NEW YORK (

TheStreet

) --

Altria Group

(MO) - Get Report

and

Playtech

(PYTCY.PK) joined a roster of companies raising their shareholder payouts this month.

Altria, the parent of cigarette maker Philip Morris USA, said Friday its board agreed to an 8.6% increase of its quarterly dividend to 38 cents per share, from 35 cents. It will be paid Oct. 12 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 15.

>>Altria Group to Outperform in 2010, Investors Say

U.K.-based gambling software maker Playtech will pay 9.4 euro cents (11.9 cents) per share on Oct. 22, an increase of 5.6% from the previous dividend of 8.9 euro cents (11.3 cents) per share.

Ship Finance International Limited

(SFL) - Get Report

, an operator of vessels and offshore related assets, announced Thursday a 6.1% increase of its quarterly dividend to 35 cents per share, marking the Bermuda-based company's second dividend increase in 2010. It will be paid on or about Sept. 30 to shareholders of record on Sept. 10. Ship Finance's shares pushed up 1.3% Thursday.

Restaurant operator

Bob Evans Farms

(BOBE)

said late Wednesday its board of directors approved an 11.1% increase of its quarterly cash dividend from 18 cents per share to 20 cents per share. The increased dividend will be payable Sept. 21 to shareholders on record at the close of trading on Sept. 7. Shares were up through most of Thursday's sessions but were unable to hold onto early gains, closing off by 0.1%.

>>Bob Evans Dishes Out Increased Dividend

Ship Finance and Bob Evans' dividend hikes followed a string of shareholder payout increases this month.

Cigarette manufacturer

Lorillard

(LO)

said last week it raised its quarterly dividend by 12.5% to $1.125 per share, up from $1 per share, payable Sept. 10 to stockholders of record on Sept. 1.

Getty Realty

(GTY) - Get Report

, a real estate investment trust specializing in the ownership and leasing of retail motor fuel and convenience store properties, raised its quarterly payout by half a cent to 48 cents per share payable Oct. 14 to shareholders of record on Sept. 30.

Harleysville Group

( HGIC), an insurance holding company, upped its quarterly payout by 3.5 cents, or 10.8%, to 36 cents per share, payable Sept. 30 to shareholders of record on Sept. 15.

Autoliv

(ALV) - Get Report

, maker of airbags and other automotive safety parts, raised its quarterly dividend by a nickel per share, or 16.7%, to 35 cents per share, payable Dec. 9 to shareholders of record on Nov. 4.

Motion control technology manufacturer

Parker-Hannifin

(PH) - Get Report

increased its quarterly dividend by a penny to 27 cents per share, payable Sept. 3 to shareholders of record on Aug. 23.

Textainer Group Holdings Limited

(TGH) - Get Report

, which owns and manages freight containers, raised its quarterly dividend by a penny per share to 25 cents per share, payable Sept. 1 to shareholders of record on Aug. 23.

CAE

(CAE) - Get Report

, a Canadian provider of simulation technologies to the aviation industry, also upped its quarterly payout by a penny to 4 cents per share. It will be paid Sept. 30 to shareholders of record on Sept. 15.

Hospice care provider

Chemed

(CHE) - Get Report

added 2 cents per share to its quarterly dividend, and will pay 14 cents per share on Sept. 7 to shareholders of record as of Aug. 16.

Industrial product maker

Illinois Tool Works

(ITW) - Get Report

increased its quarterly payout by 3 cents per share to 34 cents, to be paid on Oct. 13 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 30.

Agricultural chemical maker

Monsanto

(MON)

added 1.5 cents per share to its quarterly dividend, and will pay 28 cents per share on Oct. 29 to shareholders of record on Oct. 8.

Delphi Financial Group

( DFG),

W&T Offshore

(WTI) - Get Report

,

Steris

(STE) - Get Report

,

Herbalife

(HLF) - Get Report

,

TS&W/Claymore Tax-Advantaged Balanced Fund

(TYW)

and

Republic Services

(RSG) - Get Report

all announced dividend increases in August as well.

--Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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Miriam Reimer

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