BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- Dividend excitement is on the rise again this week thanks to a Bloomberg article suggesting that Ford ( F) could resume its dividend payouts as early as 2012. The automaker, which has become a Wall Street darling in 2010 thanks to strong fundamental performance, completed paying 14 months of in-arrears dividends on its preferred shares -- a necessary hurdle to a payout on its common shares.
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Retail electronics giant Best Buy ( BBY) started 2010 off to a shaky start as investor anxiety over a potential pullback in consumer spending translated into a 13.5% contraction in share price. But that hasn't stopped management from returning cash to shareholders in the form of a 15-cent quarterly dividend -- a 7.1% increase over the company's previous payout. That gives Best Buy a yield of 1.64% right now.
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Duke Energy ( DUK) is a diversified energy company that sports thick margins, strong cash flows and now a 6.14% dividend yield thanks to a modest 2.1% increase that brings the company's payouts to 24.5 cents per share each quarter. Duke's biggest business can be found in its regulated utility operations, but the company has been adept at buying and selling attractive energy businesses -- from natural gas to international electricity generation -- to generate above-average returns for shareholders.
Another high-yielding stock happens to be last week's smallest dividend increaser, Realty Income ( O). But while this REIT didn't post a major hike in its payouts to shareholders, it already sported a pretty sizable dividend check. The 0.2% increase from last week brings the trust's current yield to 5.7%.
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