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In difficult economic times, it makes sense to scout for investment opportunities with robust business models and sustainable dividends. Despite the uncertainty, many companies are running well and are still confident about the economic future. That’s the reason why they have raised dividends. With this thesis in mind, here are 19 stocks which have raised dividends within the recent week.

1. Aflac (AFL) is acting within the accident and health insurance industry. The P/E ratio is 12.3 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.4 percent. The company raised its quarterly dividend 10 percent to 33 cents per share from 30 cents.

2. American Electric Power (AEP) is acting within the electric utilities industry. The P/E ratio is 12.9 and the dividend yield amounts to 4.7 percent. The company increased its quarterly cash dividend to 47 cents a share, a penny more than the previous payout.

3. AVX Corp (AVX) is acting within the diversified utilities industry. The P/E ratio is 9.1 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.6 percent. The company provided the conduit for a 36 percent increase in its quarterly dividend to 7.5 cents per common share.

4. Barrick Gold (ABX) is acting within the gold industry. The P/E ratio is 13.3 and the dividend yield amounts to 0.9 percent. The company raised its dividend to 15 cents a share from 12 cents.

5. Chevron (CVX) is acting within the major integrated oil and gas industry. The P/E ratio is 9.6 and the dividend yield amounts to 2.9 percent. The company increased its quarterly payout by 4 percent to 81 cents per share.

6. Kennametal (KMT) is acting within the machine tools and accessories industry. The P/E ratio is 14.5 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.2 percent. The company tooled up a 17 percent increase in its dividend, upping its quarterly payout to 14 cents per share.

7. Macerich Company (MAC) is acting within the retail REITs industry. The P/E ratio is 454.6 and the dividend yield amounts to 4.0 percent. The company upped its lease with shareholders, raising its quarterly dividend 10 percent to 55 cents per share.

8. Marathon Petroleum Corporation (MPC) is acting within the oil and gas refining and marketing industry. The P/E ratio is 7.2 and the dividend yield amounts to 2.1 percent. The company poured out a higher dividend to shareholders, upping its payout by 25 percent.

9. MSC Industrial Direct Co. (MSM) is acting within the industrial equipment wholesale industry. The P/E ratio is 21.7 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.3 percent. The company announced a 3-cent per share dividend increase to 25 cents per share.

10. NewMarket Corp. (NEU) is acting within the specialty chemicals industry. The P/E ratio is 14.2 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.2 percent. The company boosted its quarterly payout by 25% to 75 cents per share.

11. Newmont Mining (NEM) is acting within the gold industry. The P/E ratio is 14.2 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.8 percent. The company lifted its quarterly dividend by 17 percent to 35 cents per share.

12. Principal Financial Group (PFG) is acting within the asset management industry. The P/E ratio is 11.0 and the dividend yield amounts to 2.0 percent. The company announced to increase its annual dividend 27 percent to 70 cents per share from 55 cents.

13. Quest Diagnostics (DGX) is acting within the medical laboratories and research industry. The P/E ratio is 20.7 and the dividend yield amounts to 0.7 percent. The company diagnosed a 70 percent increase in its quarterly dividend to 17 cents per share.

14. RadioShack (RSH) is acting within the electronic stores industry. The P/E ratio is 9.1 and the dividend yield amounts to 2.0 percent. The company turned up the dividend volume on its annual payout to shareholders by 100 percent to 50 cents per share.

15. RPC Inc. (RES) is acting within the oil and gas equipment and services industry. The P/E ratio is 11.5 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.7 percent. The company announced a 25 percent increase in its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share.

16. Simon Property Group (SPG) is acting within the retail REITs industry. The P/E ratio is 45.6 and the dividend yield amounts to 2.5 percent. The company raised its quarterly payout by 12.5 percent to 90 cents per share.

17. Spectra Energy (SE) is acting within the oil and gas pipelines industry. The P/E ratio is 16.5 and the dividend yield amounts to 3.6 percent. The company raised its quarterly payout by 7.7 percent to 28 cents per share.

18. Total Systems Services (TSS) is acting within the business services industry. The P/E ratio is 19.9 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.4 percent. The company rang up a substantial 42.9 percent increase in its quarterly dividend, upping its payout to 10 cents per share.

19. V.F. Corporation (VFC) is acting within the apparel clothing industry. The P/E ratio is 24.6 and the dividend yield amounts to 1.8 percent. The company dressed up its quarterly dividend by 14 percent, boosting its payout to shareholders by 14 percent to 72 cents per share.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 19 Companies That Recently Raised Their Dividends