Stockpickr) -- Investors have already gotten a big wake up call in September: Central banks are willing to dump money into the system, even if it comes at the expense of returns for income-focused investors. If you're an income investor, I hope you're taking note.
We're already in a toxic environment for income investors. When inflation is higher than low-risk bond investments, there's no other word to describe what's going on. And the money-printing being teased out by the
Fed and the
ECB only looks to jack that spread between inflation and interest rates even higher.
But stocks are a different story right now.
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At the same time that super low-risk investments are getting bid down to near-zero yields, dividend stocks are paying out record cash to investors. And that cash isn't coming from nowhere; firms in the
currently have bigger profits and bigger bank account balances than they've ever had before. More important, they're currently dishing out a higher yield than they have anytime in the last two decades.
That's why we're scouring the stock market for a new group of big-name stocks that look ready to hike their dividend payouts in the coming quarter. In other words, these five firms are getting ready to boost dividends; they just don't know it yet.
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.
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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 three, 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.
Without further ado, here's a look at
five stocks that could be about to increase their dividend payments
in the next quarter.
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