October 28, 2011 at 20:35 PM EDT
19 Companies Increasing Dividends
As the market rallied, a number of high yield dividend stocks up their dividends - including Chevron CVX, Quest DGX, Newmont NEM, Barrick Gold ABX and more

A deal to bailout Greece, solid GDP numbers and a flood of robust corporate earnings reports was the backdrop for this week’s big surge in the equity markets. Stocks took flight on Thursday after news that European leaders had reached an agreement to shore up the region’s financial exposure to the dangerous Greek debt situation. Stocks on the Dow surged 340 points on that day, while stocks in the broader S&P 500 finished the session up 3.4%.  Stocks locked in their gains Friday with a mild up day to end the week.

The bullish climate in the final week of October punctuates one of the best months ever for stocks, and it serves as a great milieu for the battalion of companies boosting dividends. Here are 19 companies increasing dividends this week.

Insurance giant Aflac (NYSE:AFL) raised its quarterly dividend 10% to 33 cents per share from 30 cents. The new dividend will be paid on Dec. 1 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 16. The new dividend yield, based on the Oct. 26 closing price of $43.03 (the day the dividend was announced), is 3.07%. The company also easily bested consensus earnings estimates for the third-quarter.

Utility behemoth American Electric Power (NYSE:AEP) boosted the voltage on its quarterly cash dividend to 47 cents a share, a penny more than the previous payout. The new dividend is payable Dec. 9 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 10. The new dividend yield, based on the Oct. 25 closing price of $38.65, is 4.86%. The dividend represents the 406th consecutive quarterly common stock cash dividend paid by the company.

Electronic components maker AVX Corp (NYSE:AVX) provided the conduit for a 36% increase in its quarterly dividend to 7.5 cents per common share. The new dividend will be paid on Nov. 18 to shareholders of record on Nov. 7. The new dividend yield, based on the Oct. 27 closing price of $13.83, is 2.17%.

Mining giant Barrick Gold (NYSE:ABX) unearthed a 25% increase in its quarterly payout, raising its dividend to 15 cents a share from 12 cents. The new payout will be made on Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 30. The new dividend yield, based on the Oct. 26 closing price of $47.85, is 1.25%. Barrick also reported a shiny 45% increase in its quarterly profit.

Oil giant Chevron Corp (NYSE:CVX) pumped out a 4% increase in its quarterly payout to 81 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Dec. 12 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 18. The move is the second dividend increase this year. The new dividend yield, based on the Oct. 26 closing price of $106.77, is 3.03%. Two days later Chevron reported a doubling of its quarterly earnings, and cited higher oil prices as the chief driver.

Tool and engineering component maker Kennametal Inc. (NYSE:KMT) tooled up a 17% increase in its dividend, upping its quarterly payout to 14 cents per share. The new dividend is payable Nov. 29 to shareholders of record as Nov. 8. The new dividend yield, based on the Oct. 27 closing price of $39.67, is 1.41%.

Regional shopping mall REIT Macerich Company (NYSE:MAC) upped its lease with shareholders, raising its quarterly dividend 10% to 55 cents per share. The new payout will be issued Dec. 8 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 11. The new dividend yield, based on the Oct. 27 closing price of $49.73, is 4.42%.


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