Dividend Hikes: Government Properties

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Government Properties Income Trust (GOV) shares inched higher Friday after the real estate investment trust raised its quarterly dividend by 2.5%.

Government Properties Income Trust increased its quarterly common dividend to 41 cents per share from 40 cents. The new dividend, which pushes the yield to 6.28% from 6.13% previously, will be payable on Aug. 16 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on July 16.

Shares of Government Properties Income Trust were up 11 cents, or 0.4%, to $26.10. The stock is up 13.5% in 2010 and more than 33% since its initial public offering in June 2009.

In other dividend-related news, Nordic American Tanker Shipping ( NAT) said that its quarterly dividend policy will "be continued as in the past," adding that the company has no plans to issue new shares. The tanker company last paid a dividend of 60 cents per share, which translates to an annualized yield of 8.65%.

"Our primary objective is to maximize total return to our shareholders, including maximizing our quarterly cash dividend," Nordic American Tanker Chairman & CEO Herbjorn Hansson wrote Friday in a letter to shareholders. "Over time we have produced a very competitive total return and we believe that we are in an excellent position to continue to do so."

Nordic American Tanker said it will release its second-quarter dividend report on Aug. 6, and that the next dividend is expected to be paid on or about Sept. 2. Shares of the tanker company were up 0.8% to $27.74 Friday morning.

Meanwhile, Wilshire Bancorp ( WIBC) shares dropped by 77 cents, or 9%, to $7.78 after the company forecasted a second-quarter net loss and said it would temporarily suspend its common stock dividend. Wilshire previously paid a quarterly dividend of 5 cents per share for a dividend yield of 2.3%.

Wilshire said its second-quarter net loss will not exceed $5 million, or 17 cents a share. The company blamed the loss on an elevated provision for loan losses and an increase in net loan charge-offs.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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