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Apple and Google Declare War – Here's the Secret Winner

Resident tech guru Michael Robinson and I are both big science-fiction fans. Michael likes traditional sci-fi stories, like those of Robert Heinlein and Isaac Asimov. My sci-fi interests are more focused on “Golden Age” radio dramas, “pre-code” comics, and old movies and TV shows… like The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits.

And when Associate Editor Cris Skokna joined our team a few months back, Michael and I were so pleased to discover that he was a sci-fi guy as well that I jokingly dubbed the three of us as “The Trilogy.”

And the other day, Cris told me a story that I absolutely had to share with you…

  • Featured Story

    Dividend-Paying Stocks: AOL Not the Only One to Raise Payout

    AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL) announced Monday it would divvy out $1.1 billion in cash to shareholders, joining the growing group of dividend-paying stocks - although only for brief moment.

    AOL will dole out a one-time payment of $5.15 a share to holders of record Dec. 5, for a total of $500 million given out in dividends.

    In addition to the whopping and unexpected dividend news, AOL also reported a $600 million fast-tracked share repurchase agreement with Barclays Plc (NYSE ADR: BCS).

    The move comes on the heels of a deal inked in April to sell 800 patents to Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT). At the time, AOL assured its plans were "to return a significant portion of the sale proceeds to shareholders."

    The move also follows a push from activist shareholder group Starboard Value LP, which had been lobbying for AOL to unload its patent cache and reward shareholders with a dividend and share repurchase program.

    Investors applauded the dividend news, sending shares of AOL up more than 3% Monday. The stock has been on a tear, climbing more than 120% year-to-date.

    While AOL has only planned a one-time dividend, many other companies in 2012 have announced regular payouts.

    Dividend-Paying Stocks: Payouts on the Rise

    A number of companies are beginning to recognize just how important dividends have become in this era of low-interest savings accounts and certificates of deposits (CDs) that offer paltry yields.

    In fact, dividends, once a trademark of stodgy blue chip companies, are emerging in full force in the tech sector.

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  • dividend-paying stocks time to be wary