$35 billion equipment firm Deere (DE) owns a sizable chunk of the agriculture and construction markets with its easily recognizable line of green heavy machinery. Last week, the company increased its dividend payout by 17.1%, also a sizable chunk. That hike brings Deere's total quarterly dividend to 41 cents per share, a 1.95% yield.
The past years have been tough for Deere as a seizing construction market caught up with a rough credit market for the company's lending arm. Despite that double-exposure to the financial crisis, the company has managed to keep its head above water, buoyed in large part by solid lending practices and now by fast-rising soft commodity costs. While competition in lucrative emerging market countries continues to be fierce, Deere is well-positioned to take advantage of the growth opportunities to be found in the BRICs.While Deere's payout hardly makes it a high-yield play, it's important to remember that dividend yields aren't the same for everyone -- they're based on your cost basis. As a result, for investors that picked up shares around early 2009 lows, Deere's current yield is creeping up on 6%. Deere was highlighted recently in "5 Large-Cap Stocks for a Choppy Market."
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