Last week, there weren't a whole lot of companies raising their dividends, but there were several that declared a special dividend.When a company issues a special dividend or a dividend increase, it's usually a sign that business is so good that the company can afford to deliver excess earnings back into the hands of investors rather than plowing them back into the coffers. With that in mind, Stockpickr has compiled a list of the companies that last week offered either a special dividend or a dividend increase in the Top Special Dividend and Dividend-Raising Stocks. Although Yamana Gold ( AUY) didn't officially declare a dividend increase, the company's CEO, Peter Marrone, stated that the company could raise its dividend in the near future. Yamana, which explores and develops gold mines in Brazil, Argentina, Honduras and Nicaragua, has inked a $3.81 billion deal to take over Meridian Gold. Yamana offers a price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio of 64, a P/E-to-growth (PEG) ratio of 3.5 and a (currently) small yield of 0.3%.
Next up is Apogee Enterprises ( APOG), which raised its quarterly dividend by 10% to $0.074 per share. This glass and window maker reported in its latest quarterly report that earnings increased by 56.5% and revenue by 19.8%. The stock has a P/E of 16, a PEG of 1 and a yield of 1.1%. Apogee is a stock held by the Royce Opportunity Fund (RYPNX), which specializes in long-term growth small-cap stocks. The fund, rated four stars by Morningstar, has generated an average annual return of 15% over the last five years. It also holds in its portfolio Regal Entertainment Group ( RGC), with a P/E of 10 and a PEG of 2.16, and Cinemark Holdings ( CNK), which has a P/E of 11 and a PEG of 0.9. Another company that just raised its dividend is Universal Insurance Holdings ( UVE), which had it up by 13% to 9 cents a share. This Florida-based property and casualty insurance company offers a P/E of 8.6 and a yield of 2.7%. The stock is part of an interesting Stockpickr portfolio called Waiting for Breakouts. This portfolio also includes Cal-Maine Foods ( CALM), with a P/E of 10, and American Oriental Bioengineering ( AOB), with a P/E of 22. For the rest of these featured dividend-payers, check out the Top Special Dividend and Dividend-Raising Stocks at Stockpickr.com. Please note that due to factors including low market capitalization and/or insufficient public float, we consider Universal Insurance Holdings to be a small-cap stock. You should be aware that such stocks are subject to more risk than stocks of larger companies, including greater volatility, lower liquidity and less publicly available information, and that postings such as this one can have an effect on their stock prices.