# Best Dividend-Paying Assets

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Includes: ACG, AWF, BIP, DUK, GIS, HCN, LQD, PAA, PSQ, SH, SO, T, TLT, UUP, VZ
by: Leif Peterson

This article provides a brief overview of which dividend-paying assets have increased their dividend payouts. Since payout trends tend to be curvilinear for most of these assets (i.e., not linear and not a straight-line fit), a non-parametric method that does not depend on parameters such as the mean and standard deviation, or regression slope, will be more beneficial and appropriate.

The following table provides results from concordance analysis of historical dividend payouts. The probability of an increased dividend payout is defined as the probability that, when two within-asset payouts are randomly selected, the more recent payout was greater than the earlier payout. Thus, this analysis asks the question: Given two randomly selected payouts, what's the chance that the more recent payout was greater than the earlier payout? 500 iterations were used for calculating the concordance index.

 Symbol Name Beta 50MA>200MA Forward Annual Yield Dividend Date ExDividend Date Prob Increased Dividend (NASDAQ:MCHP) Microchip Technol 1.14 No 0.045 May 30 2012 May 15 2012 0.976 (NYSE:KMP) Kinder Morgan Ene 0.51 No 0.06 May 14 2012 Apr 26 2012 0.966 (NYSE:HCP) HCP Inc. Common 0.89 Yes 0.049 May 21 2012 May 3 2012 0.962 (NYSE:MMP) Magellan Midstrea 0.48 Yes 0.048 May 14 2012 May 4 2012 0.962 (NYSE:SXL) Sunoco Logistics 0.32 Yes 0.05 May 14 2012 May 7 2012 0.962 (NYSE:EPD) Enterprise Produc 0.72 Yes 0.051 May 8 2012 Apr 26 2012 0.958 (NYSE:PAA) Plains All Americ 0.55 Yes 0.053 May 14 2012 May 2 2012 0.958 (NYSE:VFC) V.F. Corporation 0.96 Yes 0.02 Jun 17 2012 Jun 6 2012 0.954 (NYSE:GPC) Genuine Parts Com 0.71 Yes 0.032 Jul 1 2012 Jun 6 2012 0.936 (NYSE:ABT) Abbott Laboratori 0.42 Yes 0.033 May 14 2012 Apr 11 2012 0.934 (NYSE:EMR) Emerson Electric 1.35 No 0.034 Jun 10 2012 May 9 2012 0.932 (NYSE:PEP) Pepsico Inc. Com 0.38 Yes 0.031 Jun 28 2012 May 30 2012 0.932 (NYSE:HSY) The Hershey Compa 0.03 Yes 0.022 Jun 14 2012 May 23 2012 0.93 (NYSE:NEE) NextEra Energy I 0.44 Yes 0.037 Mar 14 2012 Feb 29 2012 0.926 (NYSE:PNY) Piedmont Natural 0.43 No 0.041 Apr 12 2012 Mar 21 2012 0.922 (NYSE:AJG) Arthur J. Gallagh 0.72 Yes 0.039 Jul 12 2012 Jun 27 2012 0.92 (NYSE:KMB) Kimberly-Clark Co 0.18 Yes 0.037 Jul 2 2012 Jun 6 2012 0.916 (NYSE:PPG) PPG Industries I 1.39 Yes 0.023 Jun 11 2012 May 8 2012 0.916 (PGN) Progress Energy 0.13 No 0.045 Jun 17 2012 May 16 2012 0.914 (NYSE:NS) Nustar Energy L.P 0.79 No 0.083 May 10 2012 May 4 2012 0.912 (NYSE:O) Realty Income Cor 0.49 Yes 0.045 Jun 14 2012 May 30 2012 0.912 (NYSE:HD) Home Depot Inc. 0.92 Yes 0.023 Jun 13 2012 May 29 2012 0.91 (NYSE:PG) Procter & Gamble 0.35 No 0.036 May 14 2012 Apr 25 2012 0.908 (NYSE:ITW) Illinois Tool Wor 1.28 Yes 0.026 Jul 9 2012 Jun 27 2012 0.904 (NYSE:LLY) Eli Lilly and Com 0.37 Yes 0.048 Jun 7 2012 May 11 2012 0.902 (NYSE:T) AT&T Inc. 0.48 Yes 0.052 Apr 30 2012 Apr 5 2012 0.898 (NYSE:ETP) Energy Transfer P 0.91 Yes 0.08 May 14 2012 May 2 2012 0.896 (NYSE:PBI) Pitney Bowes Inc. 1.04 No 0.108 Jun 11 2012 May 9 2012 0.882 (NASDAQ:INTC) Intel Corporation 1.01 Yes 0.033 May 31 2012 May 3 2012 0.872 (NYSE:YUM) Yum! Brands Inc. 0.73 Yes 0.016 Aug 2 2012 Jul 11 2012 0.872 (NYSE:GIS) General Mills In 0.01 No 0.031 Apr 30 2012 Apr 5 2012 0.866 (NYSE:MTB) M&T Bank Corporat 0.6 Yes 0.034 Jun 28 2012 May 30 2012 0.854 (NASDAQ:VOD) Vodafone Group Pl 0.72 Yes 0.035 Jul 31 2012 Nov 16 2011 0.854 (NYSE:XOM) Exxon Mobil Corpo 0.69 Yes 0.028 Jun 10 2012 May 10 2012 0.852 (NYSE:TGP) Teekay LNG Partne 0.83 Yes 0.07 May 13 2012 Apr 19 2012 0.848 (NYSE:MCD) McDonalds Corpor 0.22 No 0.031 Jun 14 2012 Feb 28 2012 0.846 (NYSE:EEP) Enbridge Energy 0.68 No 0.072 May 14 2012 May 3 2012 0.844 (NYSE:RAI) Reynolds American 0.48 Yes 0.056 Jul 1 2012 Jun 7 2012 0.844 (NYSE:SO) Southern Company 0.09 Yes 0.043 Jun 5 2012 May 3 2012 0.844 (NYSE:ETE) Energy Transfer E 0.68 No 0.066 May 17 2012 May 2 2012 0.84 (NYSE:PNW) Pinnacle West Cap 0.36 Yes 0.043 May 31 2012 Apr 27 2012 0.838 (NYSE:FL) Footlocker Inc. 1.13 Yes 0.022 Jul 26 2012 Jul 11 2012 0.836 (NASDAQ:HCBK) Hudson City Banco 1.08 Yes 0.051 May 24 2012 May 8 2012 0.826 (NYSE:NVS) Novartis AG Commo 0.53 No 0.048 Apr 4 2012 Feb 27 2012 0.822 (NYSE:BMY) Bristol-Myers Squ 0.24 Yes 0.041 Apr 30 2012 Apr 3 2012 0.818 (NYSE:NSC) Norfolk Southern 1.13 No 0.028 Jun 10 2012 May 2 2012 0.816 (KFT) Kraft Foods Inc. 0.4 Yes 0.03 Jul 15 2012 Jun 27 2012 0.814 (NYSE:HCN) Health Care REIT 0.75 Yes 0.054 May 20 2012 May 4 2012 0.812 (NYSE:MRK) Merck & Company 0.44 Yes 0.045 Jul 8 2012 Jun 13 2012 0.8 (NASDAQ:MBVT) Merchants Bancsha 0.43 No 0.043 May 16 2012 May 1 2012 0.782 (NASDAQ:CPNO) Copano Energy L. 0.87 No 0.086 May 9 2012 Apr 26 2012 0.774 (NYSE:VZ) Verizon Communica 0.41 Yes 0.048 Apr 30 2012 Apr 5 2012 0.774 Hickory Tech Corp 1.03 No 0.059 Jun 4 2012 May 11 2012 0.766 (NYSE:PM) Philip Morris Int 0.92 Yes 0.036 Apr 11 2012 Mar 27 2012 0.762 (LINE) Linn Energy LLC 0.9 Yes 0.08 May 14 2012 May 4 2012 0.758 (NYSE:EXC) Exelon Corporatio 0.48 No 0.041 Jun 7 2012 May 11 2012 0.746 (NYSE:PFE) Pfizer Inc. Comm 0.7 Yes 0.04 Jun 4 2012 May 9 2012 0.744 (NYSE:VTR) Ventas Inc. Comm 0.77 Yes 0.043 Jun 28 2012 Jun 6 2012 0.738 (NYSE:SUI) Sun Communities 1.19 Yes 0.062 Apr 26 2012 Apr 12 2012 0.718 (NYSE:DD) E.I. du Pont de N 1.49 Yes 0.036 Jun 11 2012 May 11 2012 0.698 (NYSE:PSA) Public Storage Co 0.81 Yes 0.033 Jun 27 2012 Jun 11 2012 0.664 (NYSE:FE) FirstEnergy Corpo 0.32 Yes 0.047 May 31 2012 May 3 2012 0.654 (NYSE:PPL) PP&L Corporation 0.22 No 0.052 Jul 1 2012 Jun 6 2012 0.64 (NYSE:EIX) Edison Internatio 0.45 Yes 0.029 Jul 30 2012 Jun 27 2012 0.636 (NYSE:APU) AmeriGas Partners 0.28 No 0.082 May 17 2012 May 8 2012 0.624 (NYSE:D) Dominion Resource 0.31 Yes 0.04 Jun 19 2012 May 30 2012 0.6 (HNZ) H.J. Heinz Compan 0.42 Yes 0.036 Apr 9 2012 Mar 21 2012 0.586 (NYSE:SCCO) Southern Copper C 1.93 No 0.074 May 23 2012 May 9 2012 0.55 (NYSE:AWF) Alliancebernstein 0.77 Yes 0.08 May 17 2012 May 2 2012 0.548 (NYSE:DUK) Duke Energy Corpo 0.21 Yes 0.046 Jun 17 2012 May 16 2012 0.526 (NASDAQ:CPSI) Computer Programs 0.28 Yes 0.032 May 24 2012 May 8 2012 0.51 (NYSE:DTE) DTE Energy Compan 0.34 Yes 0.042 Jul 14 2012 Jun 18 2012 0.486 (NYSE:EQR) Equity Residentia 1.05 Yes 0.022 Apr 12 2012 Mar 21 2012 0.476 (NYSE:VNO) Vornado Realty Tr 1.3 Yes 0.033 May 23 2012 May 10 2012 0.462 (NYSE:DEO) Diageo plc Common 0.78 Yes 0.022 Apr 12 2012 Feb 29 2012 0.456 (NYSE:KIM) Kimco Realty Corp 1.26 Yes 0.042 Jul 15 2012 Jul 2 2012 0.436 (NASDAQ:NTLS) NTELOS Holdings C 1.05 No 0.089 Jul 10 2012 Jun 13 2012 0.424 (NYSE:UL) Unilever PLC Comm 0.83 Yes 0.04 Jun 12 2012 May 9 2012 0.41 (LRY) Liberty Property 1.14 Yes 0.055 Apr 14 2012 Mar 29 2012 0.408 (NASDAQ:WIN) Windstream Corpor 0.61 No 0.105 Jul 15 2012 Jun 27 2012 0.396 (SLE) Sara Lee Corporat 0.65 Yes 0.022 Apr 8 2012 Feb 28 2012 0.394 (NASDAQ:PCH) Potlatch Corporat 0.67 No 0.043 Jun 25 2012 Jun 6 2012 0.366 (NYSE:DO) Diamond Offshore 1.39 Yes 0.008 May 31 2012 Apr 27 2012 0.36 (NYSE:BTE) Baytex Energy Cor 1.48 No 0.055 Jun 14 2012 May 29 2012 0.352 (NYSE:SPG) Simon Property Gr 0.95 Yes 0.027 May 30 2012 May 15 2012 0.32 (NYSE:DRE) Duke Realty Corpo 1.42 Yes 0.05 May 30 2012 May 14 2012 0.284 (NYSE:NLY) Annaly Capital Ma 0.23 No 0.132 Apr 25 2012 Mar 28 2012 0.266 (NU) Northeast Utiliti 0.42 Yes 0.038 Jun 28 2012 May 30 2012 0.236 (NYSE:MO) Altria Group Inc 0.42 Yes 0.051 Jul 9 2012 Jun 13 2012 0.216 (NYSE:MMC) Marsh & McLennan 0.66 Yes 0.028 Aug 14 2012 Jul 9 2012 0.204 (NYSE:PLD) ProLogis Inc. Co 1.49 Yes 0.036 Jun 28 2012 Jun 7 2012 0.202 (NYSE:PCG) Pacific Gas & Ele 0.28 Yes 0.042 Apr 14 2012 Mar 28 2012 0.192 (HBC) HSBC Holdings pl 1.38 Yes 0.045 Jul 4 2012 May 16 2012 0.174 (NYSE:JPM) JP Morgan Chase & 1.57 Yes 0.036 Jul 30 2012 Jul 3 2012 0.128 (NYSE:NGG) National Grid Tra 0.69 Yes 0.075 Aug 14 2012 May 30 2012 0.094 (NYSE:GSK) GlaxoSmithKline P 0.55 Yes 0.05 Jul 4 2012 May 9 2012 0.016 (NASDAQ:CNSL) Consolidated Comm 0.62 No 0.11 Jul 31 2012 Jul 11 2012 -0.03 (NYSE:XEL) Xcel Energy Inc. 0.27 Yes 0.039 Jul 19 2012 Jun 19 2012 -0.038 (NYSE:FTR) Frontier Communic 0.64 No 0.114 Jun 28 2012 Jun 6 2012 -0.048 (NYSE:FPO) First Potomac Rea 0.91 No 0.066 May 10 2012 May 2 2012 -0.116 (NYSE:WR) Westar Energy In 0.39 Yes 0.047 Jul 1 2012 Jun 6 2012 -0.178 (NYSE:PCL) Plum Creek Timber 0.84 Yes 0.046 May 30 2012 May 16 2012 -0.198 (NYSE:PWE) Penn West Petrole 1.54 No 0.077 Jul 12 2012 Jun 27 2012 -0.406 (NYSE:ACG) Alliancebernstein 0.09 No 0.059 May 17 2012 Apr 4 2012 -0.452 (NYSE:ETW) Eaton Vance Corpo 0.97 No 0.022 Mar 29 2012 Mar 21 2012 -0.558

The Alliance Bernstein Income Fund has a negative probability of increased payout simply because its last 24 payouts were 0.04, while before that they were 0.05. Hence, over its entire history of paying 0.05 and then dropping to 0.04, the long-term trend is a decreasing one. There happen to be two spikes among the payouts, which were 0.075 and 0.093. These should not bias the results because either of these two spikes will not always, on average, be randomly selected. Spikes in payout history would, nevertheless, bias results if they were based on parametric methods (linear slope, mean, standard deviation). The beta for the Alliance Bernstein Income Fund is very low (0.09), so it does not fluctuate nearly as much as the S&P500 index, for example, and is therefore always a good asset to watch.

The Alliance Bernstein funds have been quite solid in their payouts, and one should also watch its Global Income Fund. It is near the middle of the pack with a probability of increased payout near 0.5 -- so its payout history tends to be going sideways. With a beta of 0.77 for the Global Income Fund, I tend to pay more attention to the Alliance Bernstein Income Fund. The key point in discussing the Alliance Bernstein Income Fund is that, while it is a "Steady Eddie" and reliable dividend payer, it does not have a history of increasing its dividend payout -- concordance analysis reliably detected this in the midst of two spikes in payout amount.

The majority of payout trends are curvilinear, and some assets with higher probability of an increased payout over history increased their payout up to a plateau and the rate became less pronounced. All this is a way of saying that the probability of an increase depends on the entire history of payouts, and not specifically any particular recent or early epoch of time. There are obviously numerous other methods one can use to determine attractiveness, safety, and profitability of dividend-paying assets. This article merely looks at one dimension (payout history) and provides results regarding a payout increase during the history of payouts. This article does not speculate that assets ranked at the top of the table are going to increase their payouts in the future, but rather that over their payout history they did increase their payouts. There are also many ways an asset can increase its payout, so readers are encouraged to do their own due diligence to determine what constitutes a good buy recommendation.

Given the sovereign debt crisis in southern EU, it is not recommended that readers who are retail investors go out and buy assets. Instead, it may be more advantageous to await the Greek election on June 17 and see what kind of storm ensues thereafter.

Regarding positions, I am in all cash at the current moment and would enjoy nothing more than a large downturn so that I can first pick up, for example, T and VZ at bargain-basement prices. Then I could get back in with ACG, BIP, HCN, and PAA. My basket of hedging assets that could likely be safely owned during an oncoming downturn are ACG, BIP, DUK, GIS, LQD, SO, and TLT -- although LQD includes investment-grade corporate bonds so it has to be watched. Certainly, the inverse ETFs such as SH (inverse S&P 500) and PSQ (inverse Nasdaq) would likely do well, as would the dollar bull UUP.

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