It's only April, but it appears dividend payouts this year will soar past 2012's tally - meaning all investors need to know how to find the best dividend stocks or risk missing out on record-high yield.
Barron's reports that in Q1, 944 of approximately 10,000 U.S. companies boosted payouts, either by increases, extras or resumption. That was up a hefty 39.4% from 677 companies a year ago.
Dividend increases alone tallied $14.5 billion. Cash payments jumped 12%, while the forward indicated dividend rate reached an all-time high.
The following favorite dividend stocks are among those that juiced payouts in the first quarter:
- 3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) raised its dividend 8% to $0.63 per share.
- General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) increased quarterly payment 12% to $0.19 per share.