Another firm that looks ready for a dividend hike is chipmaker Altera (ALTR - Get Report). While Altera isn't a core dividend stock by any stretch -- its 8 cent quarterly payout equates to a 1.03% yield at current share price levels -- a hike would be a good signal that Altera's fundamental performance doesn't warrant the selloff in shares this year. So far in 2012, shares of Altera have slid more than 16%.
Altera is a leader in the programmable logic device market, a subset of chips that can have its circuitry -- and functions -- reprogrammed by the manufacturer's clients and are purchased by original equipment manufacturers of everything from communications devices to automobile components. The firm makes up half of the PLD duopoly that currently dominates the market.>>5 Bargain Stocks With High Free Cash Flow Yields The sheer number of new mobile devices hitting the marketplace is one of the most compelling growth catalysts for Altera right now. At the same time, high switching costs for device makers should guarantee that the firm is able to capture a material chunk of new device contracts as they come available. With plenty of excess cash generation, Altera is in solid shape to hike its payouts in the next quarter.