NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Verizon Communications ( VZ) and Diageo ( DEO) joined a roster of companies raising their shareholder payouts recently.

Communications services provider Verizon said Thursday it increased its quarterly dividend by 2.6% to 48.75 cents per share, from 47.5 cents, marking its fourth consecutive year of quarterly dividend increases. The new dividend will be paid on Nov. 1 to shareholders of record on Oct. 8.

Diageo, the London-based maker of Johnnie Walker scotch, Guinness stout and Smirnoff vodka, increased its payout by 6% to 23.5 pence (36.2 cents), and said it intends to increase dividend payments by at least 6% going forward, rather than the 5% increases it usually institutes.

HCC Insurance Holdings ( HCC), a Houston-based specialty insurance group, upped its cash dividend to 14.5 cents per share, from 13.5 cents, on its shares of $1.00 par value common stock. It was the 14th consecutive year of dividend increases. The new payout will be available on or around Oct. 15 to stockholders of record on Oct. 1.

Weyerhaeuser ( WY), the grower and harvester of timber and wood products, said Wednesday it issued a $5.6 billion special dividend as it moves to become a real estate investment trust. Paid Sept. 1 to shareholders of record on July 22, the special payout included 324 million shares of common stock and $560 million in cash. The dividend value per share was about $26.46 based on total shares outstanding on July 22.

Daxor ( DXR), a New York-based medical device manufacturer and biotechnology firm, increased its dividend to 25 cents per share, up 150% from its prior payout of 10 cents per share in June. The new dividend will be paid on Sept. 30 to shareholders of record on Sept. 15.

W. Va.-based regional bank United Bankshares ( UBSI) said it will pay a third-quarter dividend of 30 cents per share, a 3.4% increase from its prior payout of 29 cents per share. The dividend will be paid to shareholders of record as of Sept. 10.

Harris ( HRS), a communications and information technology company based in Melbourne, Fla., increased its quarterly cash dividend to 25 cents per share, up from 22 cents, to be paid Sept. 17 to shareholders of record on Sept. 8.

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