Better-Than-Expected DJIA Dividend Surprise from Johnson & Johnson

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We have now seen three Dow Jones Industrial Average components raise their dividend payouts to shareholders this week. The third is Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ), which has just declared an increase in the quarterly dividend rate of more than 8%. The new dividend will go to $0.66 per share, versus a prior payout of $0.61 per quarter.

Today’s dividend hike actually is better than what we expected when we predicted the hike was on its way. At that time my projection said, “J&J looks to be a shoe-in for a higher dividend in 2013. Our first guess is that the dividend will move up from $0.61 per share per quarter to $0.65, with a possibility of $0.66 being seen.”

At the new rate, the indicated dividend will rise to $2.64 per share, compared to the previous rate of $2.44 per share, on an annualized basis.

Johnson & Johnson’s dividend increase was announced this morning at the annual meeting of shareholders. The next quarterly dividend is payable on June 11, 2013, to shareholders of record as of May 28, 2013, and this ex-dividend date is May 23, 2013. With shares trading at about $85.00 and less than 1% under its recent all-time high, that new dividend yield will rise to 3.10% for new investors from 2.87% before the hike.

Read also: Why Chevron Trumps Exxon Mobil in Latest Dividend Hikes

Chairman and CEO Alex Gorsky said, “In recognition of our strong financial position and confidence in the future of Johnson & Johnson, the Board has voted to increase the dividend for the 51st consecutive year.”

Johnson & Johnson stock is up 0.7% at $85.01, against a 52-week trading range of $61.71 to $85.68.

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