Here are five stocks that are upping their dividends this week and worthy of a closer look.

Week in, week out, numerous companies are increasing their dividends to shareholders.

However, most investors are just focused on the most recent dividend and fail to realize that some companies are offering dividend payment increases of 20% or more.

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Screening for companies that are increasing their dividends is just one of the ways that you can make your dividend investing efforts more fruitful.

We’ve done the hard work for you again this week, pointing out a couple big boring companies that make for great dividend investments, as well as a couple names you are likely familiar with.

Without further delay, here are the top five dividend increases this week.

Dividend Increase No. 1: Automatic Data Processing (NYSE: ADP)

Operating in the HR and payroll space has been a solid and steady business for ADP. Its revenues have doubled over the last decade and it now services more than 600,000 clients. Investors should also be encouraged by the fact that it has enough cash to cover all its debt.

ADP offers a modest 2.3% dividend yield and is upping its quarterly dividend from 48 cents to 49 cents a share. This marks the 39th straight year of an annual dividend increase. Shares will trade ex-dividend on Dec. 10.

Dividend Increase No. 2: Johnson Controls (NYSE: JCI)

Johnson Controls might not be a household name, but it is a large ($33 billion market cap) industrial conglomerate. Its core business lies in making seating, batteries and interior parts for autos. Not a sexy business, but a steady one. Its revenues are up nearly 50% over the last decade. The continued growth in the economy and recent Black Friday strength in the auto market are positives for Johnson Controls.

It’s boosting its quarterly dividend payment by 18% to 26 cents a share this month. Johnson Controls has upped its dividend for three straight years, and has been paying a dividend for 29 years now.

Its dividend yield is 2.2% and its dividend payout ratio is a modest 29%. Shares will trade ex-dividend on Dec. 10.

Dividend Increase No. 3: Merck & Co. (NYSE: MRK)

The big news for Merck is that it’s paying $8.4 billion to buy Cubist Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ: CBST). The big benefit of the deal is that it gives Merck a stronger presence in hospitals and antibiotics — a couple fast-growing areas of the pharma market.

Merck offers the highest dividend yield of our five stocks, coming in at 2.9%. Its quarterly dividend boost is just 2%, going from 44 cents a share to 45 cents. This marks the second year in a row of an annual dividend increase.

But Merck has been a consistent dividend payer for a long time, having paid a dividend for 44 years. Shares will trade ex-dividend Dec. 11.

Dividend Increase No. 4: Nike (NYSE: NKE)

This apparel and shoe giant needs no introduction. It’s a global operator and is benefiting from its ability to integrate tech into its products. Nikestill has a solid balance sheet and its dividend yield is right at 1.1%.

Nike’s upping its quarterly dividend by 16% to 28 cents a share. The recent increase marks the second year in a row of annual dividend increases, but it’s been paying a dividend for 27 years. It trades ex-dividend Dec. 11.

Dividend Increase No. 5: PulteGroup (NYSE: PHM)

One of several compelling home builders out there, this $8 billion market cap company also has exposure to the active community market. This should be a key growth driver for the company as aging baby boomers move toward assisted living facilities.

PulteGroup’s dividend yield is just 1.5%, but its payout ratio is also a mere 16% – leaving plenty of room for improvement. PulteGroup is upping its quarterly dividend payment by 60% this month (from 5 cents a share to 8 cents), the largest increase in over a decade. Shares trade ex-dividend on Dec. 11.

This is the T-Rex of Dividend Stocks 

After years of digging – we’ve finally did it. We’ve uncovered a single stock so fierce – and pays out dividends so IMMENSE – you can actually live off them. This cash-cranking T-Rex of a company has hiked its dividend 10-FOLD… paying investors like you dividends of $428.57, $913.93, and $924.43! If these ever-increasing payouts sound good to you, click here for all the details.

Published by Wyatt Investment Research at