Stockpickr) -- These five firms are getting ready to boost dividends. They just don't know it yet.
There's a lot of attention being hoisted on dividend stocks right now, and it's easy to see why: when interest rates are sitting at record lows, investors are grasping for any means of earning income from their portfolios right now. That's why it's ironic that now's such a good time to be a dividend investor.
The companies that make up the
S&P 500 have more cash than ever before, they have higher profits than ever before, and they pay a bigger dividend yield than they have in the last two decades. So while other income-generating investments (like bonds or treasuries) aren't much more than "safety-at-any-cost" investments right now, dividend stocks are pulling their weight.
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Today, we're focusing in on five blue-chip stocks that look ready to boost their dividend payouts even more in 2012. In the past few months we've had some stellar success in finding future dividend hikes just by zeroing in on a few key factors. Now we'll look at our crystal ball and try to do it again.
For our purposes, that "crystal ball" is composed of a few factors: namely a solid balance sheet, a low payout ratio, and a history of dividend hikes. While those items don't guarantee dividend announcements in the next month or two, they do dramatically increase the odds that management will hike their cash payouts, especially as investors start to get antsy about this mid-2012 rally.
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Without further ado, here's a look at
five stocks that could be about to increase their dividend payments
in the next quarter.