Dividend Company News

Dividend Companies in the News 4.3.2011

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A snapshot of the important news and events from the world of dividend paying companies. This week was a slow one for dividend increases, but we did have a spin-off, some earnings releases, and 2 companies announced consumer price increases for their products.

Dividend Raises

Bank of the Ozarks (OZRK) announced its Board of Directors has approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.18 per common share payable April 22, 2011 to shareholders of record as of April 15, 2011. The dividend of $0.18 per share represents an increase of $0.01 per share, or 5.88%, over the dividend paid in the previous quarter. The Company has increased its quarterly dividend in five of the last six quarters.

International Paper (IP) announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in its quarterly common stock dividend from eighteen and three-quarter cents ($0.1875) per share to twenty six and one quarter cents ($0.2625) per share, effective for the dividend payable on June 15, 2011 to shareholders of record on May 17, 2011.

Mergers, Acquisitions, and Misc

McCormick & Company, Incorporated (MKC) reported first quarter financial results for fiscal year 2011 and reaffirms its 2011 outlook. In the first quarter, the Company increased earnings per share 12% on sales increase of 2%. The Company expects 2011 earnings per share of $2.80 to $2.85.

announced that it has successfully completed its $1.273 billion public offering of 34.5 million shares of common stock at a price per share of $36.90. The deal was upsized from the originally announced 24 million shares due to strong investor demand. HCP anticipates that the net proceeds from this offering will be used to fund a portion of the consideration for the pending HCR ManorCare facilities acquisition.

Northrop Grumman (NOC)
approved the spin-off of Huntington Ingalls Industries, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Northrop Grumman. Upon completion of the spin-off, Northrop Grumman stockholders will own 100% of the outstanding shares of common stock of HII. At the time of the spin-off, HII will own and operate our shipbuilding business, which has been designing, building, overhauling and repairing a wide variety of ships primarily for the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Coast Guard for over a century.

Brown-Forman Corporation (BFB) (BFA) announced that its Board of Directors has authorized the repurchase of up to $250 million of its outstanding Class A and Class B common shares through November 30, 2011, subject to market and other conditions.

Kimberly-Clark Corporation (KMB) announced that its baby and child care and consumer tissue businesses are notifying customers of plans to raise prices between 3-7% in North America during the second and third quarters of 2011. The company said the increases are necessary to offset inflationary pressure from higher raw material and energy costs.

McNeil Consumer Healthcare (JNJ) is recalling one product lot of TYLENOL® 8 Hour Extended Release Caplets 150 count bottles distributed in the United States. McNeil is taking this action as part of our ongoing surveillance and monitoring efforts that identified a small number of complaints of a musty or moldy odor.

PPG Industries (PPG)
today announced that it anticipates first quarter 2011 earnings will be in the range of $1.30 to $1.35 per diluted share. This compares with adjusted earnings of 69 cents per diluted share and 18 cents per diluted share in the first quarters of 2010 and 2009, respectively. This announcement sent the stock up roughly 5% in trading on Wednesday, from $90.51 to $95.10

The Hershey Company (HSY) announced an increase in wholesale prices across the majority of its U.S., Puerto Rico and export portfolio. A weighted average price increase of approximately 9.7 percent across the Company’s instant consumable, multi-pack, packaged candy and grocery lines is effective today. These changes will help offset part of the significant increases in Hershey’s input costs, including raw materials, packaging, fuel, utilities and transportation. As a result, HSY expects full-year 2011 net sales and earnings per share (diluted) growth to be around the top of the Company’s long-term 3 to 5 percent and 6 to 8 percent objectives, respectively.

I'm a dividend growth investor who is aiming to retire early in 5 years at the age of 45. My goal is to live off the income my dividend portfolio and rental property produce exclusively and leave the corporate rat race. I hope you will join me in this journey!

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