28 Dividend Increases: February 20-24, 2017 (Part 1: Financials, REITs, And Utilities)

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Includes: CNS, ELS, ESS, IPCC, KW, ORI, PEG, RNR, ROIC, SRE, SWX, WR, WRI, WSBC, XEL
by: FerdiS

Summary

Companies that regularly raise their dividend payments show confidence in the potential growth of future earnings.

I monitor dividend increases for stocks on my watch list of dividend growth stocks to identify candidates for further analysis.

This week, 28 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including one of the stocks I hold in my portfolio.

Part 1 covers dividend increases from 15 companies in the Financials, REITs, and Utilities sectors.

Monitoring dividend increases for stocks on my watch list helps me to identify candidates for further analysis. Companies that regularly raise their dividend payments show confidence in future earnings growth potential.

This week, 28 companies on my watch list declared dividend increases, including one of the stocks I own. The following table provides a summary of increases from 15 companies in the Financials, REITs, and Utilities sectors. Part 2 presents the 13 dividend raising companies in sectors other than the Financials, REITs, and Utilities sectors.

The table is sorted by percentage increase, %Incr. Dividends are annualized and in US$, unless otherwise indicated. Yield is the new dividend yield for the market close Price on the date listed. Yrs are years of consecutive dividend increases, while 5-yr DGR is the compound annual growth rate of the dividend over a 5-year period. 1-yr %Incr is the percentage increase from the year-ago dividend. (Some companies increase their dividends more than once a year, so this puts the most recent dividend increase in context).

Summary of Dividend Increases: February 20-24, 2017
Previous Post: 22 Dividend Increases: February 13-17, 2017

• Kennedy-Wilson Holdings Inc (NYSE:KW)
KW is a global real estate investment and services company. The company owns, operates and invests in real estate, primarily multifamily and commercial properties in the western United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and Japan. KW was founded in 1977 and is headquartered in Beverly Hills, California.

Recently, KW increased its quarterly dividend from 14¢ per share to 17¢ per share, an increase of 21.43%. All shareholders of record on March 31 will receive the new dividend on April 6.

• Equity LifeStyle Properties (NYSE:ELS)
ELS is a publicly owned real estate investment trust engaged in the ownership and operation of lifestyle oriented properties in the United States. The company's portfolio of properties consists primarily of manufactured home communities and recreational vehicle resorts and campgrounds. ELS was founded in 1992 and is based in Chicago, Illinois, with additional offices in Clearwater, Florida, Phoenix, Arizona, and Aurora, Colorado.

The company increased its quarterly dividend by 14.71%, from 42.5¢ per share to 48.75¢ per share. The quarterly dividend will be paid on April 14 to shareholders of record on March 31. The ex-dividend date is March 29.

• Infinity Property & Casualty (NASDAQ:IPCC)
IPCC provides personal automobile insurance with a focus on nonstandard auto insurance in the United States. The company also writes standard and preferred personal auto insurance, mono-line commercial auto insurance and classic collector automobile insurance. The company distributes its products through a network of independent agencies and brokers. IPCC was founded in 2002 and is based in Birmingham, Alabama.

On Thursday, February 23, the company increased its quarterly dividend by 11.54% to 58¢ per share. The dividend is payable on March 24 to shareholders of record on March 10.

• Southwest Gas Corp (NYSE:SWX)
SWX provides natural gas service to approximately 1.9 million residential, commercial and industrial natural gas customers in Arizona, Nevada, and California. Through a wholly owned subsidiary, NPL Construction Co, SWX provides utility companies with trenching and installation, replacement, and maintenance services for energy distribution systems. SWX was founded in 1931 and is based in Las Vegas, Nevada.

SWX will pay a quarterly dividend of 49.5¢ per share, an increase of 10.00% over the previous quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable on June 1 to shareholders of record on May 15. SWX will trade ex-dividend on May 11.

• Essex Property Trust (NYSE:ESS)
ESS is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust in the United States. The company owns, operates, manages, acquires, development, and redevelops apartment communities and commercial properties. The company owns or holds an interest in over 250 communities in Southern California, the San Francisco Bay Area and the Seattle metropolitan area. ESS was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Palo Alto, California.

Recently, ESS increased its quarterly dividend from $1.60 per share to $1.75 per share, an increase of 9.38%. The dividend is payable on April 17 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 31.

• Sempra Energy (NYSE:SRE)
SRE, an energy-services holding company, develops energy infrastructure, operates utilities, and provides related services. Operating through eight principal subsidiaries, the company serves customers in the United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, Europe and Asia. SRE was founded in 1998 and is headquartered in San Diego, California.

Recently, SRE increased its quarterly dividend by 8.94% to 82.25¢ per share. The dividend is payable on April 15 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 23.

• WesBanco Inc (NASDAQ:WSBC)
WSBC is a multi-state bank holding company with total assets of approximately $8.5 billion. With more than 140 branch locations in West Virginia, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the company offers a range of financial services that includes retail banking, corporate banking, personal and corporate trust services, brokerage services, mortgage banking and insurance. WSBC was founded in 1968 and is headquartered in Wheeling, West Virginia.

Recently, the board of directors of WSBC declared a quarterly dividend of 26¢ per share. The new dividend represents an increase of 8.33%. All shareholders of record on March 10 can expect the dividend to be paid on April 1.

• Cohen & Steers Inc (NYSE:CNS)
CNS, together with its subsidiaries, is a global investment manager that specializes in liquid real assets, including real estate securities, listed infrastructure, commodities and natural resource equities, and preferred securities. The Company serves institutional and individual investors around the world. CNS was founded in 1986 and is headquartered in New York, New York. The company has offices in London, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Seattle.

The board of directors of CNS has declared a quarterly dividend of 28¢ per share. The new dividend is 7.69% above the prior dividend of 26¢ per share. The quarterly dividend will be paid on March 23 to shareholders of record on March 9. The ex-dividend date is March 7.

• Xcel Energy (NYSE:XEL)
Founded in 1909 and based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, XEL is an operating public utility engaged in the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity and the transportation, storage and distribution of natural gas. The company generates electricity from coal, nuclear, natural gas, hydro, solar, biomass, oil and refuse, and wind energy sources.

Recently, XEL increased its quarterly dividend by 5.88% to 36¢ per share. The dividend is payable on April 20 to shareholders of record on March 15.

• Weingarten Realty Investors (NYSE:WRI)
WRI is a publicly owned equity REIT (real estate investment trust) that invests in real estate markets in the United States, primarily in neighborhoods and in community shopping centers. The company owns more than 230 properties in 18 states and operates them under long-term leases, either directly or through its interest in real estate joint ventures or partnerships. WRI was founded in 1948 and is based in Houston, Texas.

Recently, the board of directors of WRI declared a quarterly dividend of 38.5¢ per share. The new dividend represents an increase of 5.48%. The ex-dividend date is March 6 and the dividend will be paid on March 15 to shareholders of record on March 8.

• Westar Energy (NYSE:WR)
WR was founded in 1924 and is headquartered in Topeka, Kansas. The company provides electric generation, transmission, and distribution services to about 700,000 customers in Kansas. The company has 7,200 megawatts of electric generation capacity produced from various fuel types, including coal, uranium, natural gas, wind, and landfill gas.

The company announced a quarterly DIV increase of 5.26% to 40¢ per share. The dividend is payable on April 3 to shareholders of record on March 9.

• Public Service Enterprise Group Inc (NYSE:PEG)
PEG is an energy holding company with operations in the Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic United States. The company transmits and distributes electricity and natural gas. It operates nuclear, coal, gas, oil-fired, and renewable generation facilities with a generation capacity of nearly 12,000 megawatts. PEG was founded in 1985 and is headquartered in Newark, New Jersey.

The company's board of directors approved an increase in the quarterly dividend of 4.88% to 43¢ per share. PEG will trade ex-dividend on March 8. The dividend is payable on March 31, to shareholders of record on March 10.

• Retail Opportunity Investments Corp (NASDAQ:ROIC)
ROIC is a fully integrated, self-managed REIT (real estate investment trust) engaged in the acquisition, ownership, management and redevelopment of retail real estate properties. The company has a diverse portfolio of necessity-based community and neighborhood shopping centers in the United States, anchored by national and regional supermarkets and drugstores. ROIC is based in San Diego, California.

The company announced a quarterly DIV increase of 4.17% to 18.75¢ per share. The first payment will be on March 30 to shareholders of record on March 16. The ex-dividend date is March 14.

• RenaissanceRe Holdings (NYSE:RNR)
RNR provides reinsurance and insurance coverages and related services in the United States and internationally. The company's core products include property catastrophe reinsurance and specialty reinsurance risks. The company's segments include Catastrophe Reinsurance, Specialty Reinsurance and Lloyd's. RNR was founded in 1993 and is headquartered in Pembroke, Bermuda.

On February 21, the board of directors approved an increase to the regular quarterly dividend from 31¢ per share to 32¢ per share, an increase of 3.23%. The dividend is payable on March 31 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15.

• Old Republic International (NYSE:ORI)
ORI, through its subsidiaries, is engaged in the business of insurance underwriting and related services primarily in the United States and Canada. The company provides property and liability insurance to businesses, government and other institutions. It also provides policies to real estate purchasers and investors based upon searches of the public records. ORI was founded in 1887 and is based in Chicago, Illinois.

On Thursday, February 23, the company increased its quarterly dividend by 1.33% to 19¢ per share. The first payment will be on March 15 to shareholders of record on March 6. The ex-dividend date is March 2.

Please note that I'm not recommending any of these stocks. Readers should do their own research on these companies before buying shares.

As a bonus, I'm including a chart from F.A.S.T. Graphs for one of the dividend raisers, XEL, a Utilities sector stock that announced a modest 6% dividend increase:

The stock's price line (in black) is above its normal P/E ratio of 15.7, so the stock is trading at a premium to fair value. According to F.A.S.T. Graphs, an investment in XEL 10 years ago would have returned 13.6% on an annualized basis (with dividends included).

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

I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.