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Top Dividend Stocks of the Week: Safeway

Here are some of the latest stocks to raise their dividends.

Updated from 7:00 a.m. EDT

Companies that raised their dividends last week were all across the board. They represented a wide range of industries, including jewelry, natural gas, insurance and telecommunications.

Stockpickr has reviewed these companies and compiled a list of the

Top Dividend-Raisers for the Week


One of the stocks with the greatest dividend increase is

El Paso


, the natural gas distributor, which raised its quarterly dividend by 25% to 20 cents a share. The company just approved a $300 million share repurchase program because of increasing cash flow. The stock has a P/E of 13 and a PEG of 1.37, and it pays a yield of 0.8%.

El Paso is owned by one of the largest hedge funds in the world,

Citadel Investment Group

, which was founded by noted billionaire trader Kenneth C. Griffin. This Chicago-based fund has $20 billion under management and has had an average annual return of 26% from inception through 2006. Citadel also owns

Union Pacific

(UNP) - Get Union Pacific Corporation Report

, with a yield of 1.2%;

News Corp.

TheStreet Recommends


, with a yield of 0.6%; and


(BA) - Get Boeing Company Report

, with a 1.9% yield.

Another dividend-raiser is the large North American supermarket chain



, which bumped up its quarterly dividend by 20% to 8.28 cents per share. The company recently reported that, after already repurchasing about $3.55 billion of Safeway stock, it had increased the company's stock repurchase program by $1 billion to a total of $5 billion. However, Morgan Stanley just downgraded the stock to equal-weight from overweight. The stock has a P/E of 15 and a PEG of 1.31, and it pays a yield of 1%.

Safeway is held in the portfolio of the

Columbia Acorn Select Fund

, a five-star Morningstar-rated fund managed by Charles P. McQuaid. The fund has had an average annual return of 19.3% over the last five years. Columbia also has in its portfolio

Janus Capital Group


, with a 0.1% yield;,



, with a 0.2% yield; and

Abercrombie & Fitch

(ANF) - Get Abercrombie & Fitch Co. Class A Report

, with a 0.9% yield.


(AIZ) - Get Assurant, Inc. Report

, the specialized insurance company, increased its quarterly dividend by 17% to 14 cents per share. The stock was recently downgraded by Goldman Sachs to neutral from buy because of increased exposure to catastrophe risks with hurricane season approaching. The stock has a P/E of 12 and a PEG of 0.91, and it pays a yield of 0.7%.

Assurant is part of

The Claymore/Sabrient Insider ETF

, which holds stocks reflecting favorable corporate insider-buying trends. The ETF also holds



, with a yield of 0.2%;

Calamos Asset Management


, with a 2.3% yield; and

Massey Energy


, with a yield of 0.3%.

For a complete list of the

Top Dividend-Raisers for the Week

, go to

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


LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of 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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