It's been a good year to own stocks, with markets hitting record highs. But investors holding dividend stocks have profited the most.
Even better, if the market pulls back from those record highs, dividend stocks typically perform better during a correction than non-dividend paying stocks.
In fact, historical data shows dividend stocks tend to hold up better than non-dividend stocks in all kinds of markets. Data from Ned Davis Research shows that, over the past 36 years, dividend-paying stocks have outperformed the rest of the S&P 500 by 2.5% annually. Dividend stocks outpaced all non-dividend paying stocks by nearly 8% annually during this period.
As Money Morning has shown you before, the best dividend-paying stocks are those with a steady history of increasing their payouts. Here's a list of 25 that just sweetened the dividend pot last week.
25 Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Hiked Payouts
Agilent Tech. Inc. (NYSE: A) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.13 a share, up from $0.12.
Amer Realty Cap Prop (Nasdaq: ARCP) increased its monthly dividend 3.3% to $0.078 a share. The stock yields 7.17%.
Amer Strategic Income III (NYSE: CSP) hiked its monthly dividend 5.9% to $0.45 a share, for an 8.17% yield.
Becton Dickinson & Co. (NYSE: BDX) boosted its quarterly dividend to $0.54 a share, up from $0.49. The 10% increase gives shares a 2% yield.
Cathay General Bancorp (Nasdaq: CATY) upped its quarterly payout 400% to $0.05 a share.
CBL & Assocs Properties Inc. (NYSE: CBL) lifted its dividend 6.5% to $0.24 a share, up from $0.23. Shares yield 5.43%.
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Chico's FAS Inc. (NYSE: CHS) dressed up its dividend 36.4% to $0.075 a share, from $0.05.
Culp Inc. (NYSE: CFI) increased its quarterly dividend 25% to $0.05 a share, up from $0.04.
Donaldson Co. Inc. (NYSE: DCI) raised its quarterly payout 7.7% to $0.14 a share, up from $0.13.
Elmira Savings Bank (Nasdaq: ESBK) enhanced it quarterly dividend 10% to $0.23 a share, up from $0.20, for a 3.89% yield.
Fifth St. Finance Corp. (Nasdaq: FSC) lifted its monthly dividend to $0.08 a share, up from $0.05. The 66.6% increase gives the stock a 6.28% yield.
Glacier Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GBCI) boosted its quarterly payout 6.7% to $0.15 a share for a 2.14% yield.
Helios Multi-Sector Income Fund Inc. (NYSE: HMH) hiked its monthly dividend 23.5% to $0.05 a share. Shares yield 10.61%.
Hels Advantage Income Fund Inc. (NYSE: HAV) hoisted its monthly dividend 16% to $0.06 a share for a 9.93% yield.
Hels High Income Fund Inc. (NYSE: HIH) upped its monthly payout 8.3% to $0.065 a share.
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Hels Str Income Fund Inc. (NYSE: HSA) raised its monthly dividend 25% to $0.05 a share for yield of 9.25%.
Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) fattened its quarterly dividend 17.6% to $0.20 a share, up from $0.17. It was the packaged foods company's 48th consecutive yearly increase.
McCormick & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MKC) spiced up its quarterly dividend 8.8% to $0.37 a share from $0.34. Shares yield 2.14%.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) moved its dividend higher by a penny to $0.44 a share, a 2.3% increase. Shares yield a healthy 3.5%.
Oxford Lane Capital (Nasdaq: OXLC) hiked its quarterly dividend 9.1% to $0.60 a share, up from $0.55.
Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) raised its quarterly dividend 14.3% to $0.16 a share, up from $0.14, for a new yield of 1.33%.
RGC Resources Inc. (Nasdaq: RGCO) upped its quarterly dividend 2.8% to $0.18 a share. The new yield is 3.92%.
SeaDrill Ltd. (NYSE: SDRL) sweetened its quarterly dividend 4.4% to 0.95 a share, up from $0.91. Shares of the deep-water driller yield nearly 9%.
South Jersey Indus Inc. (NYSE: SJI) boosted its quarterly dividend 6.8% to $0.47 a share for new yield of 3.3%.
United Guardian Inc. (Nasdaq: UG) upped its dividend 6.4% to $0.50 a share, up from $0.47.
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