On July 18, media and publishing company Gannett said its board approved a 100% increase to its quarterly dividend, paying 8 cents per share, up from 4 cents. The higher payout will be available on Oct. 3 to shareholders of record on Sept. 9. That will bring Gannett's dividend yield to around 2.4%. On June 30, Darden Restaurants, the operator of Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse restaurants, said it increased its dividend by 34.4% to 43 cents per share, up from 32 cents. The higher dividend will be paid on Aug. 1 to shareholders of record on July 11, bringing its yield to around 3.2%.
On June 28, General Mills increased its quarterly dividend to 30.5 cents per share, 8.9% higher than its prior payout of 28 cents per share. The next dividend will be paid on Aug. 1 to shareholders of record on July 11. That brings General Mills' yield to around 3.2%. Not all consumer stocks have raised their diviends, but many maintained the cash they paid their shareholders recently.
Pet supply retailer PetSmart ( PETM) increased its dividend by 12% to 14 cents a share. The higher payout will be available on Aug. 12 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 29. PetSmart also announced a new $450 million share repurchase program, commencing on Aug. 1 and continuing until January 2013. Book publisher John Wiley & Sons ( JW.A) announced on June 16 that it raised its quarterly dividend by 4 cents a share to 20 cents. The new dividend is payable on July 14, to shareholders of record as of July 5. The increase followed John Wiley's 2% uptick in fiscal fourth-quarter earnings, which came with a 2% rise in revenue as well. Host Hotels & Resorts ( HST), a lodging real estate investment trust, raised its shareholder payout by 200% this month, to 3 cents a share from a penny a share. Host's higher dividend will be paid on July 15, to shareholders of record on June 30. Convenience store operator Casey's General Stores ( CASY) hiked its quarterly dividend to 15 cents a share from 13.5 cents. The higher dividend will be paid on Aug. 15 to shareholders of record on Aug. 1. The dividend announcement came as Casey's grew its quarterly profit by 4% despite higher food prices pressuring its margins. Discount retailer Target ( TGT) said recently its board approved a 20% increase in its dividend to 30 cents a share. The increase marked Target's 44th consecutive annual dividend increase. Target's higher dividend will be payable Sept. 10 to shareholders of record at the close of business Aug. 18.
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