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) -- With earnings season winding down, dividend increases are going to be fewer and far between. However, there have been some biggies lately, not just in terms of company size but also in the implication of those dividends.

Perhaps most noteworthy is



, one of the first financial stocks to significantly raise its dividend. Comerica just announced it is doubling its quarterly payday.

Also worth noting is some strong retail dividend action, including a mammoth special dividend from small-cap mall store

The Buckle


and a sizable hike from toymaker



right before the holiday rush.

Here's the complete list of top stocks boosting dividends in the last week or so:

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Buckle Special Dividend

Teen retailer The Buckle posted strong earnings last week, and the company is looking to share that cash with investors. The result is a special dividend of $2.50 a share that will total $115 million in total payouts. This is on top of BKE stock's quarterly dividend of 20 cents a share.

KeyBanc recently raised its investment rating on Buckle after strong third-quarter earnings. What's more, the company reported that same-store sales increased 0.5% for the fiscal third quarter while total sales grew 5.2%. Buckle's stock has significantly outperformed the market in 2010, and is up 28% in the last 30 days.

Prudential Dividend Increase



announced a dramatic 64.3% increase in its annual dividend payment last week to $1.15 from 70 cents. The increase gives the insurance giant a new dividend yield of 2.1%. The one-time dividend for all of 2010 will be paid Dec. 17 to shareholders of record Nov. 23.

Prudential appears to be on the move, holding a secondary stock offering last Wednesday that raised $970 million to fund the purchase of operations from bailed-out financial services stock

American International Group


. Prudential stock is up about 9.5% year to date, outperforming the broader market slightly in 2010.

Comerica Dividend Increase

Comerica, perhaps the strongest bank throughout the financial crisis, made waves by doubling its dividend to 10 cents from 5 cents. That gives the bank a yield of about 1% -- still meager compared to other stocks, but an encouraging sign financial stocks could be returning to the days of dividends. The dividend is payable Jan. 1, to shareholders of record Dec. 15.

Comerica bounced up on the news, but that's just the latest increase in share prices in a great year for CMA stock. Shares are up about 26% so far in 2010 -- over three times the gains of the

S&P 500

index. And with plans to buy back as many as 12.5 million shares and repurchase warrants on 11.5 million more, you can probably bank on Comerica continuing its success in 2011.

Union Pacific Dividend Increase

Railroad giant

Union Pacific


said last week it will increase its dividend 15% to 38 cents from 33 cents a quarter. This marks the second dividend hike this year for the railroad company as its results continue to improve and signs of economic growth continue lift the shipping and rail industries. The new dividend is payable Jan. 3, to shareholders of record Nov. 30 and gives UNP stock a yield of about 1.6%.

In May, Union Pacific said it was increasing its dividend by 22% to 33 cents from 27 cents. This last hike equates to a 40% jump in Union Pacific's dividend compared with its first-quarter payout. This is just the latest sign of success -- shares have rallied about 44% so far in 2010, led most recently by very strong third-quarter earnings.

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Nike Dividend Increase



increased its quarterly dividend payments by 15% last week to 31 cents from 27 cents. The new dividend is payable Dec. 30, to shareholders of Dec. 6, and gives the sportswear behemoth a new dividend yield of about 1.5%.

Though it may surprise, Nike has actually paid dividends consistently for a quarter of a century dating to 1984. The stock has rallied about 25% so far in 2010, with the majority of those gains coming in the last three months.

Teck Dividend Increase

Diversified miner

Teck Resources


said Wednesday it will raise its dividend by 50% on strong commodity price increases. The semiannual dividend jumped to 30 cents from 20 cents. Teck Resources' dividend yield is about 1.2% at current valuations.

On one hand, the payout is still significantly lower than the 50 cents a share paid in 2008. However, the dividend was eliminated altogether in 2009 so the increase is an encouraging sign.

The stock is up about 40% year to date in 2010, about five times the performance of the

Dow Jones Industrial Average

and S&P 500.

National Oilwell Varco Dividend Increase

National Oilwell Varco


said it would hike its quarterly dividend 10% to 11 cents from 10 cents. The penny increase per quarter gives NOV an annualized dividend yield of about 0.7%. The next National Oilwell Varco dividend is payable Dec. 17, to stockholders of record Dec. 3.

National Oilwell Varco stands to profit in 2011 if crude oil prices rise on inflationary pressure. NOV is a leader in the manufacturing and sale of drilling gear, and could see big business if major oil companies look to ramp up production. NOV stock is up about 38% so far in 2010, dramatically outperforming the broader market.

Intel Dividend Increase



recently announced a 15% dividend increase to 18 cents. The dividend will be payable sometime in early 2011, and provides a new dividend yield of about 3.4%.

The chipmaker has been largely flat in 2010, except for a 10% surge in the last three months or so thanks to the recent strength of the tech sector. In other recent news, Intel announced it acquired Canadian media company


, which specializes in digital signage.

Johnson Controls Dividend Increase

Auto supplier

Johnson Controls


said last week it was increasing its dividend to 16 cents from 13 cents. The 23% increase results in a new dividend yield for JCI stock that totals 1.7%. The new Johnson Controls quarterly dividend is payable Jan. 4, to shareholders of record Dec. 10.

Johnson Controls has been on the rise as auto sales have bounced back from 2009 lows, rising about 33% so far in 2010 with 28% gains in the last three months alone.

Mattel Dividend Increase




has just increased its annual dividend by 11% to 83 cents a share from 75 cents. MAT stock now has a dividend yield of about 3.3% at current valuations. The larger dividend payout will take place Dec. 16, to shareholders of record Dec. 3.

The maker of iconic toys under the Barbie, Tyco and High School Musical brands also said the dividends will begin paying dividends quarterly instead of annually in 2011.

Mattel shares have done well recently, and a healthy holiday shopping season could really pay off for MAT stock. Mattel is up 25% so far in 2010, about three times the major indices.

Baxter Dividend Increase

Health care blue chip

Baxter International


recently increased its dividend by 7% to 31 cents a share from 29 cents. The move gives Baxter a dividend yield of about 2.4%. The higher dividend will be paid on Jan. 5, to holders of record on Dec. 10.

Baxter has struggled to find its way in 2010, down about 13% so far this year. Late last month, Baxter announced it would be selling some of its injectable drug business to Jordan's

Hikma Pharmaceuticals

for around $112 million. We'll see if streamlining the business helps Baxter in 2011.

As of this writing, Reeves didn't own a position in any of the stocks mentioned


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