Volatility is slowly returning to the market, with dividends remains one of the few places where investors can get some stability.
Last week showed that the market is becoming more and more volatile.
And to start this week, oil-related names are again taking it on the chin. While I can’t tell you that dividend investing is riskless, dividend stocks do offer a steady income stream, and as a result, are usually less volatile.
With that, we’ve dug through the numerous stocks paying a dividend this week and cherry-picked the top five that are actually increasing their dividend payments.
Last week’s dividend increases included very well-known names such as AT&T (NYSE: T) and MasterCard (NYSE: MA). This week, we have another round of well-known companies, as well as a pair of Dividend Aristocrats.
Without further ado, here are the top five dividend increases this week:
Dividend Increase No. 1: Abbott Laboratories (NYSE: ABT)
Abbott Laboratories is a near $79 billion market-cap health care products company, with a focus on generic drugs and medical devices. The key thesis for Abbott is its transition toward faster-growing markets. And it’s actually in the process of selling its developed markets generic drug business to focus on emerging markets.
The company offers a 2.1% dividend yield and is upping its quarterly dividend by 9% this week to 24 cents. Abbott is one of the two Dividend Aristocrats on our list this week, having upped its dividend for 42 straight years.
Shares trade ex-dividend Jan. 13.
Dividend Increase No. 2: AbbVie Inc (NYSE: ABBV)
AbbVie spun off from Abbott in 2012 and is a research-focused pharma company. We profiled AbbVie at the end of Q1 2014 and it’s since been a stellar spinoff stock. In fact, shares of AbbVie are up nearly 100% since it began trading in Dec. 2012, while the S&P 500 is up just 43%.
AbbVie offers a 3% dividend yield. It’s upping its quarterly dividend this week by 16% to 49 cents a share. This will be its second-ever quarterly dividend increase.
Shares trade ex-dividend Jan. 13.
Dividend Increase No. 3: Sovran Self Storage (NYSE: SSS)
Sovran Self Storage offers the highest dividend yield of our five increases this week, coming in at 3.3%. It’s upping its quarterly dividend payment from 68 cents to 75 cents — a 10% boost.
This real estate investment trust (REIT) is one of the country’s largest self-storage facility operators. This industry has been one of the best growth areas over the last seven years — where the move from home ownership to home rental by the majority the country’s population is increasing demand for self-storage. As the population continues to choose renting over buying, there will be a steady demand for storage facilities.
The stock will trade ex-dividend Jan. 14.
Dividend Increase No. 4: Whole Foods Market (NASDAQ: WFM)
Whole Foods offers the lowest dividend yield on our list, at 1%. Despite the low dividend, you can’t overlook the strong balance sheet and its track record of earnings growth. It has minimal debt and has managed to grow earnings by an average annual rate of 25% over the last half-decade.
This comes as Whole Foods has grown itself into the country’s largest natural and organic supermarket chain. The natural grocer has upped its dividend for three straight years now, with the recent quarterly dividend increase to 12 cents — a 9% increase.
Shares trade ex-dividend Jan. 14.
Dividend Increase No. 5: Hormel Foods (NYSE: HRL)
Hormel’s dividend yield is 2% and it’s the second Dividend Aristocrat on our list — with 48 straight years of dividend increases. This week, it’ll be upping its quarterly dividend by an impressive 25% to 25 cents a share.
This food and meat products manufacturer is another company with a clean balance sheet — with enough cash on hand to cover its debt load. One of the big positives for Hormel has been the steadily increasing demand for protein (think: chicken and pork). As a result of this increased demand, Hormel bought ready-to-drink protein beverage company CytoSport Holding in 2014 for nearly $500 million.
Shares of Hormel Foods trade ex-dividend Jan. 16.
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