5 Blue-Chip Stocks Ready to Boost Dividends

BALTIMORE ( Stockpickr) -- These five blue-chip stocks are getting ready to raise dividends. They just don't know it yet.

It doesn't take a professional market technician to notice that volatility is getting dumped back into the markets in June. The VIX Volatility Index spiked to its highest point this year on the big price swings that Mr. Market's been struggling through, and that's left investors wondering if now's a good time to have exposure to stocks. But there's a way to shed some of that volatility right now: look to get some of your returns in cold, hard cash.

The biggest, most stable companies are paying out bigger dividends than ever right now, so investors looking to earn part of their annual returns in cash are getting some stability versus the broad market right now. Getting cash dividends is great, but finding stocks that can continually pay you bigger dividends is even better.

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That's why we're searching out a handful of blue-chip names that I think are set to hike their dividend payouts in the next quarter.

For our purposes, our "crystal ball" is composed of a few factors: namely a solid balance sheet, a low payout ratio and a history of dividend hikes. While those items don't guarantee dividend announcements in the next month or two, they do dramatically increase the odds that management will hike their cash payouts, especially as investors start to get antsy about stock performance in 2012.

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In other words, fundamentally solid companies realize that they need to hike returns for shareholders if they want to keep demand for their stock high. And studies show that, historically, a dividend-centric strategy from management means much bigger returns for your portfolio.

Without further ado, here's a look at five blue chip stocks that could be about to increase their dividend payments in the next quarter.

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