The tools and equipment company reported on April 19 first-quarter earnings of $71 million, or $1.21 a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $56.2 million, or 96 cents."A continuing issue in the quarter, as far as we were concerned, was the weakness in Southern European markets (particularly Spain)," Barrington Research analysts wrote in an April 20 report. "A newer issue that has become evident is weakness in Western Europe with revenue down mid-single digits. This was the first time since the recession ended that Western Europe was cited as being weak, giving an early indication that the malaise that has been impacting Southern Europe is now spreading." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 2.2%
Tractor Supply The retail ranch and farm store chain reported on April 25 first-quarter earnings of $40.3 million, or 55 cents a share, up from year-earlier earnings of $18.3 million, or 24 cents. "Tractor Supply announced that it is raising its quarterly dividend from $0.12 to $0.20, which represents an increase of 67%," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a May 3 report. "While we had expected TSCO to raise its dividend this year, the extent of the increase exceeded our expectations. In our opinion, this further demonstrates the company's financial strength. Tractor Supply first initiated a dividend in March of 2010, and we forecast annual increases to continue. Further, with the stock now trading at nearly $100 per share, we would not be surprised to see a stock split within the next few quarters. TSCO last initiated a 2 for 1 stock split in September 2010." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 0.8%
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