Dividend Stocks: 25 New Increases for Yield Seekers

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Dividend stocks update: Dividend-paying stocks provide a solid means by which to generate investing income during times of rock-bottom interest rates.

But with interest rates ticking up recently, and the U.S. Federal Reserve winding down its quantitative easing program, investors may wonder whether dividend stocks will remain a good choice should interest rates continue to rise.

The answer, once again, is to focus on companies that continuously increase their payouts. Such companies have historically performed better than those without dividends in the wake of Fed rate hikes, according to Fidelity Investments and Ned Davis Research.

25 top dividend paying stocks

And investors holding dividend stocks with a track record of boosting payouts should expect even bigger gains moving forward, explains Fidelity Institutional Portfolio Manager Naveed Rahman. "The good news for dividend investors... is that dividend payout ratios are still near all-time lows - meaning there is significant potential for payouts to increase going forward."

Following are 25 companies that hiked their payouts last week.

Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Boosted Their Payouts

Capstead Mortgage Corp. (NYSE: CMO) raised its dividend $0.03 to $0.34 a share for a 10.45% yield.

Cohen & Steers Infra Fund Inc. (NYSE: UTF) upped its payout a penny to $0.37 a share for a yield of 6.74%.

Cohen & Steer Quality Income Realty Inc. (NYSE: RQI) boosted its dividend 5.6% to $0.19 a share for a 7.21% yield.

Colgate Palmolive Co. (NYSE: CL) polished its dividend by 5.9% to $0.36 a share for a 2.26% yield.

CTC Media Inc. (Nasdaq: CTCM) increased its dividend 9.4% to $0.175 a share for a 7.52% yield.

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Douglas Dynamics Inc. (NYSE: PLOW) hiked its dividend 2.4% to $0.21 a share for a 5% yield. The Milwaukee-based maker of snow and ice control equipment started paying dividends in December 2010 (it went public in May of that year) at 18.26 cents.

Ellington Residential Mtg. REIT (NYSE: EARN) moved its dividend higher by a nickel to $0.55 a share for a 12.4% yield.

Equity Lifestyle Properties Inc. (NYSE: ELS) raised its dividend 30% to $0.32 a share for a 3.16% yield.

First American Financial Corp. (NYSE: FAF) doubled its dividend to $0.24 a share for a 3.51% yield. The increase adds $51 million to yearly payouts. Additionally, the financial service provider boosted its buyback program to $250 million from $150 million.

First Trust/Aberdeen Emerging Opportunity Fund (NYSE: FEO) raised its dividend 17.3% to $0.35 a share for an 8% yield.

First Trust Enhanced Equity Income Fund (NYSE: FFA) increased its dividend 2% to $0.23 a share for a yield of 7%.

General Mills Inc. (NYSE: GIS) fattened its dividend $0.03 to $0.41 a share for a 3.3% yield. The packaged foods maker has been distributing dividends uninterrupted since 1898. The latest hike is the company's 15th since 2004.

Global High Income Fund (NYSE: GHI) goosed its monthly dividend 1.1% to $0.653 a share for a near 9% yield.

JMP Group Inc. (NYSE: JMP) grew its dividend 12.5% to $0.045 a share for a yield of 2.38%.

Methode Electronics Inc. (NYSE: MEI) moved its dividend up 28.6% to $0.09 a share for a yield approaching 1%.

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Perfect World Co. Ltd. (Nasdaq: PWRD) increased its annual dividend $0.03 to $0.48 a share for a 2.15% yield.

Prudential PLC (NYSE: PUK) boosted its semi-annual dividend 154.3% to $0.79 a share for a 2.5% yield.

Realty Income Corp. (NYSE: O) raised its monthly dividend 0.2% to $0.182 a share for a 2.46% yield.

Silver Bay Realty Trust Co. (NYSE: SBY) sweetened its dividend 200% to $0.03 a share for a near 1% yield.

Stanley Black & Decker Inc. Corporate Units (NYSE: SWU) increased its dividend 58% to $1.875 a share for a yield of 3.84%.

Strategic Global Income Fund (NYSE: SGL) lifted its monthly dividend 0.4% to $0.052 a share for a 7.2% yield.

Tri-Continental Corp. (NYSE: TY) tweaked its dividend 6.2% to $0.17 a share for a yield of 3.52%.

Vail Resorts Inc. (NYSE: MTN) doubled its dividend to $0.41 a share for 2.38% yield. The increase is valued at $30 million yearly that will be returned to shareholders. The company initiated payouts in June 2011 at $0.15.

Williams-Sonoma Inc. (NYSE: WSM) hiked its dividend $0.02 to $0.33 a share for a yield of 2.05%. The San Francisco headquartered retailer of high-quality gourmet foods and furnishings has paid dividends since 2006 and has grown them annually except during recession-plagued 2009.

Wilshire Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: WIBC) raised its dividend 66.7% to $0.05 a share for a 1.78% yield.

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