Dividend Stocks: Big Banks Boost Payouts, Plus a Dozen More Yield Increases

Dividend stocks news:  The big dividend news last week came from the banking sector on the heels of the U.S. Federal Reserve's stress test.

The test is aimed at ensuring big banks can handle a steep slump like the 2008 financial crisis and continue operations without a government bailout. In total, 25 banks passed the central bank's test, while five failed.

The following 10 banks passed the stress test and are permitted to increase dividend payouts. And increase payouts they did:

American Express Co. (NYSE: AXP) lifted its quarterly dividend $0.03, or 13%, to $0.26 a share. The credit card company catering to the elite also said it would buy back as much as $4.4 billion of its stock this year and some $1 billion next year. Shares yield 1.1%.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) received approval to increase its quarterly dividend a penny to $0.05 per share. The hike gives shares a 1.2% yield. BofA also announced a $4 billion stock buyback program.

Bank of New York Mellon Corp. (NYSE: BK) received an okay to sweeten its quarterly payout 13%, or $0.02, to $0.17 a share. Additionally, the bank will buy back $1.7 billion of its stock through Q1 of 2015. Shares yield 1.9%.

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JP Morgan Chase & Co. (NYSE: JPM) got the nod to raise its quarterly dividend $0.02 to $0.40 a share. JPM also said it would buy back $6.5 billion in stock over the next year. The payout increase gives JPM stock a 2.7% yield.

Morgan Stanley (NYE: MS) shareholders got a nice boost. The bank was permitted to double its quarterly dividend to $0.10 a share and was also approved to commence a $1 billion stock repurchase. Shares yield 1.3%.

Northern Trust (NYSE: NTRS) was allowed to lift its quarterly payout $0.02, or 6.4%, to $0.33 cents a share for a new yield of 2%.

Regions Financial Corp. (NYSE: RF) received consent to hike its quarterly dividend to $0.05 a share, up from $0.03, for a fresh yield of 1.8%.

SunTrust Banks Inc. (NYSE: STI) shareholders were rewarded nicely when the Atlanta, Ga.-based bank was allowed to double its quarterly dividend to $0.20 a share. Its new yield is 2%.

U.S. Bancorp. (NYSE: USB) got permission to up its quarterly dividend a penny to $0.24 a share. The new annual yield is 2.3%.

Well Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC) got the go-ahead to hike its quarterly dividend a nickel, or 17%, to $0.35 a share. The increase gives the San Francisco-based bank a yield of 2.8%. Over the last 12 months, WFC shares are up a robust 33%.

A Dozen More Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Hiked Payouts

Big banks weren't the only dividend movers last week. Following are 12 more increases for the week ending March 28.

Air Industries Group Inc. (NYSE: AIRI) raised its dividend 20% to $0.15 a share for a 6.45% yield.

Banner Corp. (Nasdaq: BANR) boosted its dividend $0.03 to $0.18 a share for a 1.78% yield.

City Holding Co. (Nasdaq: CHCO) increased its dividend 8% to $0.40 a share for a 3.36% yield.

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Kayne Anderson Energy Dev. Co. (NYSE: KED) lifted its payout a penny to $0.50 a share for a 6.5% yield.

Kayne Anderson Midstr Energy Fd. (NYSE: KMF) upped its dividend 1.6% to $0.47 a share for 5.5% yield.

Movado Group Inc. (NYSE: MOV) moved its dividend $0.02 higher to $0.10 a share for a near 1% yield.

NASDAQ OMX Group Inc. (Nasdaq: NDAQ) hiked its dividend $0.02 to $0.15 a share for a 1.42% yield.

Owens Realty Mortgage Inc. (NYSE: ORM) raised its dividend 0.2% to $0.05 a share for a 1.35% yield.

Oxford Industries Inc. (NYSE: OXM) upped its dividend $0.03 to $0.21 a share for a yield just shy of 1%.

San Juan Basin Royalty Trust (NYSE: STJ) lifted its monthly payout 38% to $0.11 a share for 1.67% yield.

Signet Jewelers Ltd. (NYSE: SIG) polished its dividend 20% to $0.18 a share for a yield of 0.68%.

Steelcase Inc. (NYSE: SCS) sweetened its dividend 5% to $0.105 a share for a 2.58% yield.

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