BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- While the disconnect between fundamental performance and share prices continues to be a drag on stock market returns this quarter, some companies are taking matters into their own hands in June, hiking their dividend payouts to increase total returns shareholders are seeing. The dividend payouts are substantial right now -- and it's another reason to take a closer look at dividend stocks right now.Last week, I mentioned the fact that even though the recent selloff had essentially brough the S&P 500 to break-even for the year, consistent dividend payers in the S&P were actually looking at annualized 7.35% total returns in 2011 when payouts were factored in. That's proof positive that dividend payers aren't relegated to boring income portfolios -- historically, they provide statistically significant outperformance. Related: 5 Big Stocks to Trade for Gains How significant? Over the last 36 years, dividend stocks outperformed the rest of the S&P 500 by 2.5% annually, and they outperformed nonpayers by nearly 8% every year, all while paying out cash to their shareholders, according to a study from NDR. The numbers are even more compelling when looking at companies that consistently increase their payouts. That's why each week, we take a look at the stocks that declared dividend increases the previous week. Here's a look at some of several stocks from our list of recent dividend-increasers.
American Water Works
John Wiley & Sons
Host Hotels & Resorts
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