We are getting more and more dividend hikes in 2010. Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) finally declared its first dividend. ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) is hiking its payout. Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE: NLY) is volatile, but it lowered its payout this week. Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) promised more dividend growth ahead, and we wanted to assess the potential for a dividend from Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL).
Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX), as expected, is declaring its first dividend of $0.10 per quarter and said it would allocated 35% to 40% of net income for future dividends. It also authorized a buyback of 15 million shares.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) announced today, or at least confirmed today, that it was selling half of its Lukoil stake. It simultaneously is going to repurchase up to $5 billion in stock and hike its dividend to $0.55 per share per quarter from $0.50 per share per quarter.
Annaly Capital Management, Inc. (NYSE: NLY) announced earlier this week that its quarterly dividend would be $0.65 per share, which is actually a decrease of about 13% from its prior dividend of $0.75. This one has very sporadic and irregular dividend payouts due to its volatile income from mortgages as a REIT.
Aqua America, Inc. (NYSE: WTR) is one we are looking for more dividend growth after its CFO yesterday said, “In 2010, the trend of net income and dividend growth is expected to continue as the company continues to invest in infrastructure improvements and acquires more water and wastewater systems.”
Our big call for the year is Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO). Our call has not changed here. CEO John Chambers has literally an arsenal of cash for this. The one we’d like to see a dividend from is Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), but Steve Jobs already panned this notion recently.
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JON C. OGG