Caterpillar is the world's largest manufacturer of construction and mining equipment. Based on current pricing, its stock has a dividend yield of about 3%. But that didn't stop Caterpillar from raising the company's quarterly dividend another 5% at the shareholder meeting last week. The company said the quarterly dividend of 44 cents, up from 42 cents, will be payable in August to investors who buy in before July 20.
Caterpillar earnings have been improving, and the stock has added about 13% year to date despite the broader market moving pretty much sideways. Upbeat comments about the U.S. economy from Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke recently, as well as favorable Chinese export data, seem to be indicating global economic recovery and hence stronger demand for Caterpillar gear.