Pfizer (PFE) Maintains Dividend and High Yield

2009 was a disappointing year for Pfizer when the company cut its dividend by 50%. Since that cut Pfizer has been trying to repair its image with dividend investors and grow its dividend back to previous levels. Yesterday Pfizer announced that its dividend will stay stable in 2012 with another quarterly dividend of $.22 per share giving the stock a yield of 3.9%. The dividend will be payable on September 5th with an ex-dividend date of August 1st. To qualify to receive the dividend an investor must own the stock at the close of trading the day before the ex-dividend date.

PFE Dividend Fundamentals

Pfizer has a dividend yield of 3.9% which is lower than its 5 year yield average of 5.3%. The company has a 3 year dividend growth rate of 10% and a payout ratio of 68%. The company started paying dividends in 1901 and has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years.

About Pfizer

Pfizer is a global bio-pharmaceutical company that manages a large portfolio of healthcare related services and products. The company operates in multiple segments including primary care, health products and Animal care. PFE has a P/E Ratio of 21 and a Market Cap of $171B. The stock is up 10% in the last 12 months and 5% so far in 2012.

Pfizer is not ranked on our top 100 best dividend list. To get more information about Pfizer or other healthcare stocks visit our healthcare dividend stock page.

4 Well-Known Dividend Stocks Go Ex-Dividend July 2-6

If you are looking for decently high yields, but aren’t quite ready to pull the trigger on something you aren’t familiar with, the coming week offers a number of interesting opportunities. You’ll need to make sure you get in on these on time, paying attention to the ex-dividend date. All of these stocks are considered “high yield” with yields above 3.00%. Here are 4 well-known dividend players to consider:

American Greetings (AM)

Ex-Dividend Date: July 2

This well-known greeting card company provides stationery to consumers interested in sending cards and gifts. American Greetings features a DRIP, which is a bonus for some investors. The dividend yield is currently 4.20%, with a five-year average of 3.60%. The three-year dividend grown rate average is 0.87%, and the payout ratio is 42%. There haven’t been any consecutive dividend increases, and the company has been paying dividends since 1990. Dividends are paid quarterly.

Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMY)

Ex-Dividend Date: July 3

Famous pharmaceutical and biotechnology company Bristol-Myers Squibb is going ex-dividend next week. It is one of the most well-known pharma companies in the world, and offers a dividend yield of 3.80%, and a five-year average of 5.00%. The three-year growth rate is 2.62%. The dividend payout ratio is 90%, and you have the option of using a DRIP. There have been two years of consecutive increases, and BMY has paid dividends since 1900.

General Mills (GIS)

Ex-Dividend Date: July 6

The well-known cereal maker is going ex-dividend next week, and you have the option of signing up for a DRIP as well. GIS features a dividend yield of 3.20%, with a five-year average of 2.90%. There is a payout ratio of 52.00%, and a three-year growth rate average of 12.41%. Not too shabby at all for a long-time player. GIS has offered dividend increases for eight consecutive years, and has been paying dividends since 1898.

Darden (DRI)

Ex-Dividend Date: July 6

Darden is the company that owns such restaurants as Red Lobster and Olive Garden. Darden also owns a number of other restaurant properties. The company has been paying dividends since 1995, and has had seven years of dividend increases. Indeed, DRI just announced another dividend increase this quarter. The company features a dividend yield of 3.50% and a five-year average of 2.70%. There is a DRIP as well. The payout ratio is 50.00%, and the three-year dividend growth rate average is 29.12%. DRI is clearly trying to be a player in the world of dividend stocks, and its ex-dividend date late next week gives you time to decide whether or not the latest dividend increase announcement makes it worth it to buy.

Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) Maintains High Yield with New Dividend

Freeport-McMoRan announced its second consecutive quarterly dividend of $0.3125 per share, or $1.25 annualized. This matches the company’s most recent dividend increase from last quarter and will maintain the forward yield of 4%. The next dividend will be payable on August 1st with an ex-dividend date of July 11th.

Dividend Fundamentals

FCX’s dividend yield of 4% is higher than its 5 year yield average of 2.6% suggesting that the stock may be undervalued. The company started paying dividends in 1994 and has increased its dividend for 3 consecutive years. The company has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 187%. The payout ratio is just 24 and the company has a free cash flow yield of 7.75% suggesting that there is plenty of room for future dividend growth.

10 year dividend history chart for FCX:

About Freeport-McMoRan

Freeport-McMoRan is an international mining company. The company’s value has been on the decline over the last 12 months. FCX is down over 33% in the last year and 12% so far in 2012. It has a P/E ratio of 8 and a market cap of $30B. The stock is not ranked in our top 100 best dividend list. Find more information about materials and mining stocks on our basic materials dividend stock page.

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) – A Consistent Dividend Payer

Williams-Sonoma (WSM) announced that it will pay another quarterly dividend of $.22 per share on August 24th with an ex-dividend date of July 25th. This quarterly dividend will maintain the WSM annual dividend of $.88 and the yield of 2.6%. This dividend announcement was expected. We are looking for the next WSM dividend increase to come 3 months from now when the company will announce its Q4 dividend. Our estimate is that the company will increase the dividend by 10-20%.

WSM Dividend Fundamentals

Williams-Sonoma has shown investors great dividend growth over recent years. The company has increased its dividend for 5 consecutive years and has a 3 year dividend growth rate of 18.4%. This commitment to increase the dividend will help to position the stock for future gains. The dividend growth isn’t a fluke either, it comes from solid income growth and cash flow. WSM has a free cash flow yield over 6% and a low payout ratio of 34. The company has a 3 year net income growth rate of 100%.

About Williams-Sonoma

The company owns multiple home goods retail brands including West Elm and Pottery Barn. They have over 500 stores in the US. WSM has a P/E ratio of 14.8 and a market cap of $3.2B. In the last 12 months the stock is down 10.4% and it is down over 13% so far in 2012. This poor stock performance is what keeps the company from being ranked as one of our top 100 best dividend stocks. The fundamentals are strong and once this company starts to perform with investors we will see it rise on our list of top stocks.

Darden Restaurants (DRI) Shows Its Strength with Dividend Hike

Darden Restaurants raised its dividend again for the 8th consecutive year today by announcing a new quarterly dividend of $.50 per share or $2.00 per year. The new dividend is payable on August 1st with an ex-dividend date of July 25th. This gives Darden a dividend yield of 3.4%. The dividend increase should come as no surprise to investors who are used to seeing the company boost its dividend in the 3rd quarter. This new dividend is a 16.3% increase over the previous quarterly dividend.

Darden Dividend Fundamentals

DRI has fairly solid dividend fundamentals. The 8 consecutive years of dividend increases and 3.4% yield are very attractive. So is the low payout ratio of 46 and the three year net income ratio of 8%. DRI also has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 25%. The only number holding DRI back from a higher DSO rating is its low free cash flow yield of just 2%, which is lower than its dividend yield. After this dividend increase it seems that management is still confident it its ability to drive revenue and pay the dividend.

About Darden Restaurants

Darden owns and operates many different restaurant chains like Red Lobster, Olive Garden and LongHorn Steakhouse. In total the company owns over 1800 different restaurants in the US and Canadian. The company has a P/E ratio of 14.45 and a market cap just over $6B. In the last 12 months DRI stock is up 2%. It is up 8.75% so far in 2012.

Darden is not one of the top 100 stocks on our best dividend stocks list.

Can the Eurozone Pull It Together? Is QE3 around the Corner in the U.S.?

Once again, it looks as though a great deal of focus will be on Europe this week. A European Union summit this week is expected to try to hash out a plan to save the eurozone, and provide better economic integration for the EU at large. Prior to the summit, leaders of the “big four” — France, Germany, Italy, and Spain — met to create their own roadmap, and to try to come to some agreement so they can present a unified front for the summit.

Concerns are that current fiscal requirements are too difficult for already-embattled countries like Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal to meet in order to warrant help. Also on the docket are plans for euro bonds, as well as a European depository organization that could help bailout banks. Some outsiders are even insisting that for the eurozone to remain intact a “United States of Europe” might need to be in effect. So far, political divisiveness amongst eurozone countries has slowed the implementation of solutions that might contain the sovereign debt contagion. If this week’s EU summit fails, it could spell the beginning of the end for the euro.

Will the Federal Reserve Pull the Trigger on QE3?

Last week, after a two-day meeting, Ben Bernanke announced that the Federal Open Market Committee at the Federal Reserve had decided to extend Operation Twist. The move “twists” short-term securities by switching them out with longer-term debt. Operation Twist will be extended through the end of 2012. The idea is to help stimulate the economy without instituting straight-up quantitative easing (although many observers refer to Operation Twist as “QE lite”).

There are concerns that, if Operation Twist is deemed not successful enough, the Fed could just pull the trigger on a third round of quantitative easing. QE3 would likely weaken the U.S. dollar — unless the euro is in such poor shape by that time that reducing the value of greenbacks represents a small threat compared with the enormity of the eurozone.

The fact that, on Friday, stocks managed a modest recovery from Thursdays debacle says a lot. With signs that global economies are slowing (China, Europe, and the U.S. all showed lackluster numbers last week), and with no one sure what will happen next in Europe and the United States, it is surprising that investors are willing to take any risk at all right now.

We’ll have to see what happens this week as European leaders try to save the eurozone, and watch for signs that the Fed is gearing up for QE3 early next year.

Dynex Capital (DX) Increases Dividend Again

Dynex Capital has a great 5 year history of raising its dividend distributions. Today the company announced that it will pay a dividend of $.29 per share on July 31st. The ex-dividend date is July 6th. Investors must own the stock and the close of trading the day before the ex-dividend date to receive the dividend. This new dividend is an increase over other previous quarterly distributions of $.28 in 2012 and $.27 in 2011.

The Dynex Capital Dividend

Dynex is a REIT that started paying dividends in 2008. Since that time the company has increased its dividend each year. With the new dividend increase the stock is now yielding 11.7% which is much better than its 5 year yield average of 8.9%. The 3 year dividend growth rate is 9%. The consistent dividend increases can be attributed to the strong earnings growth realized by Dynex Capital over the last few years. The company has a 3 year net income growth rate of 37%.

Dynex the REIT

DX has a market cap of just $539M and 50% of the stock is owned by institutional investors. Over the last year the stock is up only 1% but it is up 8.4% so far in 2012. The company invests in agency and non agency mortgage backed securities.

To view more information about Dynex or other comparable real estate investment trusts visit our page dedicated to REITs.

4 High Yield Dividend Stocks Go Ex-Dividend June 25-29

One of the strategies that many dividend investors employ is to buy shares in a stock that is about to go ex-dividend. This way, you can take advantage of the stock’s current situation, and its yield. However, you need to make sure that you buy before the ex-dividend date, or you’ll miss the next payout.

If you are looking for some high yield (better than 3%) dividend ideas, here are 4 stocks going ex-dividend next week:

Dow Chemical (DOW)

Ex-Dividend Date: June 27

You’ve probably heard of Dow Chemical. DOW is one of the most well-known materials companies out there, specializing in plastics. The current yield is right at 3%, and the five-year average is 4%. While this isn’t the sexiest choices out there, Dow is well known, and likely to be around for awhile. The payout ratio is currently 54%, and the three-year dividend growth rate is 3.07%. There has been one consecutive increase. DOW has been paying dividends since 1911.

NB&T Financial Group (NBTF)

Ex-Dividend Date: June 27

This banking and savings company offers a rather competitive yield of 6.60%. The five-year average is 6.70%. If you are looking for a new financial company to add to your portfolio, this offers an intriguing choice. The current payout ratio is 129%, and the three-year average growth rate is 1.14%. There has been one consecutive increase, and the company has been providing payouts since 1994.

Windstream Corp (WIN)

Ex-Dividend Date: June 27

Telecommunications companies have been trying to find their way recently, and one way to attract investors is to up the yield. Winstream, an IT and communications company, offers a high yield of 10.10%, with a five-year average of 9.30%. The payout ratio is a rather large 256%, which is likely to give some investors a bit of pause when it comes to holding WIN for the long term. The three-year growth rate has averaged out at 0%, and there have been no consecutive increases. WIN has been paying dividends since 2005.

Starwood Property Trust (STWD)

Ex-Dividend Date: June 27

The Starwood name is a well-known one. This financial company is in the real estate sector; this is a REIT. That means that you can expect reasonably high yields, and a high payout ratio (117% in this case). The current dividend yield for STWD is 8.30%, and the five year average is 0%, since the REIT hasn’t been in existence for five years. The REIT formed in 2009 and began paying dividends then. The three-year average dividend growth rate is 0%, and there has been one consecutive increase.

Procter & Gamble Downgraded After Earnings Warning

Hillard Lyons suspended its $77 price on Proctor & Gamble target today and cuts its rating from long-term buy to neutral. The firm said the downgrade was based on the company’s warning on its fourth quarter earnings results. PG said that the 4th quarter would be impacted by slowing growth based on negative impacts from foreign exchange rate changes.

Dividend Fundamentals

PG has a solid dividend history and is considered one of the more dependable long term dividend-paying stocks. Today’s downgrade will come as a disappointment to many investors. The company started paying dividends in 1891 and has increased its dividend for 58 consecutive years. It currently pays an annual dividend of $2.25 which gives it a yield of 3.4%, slightly higher than its 5 year yield average of 3%. PG has a payout ratio of 66% and a 5 year dividend growth rate of 10%.

Procter & Gamble has had flat income growth over the last 5 years which is what keeps it ranked #99 on our best 100 list. In fact it only makes the list because of the other solid dividend fundamentals and is one of few stocks on the list with flat income growth rate.

About Procter & Gamble

PG has a P/E ratio of 18.51 and a market cap of $165B. The stock is down over 7% in the last 12 months and more than 9% so far in 2012. Procter & Gamble makes packaged consumer goods products that are sold in 180 different countries. To find other consumer goods dividend stocks go here.

Annaly Capital (NLY) Does Not Boost Dividend In 3rd Quarter

For the first time in 5 years Annaly Capital did not increase its dividend during Q3 distributions. While each quarter represents a different distribution amount for the company this is the first time we have seen the 3rd distribution of the year match the 2nd.

Dividend Fundamentals

NLY announced today that the company will pay a quarterly dividend of $.55 per share on July 26th with an ex-dividend date of June 27th. This gives the REIT a dividend yield of 13.1% which right on par with its 5 year yield average. The company has a 5 year dividend growth rate of 35% and a 3 year dividend growth rate of 5%. Because the company is a REIT we are not concerned with its high payout ratio.

About Annaly Capital

NLY is down 8% in the last 12 months and has a market cap of 16.5B. The company operates as a REIT manages and invests in a portfolio of real estate investments. NLY and other REITs can be found on our high yield REIT list.