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Dividend stocks update: Although there are several ways to build a successful portfolio, the one method that stands the test of time is investing in dividend growth stocks.
A Morgan Stanley study showed that 42% of the stock market's total returns since 1930 are thanks to dividends. In four of the past eight decades, dividends contributed more to equity returns than capital appreciation.
Rather than focusing on yield alone, investors looking for reliable long-term income should focus on a company's ability to increase its dividend.
Indeed, companies that grow dividends have achieved the best results over the last three decades, gaining 10.3% annually compared to 7.6% for payers that don't increase dividends, according to Ned Davis Research.
Stable, growing payouts are a sign that a company has competitive advantages, a strong balance sheet, and solid management confidence that earnings and cash flow will continue to support future disbursements.
Following are the 23 dividend stocks that increased payouts for the week ending April 4.
Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Boosted Their Payouts
Americana Bancorp (Nasdaq: ASBI) doubled its quarterly dividend to $0.02 a share. Allowing the New Castle, Ind.-based bank to increase its payout 100% was an 18.8% increase in net income in FY2013 and rosy outlook for 2014.
Bank of the Ozarks Inc. (Nasdaq: OZRK) boosted its quarterly dividend a penny to $0.22 a share for a 1.5% yield. Shares of the Little Rock, Ariz.-based bank are up an impressive 21% so far this year.
Calamos Convertible High Income Fund (Nasdaq: CHY) raised its monthly distribution 17.6% to $0.10 a share for a yield of 8.58%.
Calamos Global Dynamic Income Fund (Nasdaq: CHW) increased its monthly payout 12.9% to $0.07 a share for a 9.22% yield.
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Calamos Strategic Total Return Fund (Nasdaq: CSQ) sweetened its monthly disbursement 17.9% to $0.08 a share for a 8.82% yield.
Cal-Maine Foods Inc. (Nasdaq: CALM) fattened its quarterly dividend 63.7% to $0.59 a share for a 2.4% yield.