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Republic Services Group (
RSG) is a garbage stock. The $13 billion firm ranks as the No. 2 trash collection company in the country, with 334 individual subsidiaries, close to 200 active landfills and a trash-to-energy business. Historically, trash collection and dividends go hand in hand thanks to recession resistant income, but 2013's rally has taken some of the punch out of RSG's 23.5-cent quarterly dividend. Currently, the firm pays out a 2.7% yield.
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Republic has room to hike its payout in the next quarter. For starters, the firm is benefiting from the increased economic activity that's been warming up for the past few years. As trash volumes increase, so too do Republic's profits. And because the firm is one of two major national garbage collection companies, it's able to grab big national contracts that smaller, more localized rivals can't.
While a history of acquisitions has left Republic with around $7 billion in long-term debt, the firm has enough cash generation to afford a modest hike in the near-term. Republic announces its second-quarter numbers on July 25. That's as good a time as any to announce a dividend raise for investors.