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When a company announces that it will be increasing its quarterly (or in some cases, monthly) payout, I see it as a positive catalyst for income-driven investors looking to establish a secondary revenue stream. With that said, I wanted to highlight two companies who have significantly increased their dividend payouts in the last 72 hours.

HCC Insurance (NYSE:HCC) announced today that it will be increasing its quarterly dividend from $0.155/share to $0.165/share. The Houston, Texas-based firm currently yields 2.10% ($0.66) and underwrites non-correlated specialty insurance products worldwide. The company operates in five segments: U.S. Property & Casualty, Professional Liability, Accident & Health, U.S. Surety & Credit, and International. HCC should be considered not only from an income perspective, but from a growth perspective, especially since the company's returns on assets (1.22%) and equities (10.35%) have both been very good. In addition to HCC's returns on both assets and equities, the company's margins should also be highlighted, since both its profit (24.91%) and operating margins (39.53%) over the last 12 months have been quite respectable. The EPS trends of HCC have been quite impressive as the company has surpassed estimates by an average of 6.325%, which is certainly much better than the EPS trends of direct competitor Travelers (NYSE:TRV), which has only managed to surpass estimates in just one of the last four quarters.

Brinker International (NYSE:EAT) announced today that it will be increasing its quarterly dividend from $0.16/share to $0.20/share. The Dallas, Texas-based firm currently yields 2.35% ($0.80) and owns, develops, operates, and franchises various restaurant brands primarily in the United States. It operates the restaurants under the Chili's Grill & Bar and Maggiano's Little Italy brand names. As of August 9, 2012, the company owned, operated, and franchised 1,581 Chili's Grill & Bar restaurants and 45 Maggiano's Little Italy restaurants; and held a minority investment in Romano's Macaroni Grill. EAT should be considered not only from an income perspective, but from a growth perspective, especially since the company's returns on assets (10.24%) and equities (40.39%) have been stellar over the last 12 months, especially when compared to Darden Restaurants (NYSE:DRI) which only managed to demonstrate return on assets of 8.14% and a return on equities of just 25.22% (both of which are very good, but aren't nearly as good as the numbers demonstrated by EAT). In addition to EAT's returns on both assets and equities, the company's margins should also be highlighted, since both its profit (5.36%) and operating margins (8.48%) over the last 12 months have been quite respectable. The EPS trends of EAT have been quite impressive as the company has surpassed estimates by an average of 6.95%, which is certainly much better than the EPS trends of direct competitor McDonald's (NYSE:MCD), which has only managed to surpass estimates in just two of the last four quarters by an average of 1.85%.

Final Analysis

Potential investors looking to establish a position in either HCC or EAT should do so with a small to moderate position and add to that position as both dividend and earnings announcements approach. Both companies have demonstrated solid EPS trends over the last four quarters, and those trends should also be a variable that potential investors should consider.

Source: 2 More Dividend Increases Income Investors Should Consider