When a company raises its dividend, it's a significant event. When a company -- such as

St. Joe

(JOE) - Get Report

-- starts eliminating dividends entirely, the significance is even greater. St. Joe, a Florida-based real estate development company, dropped its dividend completely to help pay off debt as part of its restructuring plan.

When a company issues a dividend for the first time or raises its dividend, it shows that the executives and board of directors believe that the company is in strong financial shape.

Stockpickr has reviewed the companies that increased their dividends last week and posted the stocks with the largest percentage dividend increases in the

Top Dividend Raisers for the Week Ending Oct. 7


First up is

Allegheny Energy

( AYE). The Pennsylvania-based electric utility reinstated its dividend to 15 cents a share, after going almost five years without any payouts. The stock has a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 26, a P/E-to-growth (PEG) ratio of 1.2, and based on its new dividend, a projected yield of 1.1%. The company will host its earnings call on Oct. 25.

Allegheny was recently added to the portfolio of

Jennison Utility A

(PRUAX), an open-end fund run by Shaun Hong that specializes in investing in utility equities and bonds. The four-star Morningstar-rated fund has generated an outstanding average annual return -- especially considering it comes from utilities -- of 34% over the last three years. Jennison also owns

Sempra Energy

(SRE) - Get Report

, which has a yield of 2.1%, and

Edison International

(EIX) - Get Report

, with a payout of 2%.


(COP) - Get Report

didn't raise its dividend this week, it is another dividend play we like. Its earnings call is scheduled for Oct. 24. The oil stock as a P/E of 13, a PEG of 0.9 and a yield of 1.9%.

ConocoPhillips stock was recently purchased by

George Soros

, one of the most successful hedge fund managers. Soros owns a few other dividend-paying stocks such as

Union Pacific

(UNP) - Get Report

, which pays 1.2%, and


(HAL) - Get Report

, which yields 0.9%.

Another stock with a large dividend increase is


(TK) - Get Report

. The oil tanker company raised its quarterly dividend by 16%, to 27.5 cents a share, its fifth consecutive yearly dividend increase. Teekay has a P/E of 14, a PEG of 3.1 and a yield of 1.7%.

Teekay is listed in the

Forbes Best Shippers

portfolio at Stockpickr. This list, which the magazine issued last year, also includes


(SSW) - Get Report

, yielding 5.6%, and

Quintana Maritime

( QMAR), yielding 5.4%.

Check out Stockpickr to see the entire list of the

Top Dividend Raisers for the Week Ending Oct. 7


At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of Stockpickr LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for

The Financial Times

and the author of

Trade Like a Hedge Fund


Trade Like Warren Buffett



. Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback;

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