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Our new dividend-paying stocks list for this week includes 25 companies that have just hiked their payouts or delivered a special dividend for investors.
Investing in dividend stocks remains a popular choice as we near 2015. We've now hit six years of near-zero interest rates and an aging bull market.
In addition to providing a steady stream of income, stocks that pay dividends - and dividend growers in particular - consistently provide better returns than nonpayers.
Dividend payers have outperformed non-payers by more than 7% in returns. From 1972 - 2012, stocks that do not pay dividends returned 1.6%, while stocks that do returned 8.7%, according to Ned Davis Research.
Last week saw no shortage of dividend improvements, despite the holiday. Twenty companies hiked payouts, and five declared special dividends. Two announced stock dividends.
Following are 25 notable dividend enrichments from the week ending Nov. 28.
Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Hiked Payouts
Aegean Marine Petroleum Network Inc. (NYSE: ANW) increased its quarterly dividend 100% to $0.02 per share for a 0.82% yield.
Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) upped its quarterly payout 11.1% to $0.25 per share for a 1.15% yield. The insurance giant also authorized the repurchase of up to an additional $1 billion of its stock.
Becton, Dickinson and Co. (NYSE: BDX) boosted its quarterly dividend 10% to $0.60 a share for a 1.17% yield. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald says Becton Dickinson's products are vital in any global pandemic (like Ebola), and BDX shares offer long-term opportunity.
Capital City Bank Group Inc. (Nasdaq: CCBG) upped its quarterly dividend 50% to $0.03 a share for a 0.83% yield.
Cathay General Bancorp (Nasdaq: CATY) raised its quarterly dividend $0.03 to $0.10 a share for a 1.58% yield.
Cypress Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: CY) announced a special $0.11 per share dividend payable Jan. 15 to shareholders of record Dec. 26.
Flowers Foods Inc. (NYSE: FLO) fattened its quarterly payout 10.4% to $0.1325 a share for a 2.72% yield.
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Glacier Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: GBCI) goosed its quarterly dividend 6% to $0.18 a share for a 2.63% yield.
Hingham Institution for Savings (Nasdaq: HIFS) announced a special $1-per-share dividend payable Jan. 21 to shareholders of record Jan. 10. The extra dividend represents a 257% increase over the prior year's special dividend.
Hormel Foods Corp. (NYSE: HRL) hiked is quarterly payout a nickel to $0.25 a share for a 1.88% yield. The boost marks the food and meat company's 49th consecutive year of dividend hikes.
ICICI Bank Ltd. (NYSE ADR: IBN) declared a 5-for-1 stock dividend effective Dec. 8 for shareholders of record Dec. 4.
Infosys Ltd. (NYSE ADR: INFY) announced a 2-for-1 stock dividend effective Dec. 5 for shareholders of record Dec. 2.
Keurig Green Mountain Inc. (Nasdaq: GMCR) juiced its quarterly dividend 15% to $0.28 a share for a 0.81% yield.
Logitech International SA (Nasdaq: LOGI) hiked its annual payout 25% to $0.27 a share for a 1.52% yield.
Louisiana Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: LABC) declared a special $0.75 per share dividend payable Dec. 24 to shareholders of record Dec. 9.
McCormick & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MKC) moved its quarterly dividend up $0.03 to $0.47 per share for a 2.15% yield. This marks the 29th consecutive year the global spice company has increased its quarterly dividend.
Merck & Co. Inc. (NYSE: MRK) raised its quarterly dividend a penny to $0.45 a share for a 3% yield.
Oritani Financial Corp. (Nasdaq: ORIT) announced a special $0.25-per-share dividend payable Dec. 23 to shareholders of record Dec. 10.
Peoples Bancorp of North Carolina Inc. (Nasdaq: PEBK) boosted its quarterly payout 50% to $0.06 a share for a 1.32% yield.
Raymond James Financial Inc. (NYSE: RJF) raised its quarterly payout $0.02 to $0.18 a share for a 1.28% yield.
RGC Resources Inc. (Nasdaq: RGCO) hiked its quarterly payout 4% to $0.19 a share for a 3.53% yield.
Territorial Bancorp Inc. (Nasdaq: TBNK) announced a special $0.10-per-share dividend payable Dec. 23 to shareholders of record Dec. 9.
United Security Bancshares Inc. (Nasdaq: USBI) upped its quarterly payout 100% to $0.02 a share for a near 1% yield.
The Valspar Corp. (NYSE: VAL) increased its quarterly dividend $0.04 to $0.30 a share for a 1.43% yield. The 15% increase marks the 37th consecutive year the painting and coating company has increased its dividends. Valspar is a member of the S&P High-Yield Dividend Aristocrats Index, a selective list of companies increasing dividends every year for at least 20 consecutive years.
York Water Co. (Nasdaq: YORW) upped its quarterly payout 4.5% to $0.15 a share for a near 3% yield. The Jan. 15 dividend will mark the 576th consecutive dividend paid by YORW. The increase marks the 18th consecutive year the Pa.-based company has raised its dividend. YORW, the oldest investor-owned utility in the United States, has paid dividends for 199 consecutive years beginning in 1816. This is the longest record of consecutive dividends in America.
Don't forget to claim your free report on dividend-paying stocks: The Best Dividend Strategy for Building a Fortune in the Low-Yield Era
Now for Today's Top Story: OPEC's largest oil producer announced price cuts for customers in the United States in early November. Although the Saudis fiercely deny the notion of a price war, you don't have to be a genius to read between the lines. But the Saudi price cut is the biggest strategic "pricing error" in the kingdom's history - and it will send this company's shares soaring.