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Dividend stocks update: Last week was painful for investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its steepest weekly slide since November 2011. And the broad-based Standard & Poor's 500 Index had its worst week since June 2012.
But dividend stock investors are comforted knowing a steady stream of income from dividends helps soften the blow of falling stock prices.
You see, over the long term, dividend-paying stocks tend to have lower volatility and superior returns than non-dividend-paying stocks, according to data from Ned Davis Research.
Since 1973, U.S. dividend payers have generated greater returns over those that don't pay a dividend in 24 out of 37 years, or 65% of the time.
Companies that grew or initiated dividends logged the best results over the last three decades, gaining 10.3% annually compared to 7.6% for payers that don't boost payouts.
After a slow start to the year, the number of companies raising dividends soared last week. Some 67 sweetened payouts.
Following are 25 of the most notable dividend hikes for the week ending Jan. 24.
25 Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Hiked Their Payouts
Arthur J. Gallagher & Co. (NYSE: AJG) boosted its dividend a penny to $0.36 a share for a 3% yield.
Alliant Energy Corp. (NYSE: LNT) upped its dividend 8.5% to $0.51 a share from $0.47. The stock yields 4%.
Bar Harbor Bankshares (NYSE: BHB) boosted its dividend to $0.325 a share for a new yield of 3%.
City National Corp. (NYSE: CYN) raised its dividend 32% from $0.25 to $0.33 a share. The stock yields 1.3%.
CMS Energy Corp. (NYSE: CMS) increased its dividend 6% to $0.27 a share for a 4% yield.
Dominion Resources Inc. (NYSE: D) hiked its dividend 6.7% to $0.60 a share for a yield of 3.64%.
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EQT Midstream Partners LP (NYSE: EQM) increased its dividend 7% to $0.46 a share. The new yield is 2.74%.
First Defiance Financial (Nasdaq: FDEF) fattened its dividend 50% to $0.15 a share for a 2.33% yield.