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Payout hikes for dividend-paying stocks were plentiful last week, and topping the list is Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO), which raised its regular quarterly dividend for the 48th time in the last 45 years.
The tobacco giant announced Thursday it's boosting its quarterly payout 8.3%, or $0.04, to $0.52 per share. The new annualized dividend rate of the Richmond, Va.-headquartered company is $2.08 per share, for a near 5% yield.
The latest boost from the dividend aristocrat, best known for its Marlboro brand, is consistent with Altria's dividend payout ratio target of 80% of adjusted earnings per share. Altria shares are up nearly 11% year to date.
Altria is just one company that hiked its payout last week. Following are the 28 others that sweetened the dividend pot during the week ending Aug. 22, 2014.
Dividend Stocks That Just Boosted Payouts
BHP Billiton Ltd. (NYSE ADR: BHP) boosted its semi-annual dividend $0.06 to $1.24 a share for a 3.47% yield. The hike came as BHP announced plans to form a new global metals and mining company based around its aluminum, coal, manganese, nickel, and silver assets. "With a simpler portfolio, we are targeting sustainable, productivity-led gains of at least $3.5B per annum by the end of the 2017 financial year," Chief Executive Officer Andrew Mackenzie said. The demerger allows BHP to focus on its long-life iron ore, copper, coal, petroleum, and potash basins.
BHP Billiton Plc. (NYSE ADR: BBL) hiked its semi-annual payout 5.1% to $1.24 a share for a 3.47% yield.
Brinker International Inc. (NYSE: EAT) upped its quarterly dividend $0.04 to $0.28 a share for a 1.94% yield. The leading casual dining company also authorized an additional $350 million in share repurchases, bringing its total share repurchase authorization to approximately $3.9 billion.
Chemical Financial Corp. (NYSE: CHFC) raised its quarterly dividend a penny to $0.24 a share for a 3.34% yield.
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