The tobacco company reported on April 24 first-quarter adjusted earnings of $364 million, or 63 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $372 million, or 64 cents a share."RAI's board announced a 5.4% increase (or $0.03 per share) in its quarterly cash dividend to $0.59 (from $0.56)," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a May 3 report. "The dividend is payable on July 2, 2012 to shareholders of record on June 11, 2012. This puts RAI's annualized (or indicated) dividend at $2.36 (up from $2.24), representing a payout of 80.6% on our estimated 2012 EPS of $2.93. The dividend hike was on target with our forecast of $0.59 but six months ahead in terms of timing given its last dividend hike in late October." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 5.6%
Scana The electricity utility reported first-quarter earnings on May 3 of $121 million, or 91 cents a share, down from year-earlier earnings of $128 million, or $1 a share. "We believe SCG should trade at a one-turn discount multiple to the average regulated utility due to its new nuclear concentration risk and little non-nuclear growth," Bank of America Merrill Lynch analysts wrote in a May 7 report. "We are raising our PO from $44 to $46 based on higher group average multiple. Our PO is based on a P/E of 13x 2014E earnings of $3.56." Forward Annual Dividend Yield: 4.2%
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