Now that we’re heading full steam into fall, it is time to get your portfolio back in order.
The best place to start is dividends. Why? Because many investors underappreciate the potential of dividends, especially the small ones.
The S&P 500 is up over 85% over the last five years. However, if you account for dividends, the total return of the S&P 500 is nearly 110% over the same period.
But digging even deeper, it’s the stocks that are consistently upping their dividends that are the best plays. The SPDR S&P Dividend ETF (NYSE: SDY), which tracks the S&P High Yield Dividend Aristocrats ̶ those that have upped their dividends for ten straight years or more ̶ has soared 17% over the last year. That tops the 13% return on the S&P 500.
That type of outperformance can make a big difference for shareholder over the long term. Our research has pinpointed stocks that are upping their dividends this month so that investors can get a head start on finding consistent dividend payers.
Here are the top five stocks raising their dividends in October:
October Dividend Increases: Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ)
Verizon is one of the biggest wireless communications companies in the world. Its shares have turned in a strong performance over the last year, gaining more than 25%. And it’s looking to reward shareholders even more this week.
The company is upping the quarterly dividend by just a few percentage points, but you can’t overlook its 4.4% dividend yield. With the increase, it will now be paying shareholders a $0.5775 quarterly dividend. The telecom giant has nine years of consecutive dividend increases under its belt.
Shares trade ex-dividend Oct. 5.
October Dividend Increases: Intuit (NASDAQ: INTU)
Intuit is often overlooked as a dividend player, with a yield that’s just 1.1%. It’s paying out just 33% of its earnings via dividends and has a solid record of five years of consecutive dividend increases.
The story gets even better, with Intuit upping its dividend by 13% this month to $0.34 a share. It’s a major player in the tax software industry, but it’s also working to expand its services to offer customers a complete financial experience. Big banks and credit-card companies have already started partnering with Intuit.
Shares trade ex-dividend Oct. 5.
October Dividend Increases: Campbell Soup Company (NYSE: CPB)
Campbell, the iconic soup maker, is in a business that provides enough cash to pay a solid dividend. Campbell pays shareholders a 2.6% dividend yield. The company is upping its dividend by 12% this month to $0.35 a share.
More importantly, Campbell is looking to expand its customer base by emphasizing natural products. Campbell has also been buying up health-oriented brands such as Garden Fresh Gourmet, Plum and Bolthouse Farms.
Shares go ex-dividend Oct. 7.
October Dividend Increases: General Growth Properties (NYSE: GGP)
General Growth Properties is a self-administered and self-managed real estate investment trust with a focus on malls. The REIT operates, develops and manages retail and other rental properties.
The REIT is upping its dividend by 5% to $0.20 a share; it now yields 2.9%. Just 50% of its earnings are going toward dividends. The company has raised its dividend for four straight years.
It’s a turnaround from the massive bankruptcy we saw a few years ago. Now General Growth is stronger and better; it owns about half the properties it did back then and instead now focuses on higher quality mall properties. If you believe that malls aren’t dead, General Growth is interesting.
Shares trade ex-dividend on Oct. 12.
October Dividend Increases: Goodyear (NYSE: GT)
Goodyear, the major tire maker, has seen its shares fall 2% in 2016. Its 1.3% dividend yield might not seem like much, but there’s still plenty of room for growth here. Its dividend is a payout of less than 10% of its earnings. It’s slowly becoming a dividend growth story, with two years of dividend increases under its belt.
Goodyear is upping its dividend by over 40% this month and will be paying out $0.10 quarterly. Trading at just seven times next year’s earnings, it’s too cheap to ignore. Although the company has had lower margins, Goodyear is working on the issue, having moved its production of lower-margin tires overseas.
Shares trade ex-dividend Oct. 28.