Wednesday was a major day for dividend hikes. We saw higher dividends and higher distributions from the following: AFLAC Inc. (NYSE: AFL); Atlas Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: APL); Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX); Holly Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: HEP); Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT); Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC); Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM); and NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV)
AFLAC Inc. (NYSE: AFL) boosted its dividend after beating earnings estimates. The payout went up by 10% to $0.33 EPS. The prior payout was $0.30.
Atlas Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: APL) came in for the MLP lovers. It jacked its quarterly distribution by 15% to $0.54 per quarter from $0.47 per quarter.
Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE: ABX) is loving high gold prices… It turned in a 25% hike to its dividend to $0.15 per quarter. This is still only a 1.25% dividend yield.
Holly Energy Partners, LP (NYSE: HEP) came through for the MLP faithful. The company slightly boosted its quarterly distribution payout to $0.875 per quarter. This may only be a penny per quarter per share but it is a continuous distribution hike with 28 straight hikes.
Lockheed Martin Corporation (NYSE: LMT) may be in the defense sector and tied to the age of austerity, but it sees enough earnings ahead to boost its payout: its dividend was jacked up by 33% to $1.00 per share for a yield of 5.2%.
Marathon Petroleum Corporation (NYSE: MPC) had a huge day with a 5.3% gain after it jacked up its dividend to $0.25 per quarter from $0.20 per quarter and even after the price jump its new dividend yield is almost 2.9%.
Newmont Mining Corporation (NYSE: NEM) came through with its higher payout due to gold prices. The gold leader hiked its dividend by 17% to $0.35 per share, which is more than double that of a year ago. The yield went from about 1.9% to 2.12%. That might not sound like much, but it is almost as high as the 10-year Treasury note.
NIC Inc. (NASDAQ: EGOV) has only paid special dividends if we look back at the payout history over the last few years. The company declared a special dividend of $0.25 for its shareholders. Since it is special, we are not tallying up an implied yield.
JON C. OGG