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.
(DBD - Get Report)
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?