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New Dividend: 20 cents quarterly (per share)
Dividend Percent Increase: 25%
Current Yield: 1.68%
It's been a solid year for shareholders of
A.O. Smith(AOS) -- the mid-cap water heater maker has rallied more than 18.6% so far in 2012. A.O. Smith has a big tailwind from its core product. After all, water heaters aren't something that most customers are willing to put off replacing when the time comes.
While a pullback in construction spending has ultimately impacted AOS substantially in the last several years, the firm has slowly been climbing sales post-recession. The economic payoff and convenience of bigger-ticket products like on demand tankless heaters could be a big catalyst to help make up for lost ground on the top line as consumers look for ways to make their homes more efficient.
AOS announced a 25% dividend hike on Monday, bringing its quarterly dividend to 20 cents per share, a 1.68% yield.
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-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.