased its quarterly dividend 11.1% to $0.10 per share. The dividend is payable October 18, 2013 to common stockholders of record on October 4, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 2.0%.

Agrium Inc. (NYSE:AGU) engages in the retail of agricultural products and services. The company operates through three segments: Retail, Wholesale, and Advanced Technologies. September 23, the company increased its quarterly dividend 50% to $0.75 per share. The dividend is payable October 17, 2013 to shareholders of record on September 30, 2013. The yield based on the new payout is 3.4%.

Selecting stocks with increasing dividends is critical for an income growth strategy. The above list contains stocks that recently raised their dividends; it is not a list of recommend buys. As always, due diligence should be performed before buying or selling any stock. For a list of stocks with a long string of consecutive cash dividend increases, see this list.

Full Disclosure: Long LMT in my Dividend Growth Stock portfolio. See a list of all my dividend growth holdings here.

Source: 5 Dividend Stocks Turbo-Charging Returns With Increased Dividends