Coke, Walmart, and 8 More Companies That Boosted Their Stock Dividends

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Things go better with Coke, as the company’s long-ago jingle proclaimed. Things are also going better for the beverage company’s stockholders, thanks to the news that its dividend will be increased.

Coca-Cola

(ticker: KO) said this week it is raising its annual dividend to $1.76 a share from $1.68, an increase of nearly 5%. That equates to 44 cents on a quarterly basis, up from 42 cents.

This marks the 60th consecutive annual dividend increase for the company, which is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index. Those companies have paid out a higher dividend for at least 25 straight years.

Coca-Cola stock, which yields 2.8%, has a one-year return of about 28% as of the market’s close on Feb. 17, dividends included, ahead of the


S&P 500

‘s 13% result.

Elsewhere,

Walmart
,

Humana
,
and

CSX

were among the various U.S. companies that declared dividend increases this week.

Walmart (WMT) said it plans to pay an annual dividend of $2.24 a share, up 4 cents, or nearly 2% from $2.20. On a quarterly basis, the company plans to pay 56 cents a share, compared with 55 cents previously.

The retailing behemoth’s stock has a one-year return of about minus 4%, and it yields 1.6%. This marks the 49th straight year of dividend increases for the company, which is also a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index.

Managed-care company Humana (HUM) said it plans to boost its quarterly disbursement to 78.75 cents from 70 cents, an increase of 12.5%. The stock, which yields 0.7%, has a one-year return of about 13%.

Freight transportation company CSX (CSX) said it will hike its quarterly dividend to 10 cents a share from 9.33 cents. That’s a 7% increase. The stock, which yields 1.1%, has a one-year return of about 18%.

Sherwin-Williams

(SHW) declared a quarterly dividend of 60 cents a share, a 9% boost from 55 cents. The company makes various paints and coatings. The stock, which yields 0.9%, has a one-year return of about 12%.

 

Devon Energy

(DVN) announced a fourth-quarter dividend of $1.00. That consists of a variable and fixed payout. The fixed dividend is 16 cents a share; the variable dividend is 84 cents a share.

The stock, which yields 3.6%, has a one-year return of about 170%.

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Another energy company,

Pioneer Natural Resources

(PXD), declared a base-variable dividend as well. Pioneer said it will pay a first-quarter dividend totaling $3.78 a share, of which $3 will be variable and 78 cents will be the base portion.

The stock, which yields 4.6%, has a one-year return of about 75%.

Several technology companies announced dividend increases as well.

Cisco Systems

(CSCO) declared a quarterly disbursement of 38 cents a share, up by a penny, or nearly 3%. The stock, which yields 2.7%, has a one-year return of about 24%

Analog Devices

(ADI) said it will up its quarterly payout to 76 cents a share from 69 cents for an increase of 10%. The semiconductor company’s stock, which has returned about 2% over the past 12 months, yields 1.9%.

Utility and alternative energy power

NextEra Energy

(NEE) plans to boost its quarterly disbursement by 4 cents a share to 42.5 cents, an increase of a little more than 10%. The stock, which yields 2%, has a one-year return of about minus 5%.

Write to Lawrence C. Strauss at lawrence.strauss@barrons.com