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A stock dividend, also known as a "scrip dividend", is a dividend payment made with stock instead of cash. Sometimes when companies are tight on cash, they will declare and pay a stock dividend in lieu of a cash dividend. Most shareholders feel like they are getting something. But are they really? In short, a stock dividend is nothing more than a glorified stock split. At the end of the process, the shareholder has more shares that are worth less. Like a stock split, you can not create value by issuing paper and getting nothing in exchange.

Below are several select companies that recently decided to create real value for their shareholders by raising their cash dividends:

  • Sovran Self Storage (NYSE:SSS) Boosts Qtr. Dividend 1.6% to $0.64/Share (6.32% yield)
  • Choice Hotels (NYSE:CHH) Raises Qtr Dividend 9% to $0.185/Share (2.40% yield)
  • Masco (NYSE:MAS) Increases Qtr. Dividend 2.2% to $0.235/Share (4.98% yield)
  • Village Super Market (NASDAQ:VLGEA) Boosts Qtr. Dividend 10% to $0.33/Share (2.63% yield)
  • Ship Finance Int'l (NYSE:SFL) Raises Qtr. Dividend 3.4% to $0.60/Share (10.91% yield)
  • Brady Corp. (NYSE:BRC) Increases Qtr. Dividend 13% to $0.17/Share (1.80% yield)
  • HCC Insurance (NYSE:HCC) Boosts Qtr. Dividend 14% to $0.125/Share (1.65% yield)
  • First of Long Island Corporation (NASDAQ:FLIC) Raises Qtr. Dividend 20% to $0.18/Share (2.68% yield)
After running these companies through my D4L-PreScreen.xls model, none achieved the necessary NPV of MMA Differential to justify a full evaluation. Though they were short of my target, SSS with a NPV of MMA Differential of $4,971 and MAS had a NPV of MMA Differential of $2,003 could have potential in the future.

Disclosure: No position in any of the aforementioned stocks.

Source: 8 Companies Raising Dividends In This Tough Market