Record number of dividend hikes in Q1

|By:, SA News Editor

According to S&P Dow Jones, 1,078 companies boosted dividends in Q1, 14.2% more than a year ago, and besting the previous record of 1.069 set in 1979. The dollar amount of increases foots to $17.8B, 22.9% higher than a year ago. A few cut payouts - 102 out of roughly 10K traded issues, and down from 139 a year ago.

The weighted dividend yield grew 4 basis points during the quarter to 2.48%, says S&P's Howard Silverblatt. Room to grow even more? Payout ratios continue to scrape by at 36% vs. their historic average of 52%.

Dividend ETFs: DVY, VIG, SDY, VYM, SCHD, HDV, KBWD, DES, NOBL, PEY, DIV, SPHD, DLN, DHS, DTD, DON, FDL, DGRW, FVD, PFM, SDYL, DVYL, DGRS, RDIV, RDVY, QDF, QDEF, QDYN, QINC