American Financial Group ( AFG), a small-cap insurance holding company, raised its dividend by 18.2% to 16.25 cents per share The dividend is payable on Oct. 25 to shareholders of record on Oct. 15. AFG's current yield is 2.1%.

MFA Financial ( MFA), a real estate investment trust , raised its payout by 18.4% to 22.5 cents per share. It will be paid Oct. 29 to shareholders of record on Oct. 12. The increase brings MFA Financial's yield to 11.8%.

Clarcor ( CLC), a provider of industrial and environmental filtration products, increased its quarterly dividend by 7.7% to 10.5 cents a share. The dividend is payable Oct. 22 to shareholders of record Oct. 8. for a current yield of 1.1%.

Railroad operator and economic bellweather CSX approved an 8.3% dividend increase to 26 cents per share. The higher dividend is payable on Dec. 15 to stockholders of record on Nov. 30, bringing CSX's current yield to 1.7%.

Chatham Lodging Trust ( CLDT), a real estate investment trust , declared its first ever dividend of 17.5 cents per share. It will be paid Oct. 29 to shareholders of record on Oct. 15 for a current yield of 3.7%.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store ( CBRL), a restaurant-retail operation that sells everything from country-style rocking chairs and seasonal gifts to cookware and old-fashioned candies, increased its quarterly payout by 10% to 22 cents per share. The dividend is payable on Nov. 5 to shareholders of record on Oct. 15. for a yield of 1.7%.

Atlantic Tele-Network ( ATNI), a communications services provider to rural and under-served markets in the U.S. and the Caribbean, declared its quarterly dividend of 22 cents per share, an increase of 10%. It was paid Oct. 12 to shareholders of record on Oct. 6. Atlantic's current yield is 1.7%.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

>To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/miriamsmarket.

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