The past month has been difficult for stock market investors. Stock markets around the world have been in free fall, as short-term worries are pushing stocks lower. The declines in prices are testing the beliefs of many long-term investors.
For dividend investors however, stock market declines are seen just as noise or as an opportunity to purchase more shares at attractive valuations. In fact, the regular dividend payments provide shareholders with positive reinforcement about the underlying business strength behind their stocks. The regular dividend payments soften the blow of short-term price fluctuations, and help investors focus on the big picture.
Long-term investors are much more likely to hold on a stock which delivers higher earnings and distributions over time. What could be more bullish than companies that not only pay investors to hold their shares, but also increase the amount of cash dividend every year?
Several consistent dividend payers announced plans to increase dividends over the past week. The companies include:
Clorox Corporation (NYSE:CLX) manufactures and markets consumer and institutional products worldwide. The company operates in four segments: Cleaning, Lifestyle, Household, and International. The company increased its quarterly distributions by 6.70% to 64 cents/share. This dividend aristocrat has raised distributions for 35 years in a row. Yield: 3.70% (analysis)
Republic Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:RBCAA) operates as the holding company for Republic Bank & Trust Company and Republic Bank, which provides banking, tax refund solutions, and mortgage banking 7.10% to 16.50 cents/share. This dividend achiever has raised distributions for 14 years in a row. Yield: 3.10%
Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE:XEL), through its subsidiaries, engages in the generation, purchase, transmission, distribution, and sale of electricity in the United States. The company increased its quarterly distributions by 3.80% to 27 cents/share. Xcel Energy has raised distributions for 9 years in a row. Yield: 4%
Tiffany & Co. (NYSE:TIF), through its subsidiaries, engages in the design, manufacture, and retail of fine jewelry worldwide. The company increased its quarterly distributions by 10.30% to 32 cents/share. Tiffany & Co has raised distributions for 10 years in a row. Yield: 2.10%
Williams Companies, Inc. (NYSE:WMB) operates as an energy infrastructure company in the United States. The company increased its quarterly distributions by 15.90% to 30 cents/share. Williams has raised distributions for 10 years in a row. Yield: 4%
Assurant, Inc. (NYSE:AIZ), through its subsidiaries, provides specialized insurance products and related services in the North America and internationally. It operates in four segments: Assurant Solutions, Assurant Specialty Property, Assurant Health, and Assurant Employee Benefits. The company increased its quarterly distributions by 16.70% to 21 cents/share. Assurant has raised distributions for 8 years in a row. Yield: 2.20%
Safeway Inc. (NYSE:SWY), together with its subsidiaries, operates as a food and drug retailer in North America. The company increased its quarterly distributions by 20.70% to 17.50 cents/share. Safeway has raised distributions for 8 years in a row. Yield: 3.70%
Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE:NOC) provides products, services, and solutions in aerospace, electronics, information systems, and technical service sectors to government and commercial customers worldwide. The company increased its quarterly distributions by 10% to 55 cents/share. Northrop Grumman has raised distributions for 9 years in a row. Yield: 3.80%
Full Disclosure: Long CLX