A snapshot of the important news and events from the world of dividend paying companies. This week was a slow one for mergers, acquisitions, and misc announcements, I’m thinking because it’s earnings time. But we did have a few good dividend increases.
Southern Company (SO) said today it is increasing its annual dividend rate by 7 cents per share to $1.89 per share. The 3.9 percent increase marks the 10th straight year that Southern Company has raised the dividend on its common stock.
Sonoco (NYSE: SON) today declared a $.29 per share quarterly common stock dividend, an increase from the previous quarterly dividend of $.28 per share. The dividend will be payable on June 10, 2011, to shareholders of record as of May 13, 2011. This is the 29th consecutive year Sonoco has increased common stock dividends and the 344th consecutive quarter, dating back to 1925, that the Company has paid dividends to shareholders. If annualized, Sonoco’s new dividend is projected to increase from $1.12 to $1.16 per share, an increase of 3.6 percent.
PPG Industries (PPG) today approved a two cents-per-share increase in the company’s dividend, declaring a regular quarterly dividend of 57 cents per share, payable June 10 to shareholders of record May 10. This marks the company’s 451st consecutive dividend payment. PPG has paid uninterrupted annual dividends since 1899.
People’s United Bank (PBCT) Board of Directors voted to increase the common stock dividend to an annual dividend rate of $0.63 per share. Based on the closing stock price on April 19, 2011, the dividend yield on People’s United Financial common stock is 4.9 percent. The quarterly dividend of $0.1575 per share is payable May 15, 2011 to shareholders of record on May 1, 2011.
Amgen (AMGN) Company also announced that Amgen’s Board of Directors has approved a dividend policy on its common stock. Amgen will declare its first quarterly dividend with its second quarter 2011 earnings results. This is the first major biotech company to declare a dividend.
Mergers, Acquisitions, and Misc
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT) today announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Kosmix, underscoring its commitment to social and mobile commerce. Kosmix, based in Mountain View, Calif., has developed a social media technology platform that filters and organizes content in social networks to connect people with real-time information that matters to them.