With respect to dividend increases, not all months are the same.
Sometimes, you can be pleasantly surprised.
For instance, this February, no less than nine of my holdings, about a third of them, increased their dividends. By comparison, in January, only one company which stock I own increased its dividend.
Let's review the list.
On February 6, BCE (NYSE:BCE) increased its quarterly dividend by 6.0%, from CA$0.5825 per share (0.53 U.S) to CA$0.6175 per share (0.56 U.S.).
This recent increase was about twice as large as the last one in February 2013.
This is a nice increase from a stock already yielding more than 5%.
Union Pacific Corp.
On February 6, Union Pacific (NYSE:UNP) increased its quarterly dividend by 15.2%, from $0.79 per share to $0.91 per share.
This most recent increase is in line with the last increase, in August of last year, which was of 14.5%.
Union Pacific has been a very aggressive dividend grower in recent years, more than doubling its dividend in the last three years alone.
No wonder Warren Buffett likes this industry so much. Dividend investors, take note!
Cisco Systems, Inc.
On February 12, Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:CSCO) increased its quarterly dividend by 11.8%, from $0.17 per share to $0.19 per share.
Though Cisco is a dividend newcomer, having started to pay a dividend only in 2011, this most recent increase seems to confirm that Cisco is dedicated to become a steady dividend growth stock.
On February 13, PepsiCo (NYSE:PEP) increased its quarterly dividend by 15.4%, from $0.5675 per share to $0.655 per share.
This recent increase is surprising by its magnitude. Though I'm expecting PepsiCo to increase its dividend every year, I was expecting an increase in the 5-6% range.
However, I will take a 15.4% increase any day.
On February 20, AbbVie (NYSE:ABBV) increased its quarterly dividend by 5.0%, from $0.40 per share to $0.42 per share.
For those who don't know, AbbVie is a spin-off of Abbott Laboratories (NYSE:ABT). This is why I'm a shareholder of AbbVie, I got my shares as part of the spin-off.
Prior to the spin-off, Abbott was a steady dividend grower, having several decades of consecutive dividend increases. With the spin-off, it became unclear how the two new entities would behave with respect to dividend increases.
The old Abbott used to increase its dividend once a year in February. Maybe AbbVie is starting its own dividend streak on the same schedule. Only time will tell.
On February 20, Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO) increased its quarterly dividend by 8.9%, from $0.28 per share to $0.3050 per share.
For the record, this was the 52nd consecutive dividend increase from Coca-Cola.
What else to say?
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
On February 20, Wal-Mart (NYSE:WMT) increased its quarterly dividend by 2.1%, from $0.47 per share to $0.48 per share.
This last increase is disappointing to say the least. Wal-Mart used to increase its dividend at a double-digit rate. It seems Wal-Mart needs a break. I just hope it's a short break.
Royal Bank of Canada
On February 26, Royal Bank of Canada (NYSE:RY) increased its quarterly dividend by 6.0%, from CA$0.67 per share (0.61 U.S.) to CA$0.71 per share (0.64 U.S.).
Notably, this was Royal Bank's second increase in the last 12 months. In that sense, over the last year, RY has increased its dividend by a total of 12.7%.
It now seems pretty clear that Royal Bank has resumed its pattern of raising its dividend twice a year, in February and August.
Next August should thus bring another dividend increase. Mark your calendar.
On February 27, TD Bank (NYSE:TD) increased its quarterly dividend by 9.3%, from CA$0.43 per share (0.39 U.S.) to CA$0.47 per share (0.43 U.S.) (adjusted for the February share split).
For TD Bank, this was the third increase in the last 12 months.
Overall, over the last year, TD Bank has increased its dividend by 16.0%.
Personally, I don't know many banks that have increased their dividends by more than 15%. TD Bank should be on your watchlist.
As a dividend investor, when I have a month like that, it reassures me that dividend investing works. You only need to find and buy solid dividend stocks, hold to them and collect the growing dividends.
I currently own 37 different dividend stocks. After only two months, 10 of them have increased their dividends. This is dividend investing at work.
Disclosure: Long on ABBV, BCE, CSCO, KO, PEP, RY, TD, UNP and WMT.