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The biggest name to hike dividends in recent memory is
Hewlett-Packard(HPQ - Get Report), the $50 billion computer maker. The firm announced a 10% dividend increase on March 22, pushing its payout to 13.2 cents each quarter and driving its dividend yield to 2.1%.
HP is having a pretty good week: Shares climbed more than 7% yesterday following news that the firm had grown its share of the PC market. That good news should help investors forget about the company's problems -- at least for now.
These days, the PC business is a commodity business with few barriers to entry and where cost is king. That's somewhat advantageous for HP;because of its scale, the firm can drive costs lower than less mammoth peers. That said, management realizes that PCs aren't an attractive business, and CEO Meg Whitman and company realize that enterprise IT is a much more attractive driver of returns in the mid- to long-term.
This month, HP made the decision to combine its PC business with its printer business, a move that should help reduce the costs involved with both. While printers have fallen to the wayside in the last couple of years, the business does generate very attractive recurring revenues through ink sales -- it too should benefit from revamped operations.
HP's yield is decent, but it doesn't make sense as a core income holding in 2012.
Hewlett-Packard, one of
Seth Klarman's holdings, was included in a list of the
10 Best Dow Dividend Stocks for 2012.