34 Dividend Stocks Increasing Payouts

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Visa ( V), Peabody Energy ( BTU) and Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX) joined a roster of companies raising their shareholder payouts in recent weeks.

Dividend activity has picked up as companies begin to regain some sense of stability in the state of the economy. The iShares Dow Jones Select Dividend ( DVY), an exchange-traded fund that tracks the Dow Jones U.S. Select Dividend Index, is up 3.3% over the past month, and up 10% so far in 2010.

Prosperity Bancshares ( PRSP) said Friday it will increase its quarterly dividend payout to 17.5 cents per share, from 15.5 cents, an increase of 12.9%. The lender will pay the new dividend Dec. 31 to all shareholders of record as of Dec. 17.

Copper, gold and molybdenum miner Freeport-McMoran increased its common stock dividend by 66.7% to $2 per share. Dividends are paid quarterly with the initial quarterly dividend of 50 cents per share expected to be paid in February 2011.

Diversified energy company Oneok ( OKE) said Thursday it raised its quarterly payout by 2 cent to 48 cents per share. It will be paid on Nov. 12 to shareholders of record Oct. 29. The yield base on the new payout is 5.7%.

First Niagara Financial Group ( FNFG) said its board approved a 7% increase in the quarterly common dividend to 15 cents per share. The savings and loan bank will pay the new dividend on Nov. 16 to stockholders of record on Nov. 2.

Plains All American Pipeline ( PAA), a firm that transports and stores crude oil and other refined products, announced a cash distribution of 95 cents per share on all of its outstanding limited partner shares. The payout represents an increase of 3.3% over the quarterly distribution of 92 cents per share paid in November 2009 and an increase of 0.8% from the August 2010 distribution of 94.25 cents per share. The higher payout will be available on Nov. 12 to holders of record of on Nov. 2.

Suburban Propane Partners ( SPH), a distributor of propane and fuel oil, announced its quarterly dividend of 85 cents per share, an increase of about 0.6% over its prior dividend. The distribution at this increased rate is payable on Nov. 9 to common shareholders of record as of Nov. 2.

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Peabody Energy said its board approved a 21% increase in its quarterly dividend to 8.5 cents per common share, payable Nov. 26 to holders of record on Nov. 4.

Regional bank 1st Source ( SRCE) announced a 6.7% increase to its quarterly payout, to 16 cents per share, payable on Nov. 15 to shareholders of record on Nov. 5.

Somerset Hills Bancorp ( SOMH), a savings and loan bank, upped its payout by 20% to 6 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid Nov. 30 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 16.

LTC Properties ( LTC) said earlier this week it increased its previously declared monthly cash dividend to 14 cents per share, up from 13 cents, on its common stock for the months of November and December of this year. The higher payouts will be available Nov. 30 and Dec. 31, respectively, to stockholders of record on Nov. 22 and Dec. 23, respectively.

Cass Information Systems ( CASS), a provider of payment and information processing services to manufacturing, distribution and retail enterprises, said this week it raised its quarterly dividend 14.3% to 16 cents per share. The dividend is payable Dec. 15 to shareholders of record Dec. 3.

Met-Pro ( MPR) increased its quarterly dividend 10% to 6.6 cents per share, payable on Dec. 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 3. Met-Pro makes products for the air and water pollution control, fluid handling and filtration markets.

Apparel company VF ( VFC) raised its quarterly dividend to 5% to 63 cents per share payable on Dec. 20 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Dec. 10. This marks the 38th consecutive year of higher dividend payments to VF shareholders.

LMP Capital and Income Fund ( SCD), a non-diversified, closed-end management investment company announced a new quarterly distribution rate of 15 cents per common share payable Dec. 30. LMP's board also approved the new quarterly distribution rate for calendar year 2011. The estimated components of each distribution will be provided to shareholders of record in a separate notice, the firm said.

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Cantel Medical ( CMN), a provider of infection prevention and control products in the healthcare market, approved an increase in its semiannual cash dividend to 6 cents per outstanding share, from 5 cents. The dividend is payable on Jan. 28, 2011 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 14, 2011.

Credit card payment processing company Visa increased its quarterly dividend by a healthy 20% to 15 cents per share. The new payout will be available on Dec. 7 to the company's Class A, Class B and Class C common shareholders on record as on Nov. 19

FPB Financial ( FPBF), a thrift holding company for Florida Parishes Bank, declared a cash dividend increase to 36 cents per share, composed of a regular quarterly dividend rate of 14 cents per share and a special year-end dividend of 22 cents per share, to be paid on Dec. 24 to stockholders of record at the close of business on Dec. 10.

Investment management company Eaton Vance ( EV) raised its quarterly dividend by 12.5%, its 30th consecutive annual increase, to 18 cents per share. The dividend is payable Nov. 10 to shareholders of record on Oct. 29.

Kinder Morgan Energy Partner ( KMP), one of the largest pipeline master limited partnerships in the U.S., raised its quarterly distribution 1.8% to $1.11 per share. The higher payout will be available Nov. 12, 2010, to shareholders of record on Oct. 29.

Insurer Brown & Brown ( BRO) increased its quarterly dividend by 3.23% to 8 cents per share. It will be paid on Nov.17 to shareholders of record on Nov. 3.

Energy infrastructure manager TC Pipelines ( TCLP) increased its quarterly payout by 2.7% to 75 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid Nov. 12 to holders of record on Oct. 31.

Petroleum distributor Global Partners ( GLP) raised its quarterly dividend 1.5% to 49.5 cents per share. The higher payout will be available Nov. 12 to shareholders of record as of the close of business Nov. 3.

Magellan Midstream ( MMP) increased its quarterly distribution 1.7% to 74.5 cents per share. It will be paid Nov. 12 to stockholders of record on Nov. 5. Magellan is engaged in the transportation, storage and distribution of refined petroleum products.

Specialty chemical maker Stepan ( SCL) upped its quarterly payout by 8.3% to 26 cents per share. The higher dividend will be paid Dec. 15 to shareholders of record on Nov. 30.

WSI Industries ( WSCI) reinstated its dividend program, declaring a quarterly payout of 4 cents per share to be paid on Nov. 17 to holders of record on Nov. 3. The metal manufacturer suspended its dividend program in Jan. 2009 "because of uncertain economic times," CEO Michael J. Pudil said.

Electric utility holding company American Electric Power ( AEP) increased its dividend 9.5% to 46 cents per share. The new dividend will be paid on or about Dec. 10 to holders of record on or about Nov. 10.

Waste Connections ( WCN) authorized a three-for-two split of its common stock in the form of a 50% stock dividend of 7.5 cents per split-adjusted share. It will be paid Nov. 12 to shareholders of record as of Oct. 29. Shareholders will get one share for every two held. The stock will begin trading at the split-adjusted price on Nov. 15.

Western Gas Partners ( WES) raised its quarterly dividend 5.7% to 37 cents per share. The higher distribution will be paid Nov. 12 to holders of record on Oct. 29. Western Gas gathers, treats and transports natural gas for its parent, Anadarko Petroleum ( APC).

Shenandoah Telecommunications ( SHEN), a regional telecom provider in the southeastern U.S., raised its annual dividend 3.1% to 33 cents per share. It will be paid on Dec. 1 to holders of record on Nov. 9.

Bar Harbor Bankshares ( BHB) increased its quarterly dividend by 1.9% to 26.5 cents per share. The higher payout will be available Dec. 15 to shareholders of record on Nov. 16.

Lakeland Bancorp ( LBAI) raised its dividend by 20% to 6 cents per share. The cash dividend will be paid on Nov. 15 to holders of record as of the close of business on Oct. 29.

Chemical manufacturer NewMarket ( NEU) raised its quarterly dividend by 17.3% to 44 cents per share, to be paid Jan. 1, 2011 to shareholders of record on Dec. 15.

Iron ore interest holder Mesabi Trust ( MSB) raised its quarterly distribution by 13.75% to 91 cents per share. It will be paid Nov. 20 to shareholders of record on Oct. 30.

Rayonier ( RYN), an international forest products and timberland company, increased its quarterly payout by 8% to 54 cents per share. The higher dividend will be paid Dec. 31 to shareholders of record on Dec. 10.

-- Written by Miriam Marcus Reimer in New York.

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

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