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Should You Buy It? Diebold

Stocks in this article: DBD

Editor's note: Friday, Feb. 27, David Peltier will be on Stockpickr Answers to answer questions posed by members of the Stockpickr community. Not a member? Join the Stockpickr community today -- free.

With more companies cutting their dividends these days, I've paid special attention to the ones that have actually increased their payout in 2009. Diebold (DBD) is one such name, as the company boosted its quarterly dividend on Feb. 11 to 26 cents a share (4.6% yield).

But what makes Diebold stand out from the rest is that management has increased the dividend 56 consecutive years -- the longest current streak in this country.

And it appears that maker of automated teller and electronic voting machines can cover the payment 2.1 times with expected 2009 earnings of $2.19 a share. Free cash flow also came in 26% ahead of reported earnings in 2008. Diebold also has a decent balance sheet with $362.8 million of cash compared with $605.2 million of debt.

But is a good dividend enough reason to buy the stock these days? One of the reasons why the company's yield is so high is because Diebold shares are down nearly 20% year-to-date. The stock closed Wednesday near nine-year lows at $22.63.

With that in mind, I'm here to answer readers' questions: Should you buy it? Does Diebold offer value at current levels or should investors focus elsewhere?

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