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TheStreet Open House

Top 10 Dividend Stocks of the Week

Despite massive layoffs in the mortgage industry, recession fears, dramatic declines in employment figures and a depressed and volatile stock market, there are still companies out there with a strong enough belief in their future business to increase their dividends .

Stockpickr has sorted through the list of last week's dividend-raisers and assembled the Top 10 Dividend Increases for the Week of Sept. 8, those stocks with the highest percentage increase in dividends.

The NYSE-traded stock with the most significant dividend increase is CBS (CBS). The television network -- which also owns radio stations, billboards and various publishing companies including Simon & Schuster -- just raised its quarterly dividend by 14%. The 25 cents-a-share payment equates to a 3.2% yield. CBS also announced that it plans to buy back $1.6 billion worth of its stock. CBS stock has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 18 and a P/E-to-growth (PEG) ratio of 2.

Does an increased dividend bolster your confidence in a stock?
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CBS also shows up in the Socially Responsible Large-Cap Stocks, a Stockpickr portfolio that lists publicly traded companies screened for community relations, diversity, labor relations, environmental practices, human rights, product safety and quality and corporate governance. Other dividend-paying stocks on this list include Bank of New York Mellon (BK), which yields 2.4%, and Boston Properties (BXP), a real estate investment trust that yields 2.7%.

Another company that recently raised its dividend is iMergent (IIG), a small-cap ecommerce company that markets StoresOnline software and Web site development platforms. The company increased its dividend by 10% to 11 cents a share and revised its dividend-payment schedule from semiannually to quarterly.

Its board of directors just approved a second share-buyback program of $50 million, for a total of $70 million. In addition, it just reported a huge surge in quarterly earnings from 17 cents a share to 41 cents, a 141% increase. The company has had legal problems with its marketing in California and North Carolina; however, it is confident that the issues will be resolved. The stock has a P/E of 10 and generates a yield of 2.3%.

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