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5 Stocks Ready to Boost Dividends

Unum

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Last up today is Unum (UNM), a $5.4 billion disability insurer that operates in the U.S. and the U.K. Unum also offers customers a handful of other insurance products -- like life insurance and long-term care insurance -- but they represent a much smaller portion of the firm's loan book.

Ironically, Unum was one of the few insurers that hit rough waters ahead of the financial crisis only to survive the global meltdown in good shape. In the last decade, Unum suffered from underpricing its policies (the result of hefty exposure to a niche insurance product), and poor attempts at wriggling out of expenses. But in the years since, it's fixed pricing problems and maintained a conservative portfolio that avoided the pitfalls that other insurers fell into.

The firm's cash generation should warrant a dividend hike this year. Currently, Unum pays out a 10.5 cent dividend each quarter, providing a 2.22% yield for investors. It's maintained that payout for the last four quarters; earnings on Aug. 2 could provide a venue for a hike.

To see these dividend plays in action, check out the Dividend Stocks portfolio on Stockpickr.

And if you haven't already done so, join Stockpickr today to create your own dividend portfolio.

-- Written by Jonas Elmerraji in Baltimore.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Jonas Elmerraji is the editor and portfolio manager of the Rhino Stock Report, a free investment advisory that returned 15% in 2008. He is a contributor to numerous financial outlets, including Forbes and Investopedia, and has been featured in Investor's Business Daily, in Consumer's Digest and on MSNBC.com.
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