Sunday, August 30, 2009

Bexley Public Radio Dividend Note No. 9, August 30, 2009.

An occasional note on dividends. This is an informal collection of some information on dividend increases for U.S. stocks.

Bexley Public Radio hopes this is a positive note amidst the dreadful reports from Wall Street in recent months.

No commentary, analysis or recommendation is offered in this informal journal.

Alliance Resource Partners LP (NASDAQ: ARLP) August 4, 2009 announced an increase to its quarterly distributions to 74.50 cents per share. This represents a 2% increase over last quarter’s distribution and a 12.90% increase over its distribution announced this time last year. This master limited partnership engages in the production and marketing of coal for utilities and industrial users in the United States. Alliance Resource Partners LP has increased its quarterly distributions in each of the past seven years. The units currently yield 8.30%.

Altria Group Inc. (NYSE: MO) August 27, 2009 announced a 6.3% increase to its dividend, pushing the already-rich yield to 7.5%.

The quarterly payout is rising two cents to 34 cents a share. The increase, which will cost Altria some $170 million a year, comes as Altria's business has lost a pair of lawsuits this month as smokers and/or their families seek damages against the cigarette giant.

The company, whose brands include Marlboro, has long been an attractive investment in some quarters for its dividend. The dividend boost also comes months after the company completed its $10.3 billion takeover of smokeless- tobacco company UST. That boosted long-term debt levels to $11.18 billion as of June 30 from $6.84 billion at the start of the year.

While Altria continues to suffer from falling cigarette volumes, earnings from the business have been rising and the company has been helped by its stake in SABMiller PLC (SAB.JO).

AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC) August 6, 2009 the Chesterbrook drug distributor, today declared a dividend that represents a 20 percent increase.

The company said that the dividend to be paid Sept. 8, to shareholders of record on Aug. 24, will be 6 cents, up from 5 cents.

The dividend was a nickel for the last three quarters.

American Water Works Company, Inc. (NYSE; AWK) August 4, 2009 announced that its board of directors has declared a 5.00 % increase to its quarterly dividend to 21 cents per share. American Water Works Company, Inc provides water and wastewater services to residential, commercial, and industrial customers in the United States and Canada. This is the company’s first dividend increase since going public in 2008. The stock currently yields 4.10%.

Apollo Investment Corp. (NASDAQ: AINV) August 6, 2009 a business development company, posted a higher first-quarter profit, helped by increased investment income and lower expenses, and said it increased its quarterly dividend, sending its shares up 8 percent in after-market trade.

The New York-based company, which increased its dividend by 2 cents to 28 cents a share, said net operating expenses fell about 26 percent to $33.2 million.

For the quarter ended June 30, the company earned 59 cents a share, compared with 55 cents a share in the year-ago quarter.

Aqua America (NYSE: WTR) August 4, 2009 announced a 7.4% dividend increase of $0.01 per share from $0.135 per share to $0.145 per share for the December 1, 2009 quarterly dividend, to all shareholders of record on November 16, 2009. This increase is equivalent to $0.04 above its current annualized dividend rate of $0.54 to $0.58. 

The Board also declared the regular $0.135 per share quarterly common stock cash dividend to be paid on September 1, 2009 to shareholders of record on August 17, 2009. Aqua has paid a consecutive quarterly dividend for more than 60 years. [SM]

Atrion Corporation (NASDAQ: ATRI) August 3, 2009 announced an increase in its quarterly cash dividend from 30 cents per share to 36 cents per share. Specifically, the Board of Directors declared a quarterly dividend of 36 cents per share on its outstanding shares of Common Stock. This dividend will be payable on September 30, 2009 to stockholders of record at the close of business on September 15, 2009.

Atrion Corporation develops and manufactures products primarily for medical applications. The Company's website is www.atrioncorp.com.

Auburn National Bancorporation (NASDAQ: AUBN) August 14, 2009 said that it will pay a third-quarter dividend of 19 cents per share. The dividend will be paid September 25 to shareholders of record September 10. It is a 3 percent increase over the dividend paid during the third quarter of 2008.
The company said it has paid a dividend in 13 of the last 14 years.

Badger Meter, Inc. (NYSE: BMI) August 13, 2009 increased its dividend 9.1% to 12 cents per share from 11 cents per
share.

The increased dividend is payable September 15, 2009, to shareholders of record September 1, 2009. The new annual dividend rate for the common stock is 48 cents per share.

The ex-dividend date is August 28. The Dividend yield is 1.26%.

CEO Richard A. Meeusen notes, "This is our seventeenth consecutive year of increased dividend
payments. The increase reflects our ongoing commitment to our shareholders and our continued confidence in the future of Badger Meter."

BCE Inc. (NYSE: BCE) August 6, 2009, Canada's largest communications company, today reported BCE and Bell results for the second quarter of 2009 and announced a 5% increase in its annual common share dividend and improved financial guidance for 2009.

Broadridge Financial Solutions Inc. (NYSE: BR) August 11, 2009 reported fourth quarter net income of $116.9 million or $0.83 per share, compared to $97.8 million or $0.69 per share last year.

Broadridge Financial Solutions, a leading global provider of technology-based solutions to the financial services industry, reported financial results for fiscal year 2009 with earnings per share slightly above the mid-point of its previously-announced guidance range. In addition, the Board of Directors increased the annual dividend amount for fiscal year 2010 from $0.28 per share to $0.56 per share, and authorized the repurchase of up to 10 million shares of its outstanding common stock.


Chemed Corp. (NYSE: CHE) August 7, 2009, the parent of Vitas Healthcare and Roto-Rooter plumbing, doubled its quarterly dividend to 12 cents.

The dividend is payable Sept. 4 to shareholders of record Aug. 17.

Chemed said it raised its dividend because of increased profits and cash flow, and said it still has funds available for its stock buyback plan. The company also said it is still looking for potential acquisitions.

Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) August 4, 2009 declared a 4.60 % increase to its quarterly dividend to 68 cents per share. The company operates as an integrated energy company worldwide. Chevron Corporation has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the past twenty-two years. The stock currently yields 4.00%. Check my analysis of Chevron.

Church & Dwight Co Inc. (NYSE: CHD) August 3, 2009 posted a better-than-expected quarterly profit, raised its 2009 outlook for the second time this year, and increased its quarterly dividend.
The company's shares were up 3 percent, or $1.63, at $60.65 early Tuesday morning on the New York Stock Exchange.

"We are encouraged by the continued strong fundamentals at this company, though the stock reaction could be muted by high expectations," Goldman Sachs said in a note to clients.

Cincinnati Financial Corp. (NASDAQ: CINF) August 17, 2009 hiked its dividend Tuesday, marking the 49th consecutive year it has boosted its dividend payment to shareholders.

The Fairfield-based insurer said it will lift its quarterly cash dividend from 39 cents to 39.5 cents per share. The next dividend will be payable Oct. 15 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 18.

There had been some question about whether Cincinnati Financial would hike its dividend this year. It typically raises the dividend early in the year, but that didn’t happen this year. The weak economy and plummeting stock market took its toll on Cincinnati Financial’s earnings.

CEO Ken Stecher had said in a conference call last month to discuss second-quarter earnings that the board could decide to boost the dividend this year, but that it wouldn’t be sustainable to keep doing that without some improvement in earnings.

“The company has consistently increased dividends for 48 years, and the board of directors chose to continue that record for the benefit of our shareholders,” Stecher said in a news release announcing the increase. “This action demonstrates their confidence in our strong capital, liquidity and financial flexibility and in our initiatives to improve earnings performance.

Coca Cola Enterprises Inc. (NYSE: CCE) August 24, 2009 has been a steady player in the choppy economy of the last year, beating estimates in each of the last four quarters by an average of 11 cents, or 115%.
The company also announced a dividend increase of 4 cents, with CEO John Brock saying the decision was a reflection of the company’s stronger balance sheet.

Connecticut Water Service, Inc. (Nasdaq:CTWS) August 12, 2009 announced that the Company's Board of Directors today approved an annualized dividend increase of two cents per common share, or 2.2%, above the current cash dividend. The quarterly cash dividend on common shares was increased to $0.2275 per quarter from $0.2225. The increased dividend will be effective with the dividend declared by the Board on common shares payable on September 15, 2009, for shareholders of record as of September 1, 2009. The Company's annual dividend yield is about 4.1%.
Eric W. Thornburg, Connecticut Water's President and CEO, stated, "Connecticut Water's Board of Directors decided that a two cent increase in the annual dividend rate was appropriate because the Company's fundamentals remain strong despite the challenging economic environment and unusually wet and cool weather in late spring and summer. We remain focused on our long-term strategy of delivering solid performance for our shareholders and world class service to our customers." Mr. Thornburg notes that Connecticut Water has paid dividends on common stock each quarter since its founding in 1956 without interruption or reduction and has increased dividend payments for each of the last 40 years.

Consolidated Water Co. (NASDAQ: CWCO) August 17, 2009 said its board has raised it regular quarterly dividend 15 percent to 7.5 cents from 6.5 cents.

The company, which operates water desalination plants, said last week that the dividend is payable Oct. 31 to shareholders of record on Oct. 1.

Consolidated Water develops and operates seawater desalination plants and water distribution systems in the Cayman Islands, Belize, the British Virgin Islands, the Bahamas and Bermuda.

Digital Realty Trust, Inc. (NYSE: DLR) increased its quarterly dividend by 9.10% to 36 cents per share. The company engages in the ownership, acquisition, development, redevelopment, and management of technology-related real estate. This is the fifth consecutive annual dividend increase for this REIT since it went public in 2004. The stock currently yields 3.60%.

Dover Corporation (NYSE: DOV) August 6, 2009 The Board of Directors of Dover Corporation today increased its quarterly cash dividend to $0.26 (twenty-six cents) per share, from the previous $0.25 (twenty-five cents) per share, an increase of 4%. This is the 54th consecutive year in which Dover has paid an increased cash dividend, giving it the fourth longest record of consecutive annual dividend increases of all listed companies, as reported by Mergent's Dividend Achievers.

This increased dividend will be paid on September 15, 2009 to shareholders of record as of August 31, 2009.
Dover Corporation, is a global portfolio of manufacturing companies providing innovative components and equipment, specialty systems and support services for a variety of applications in the industrial products, engineered systems, fluid management and electronic technologies markets.

El Paso Pipeline Partners LP (NYSE: EPB) August 6, 2009 approved a 1% increase over the last quarterly distribution to 33 cents per unit, announced its intentions to further raise its quarterly distributions to 35 cents/unit in the fourth quarter.

This represents a 6% increase over last quarter’s distribution and a 16.70% increase over its distribution announced this time last year. This master limited partnership engages in the ownership and operation of natural gas transportation pipelines and storage assets. Once the board of the general partner approves the new rate, this will be the 7th consecutive distribution increase for El Paso Pipeline Partners, L.P. since it went public in 2007. The units currently yield 6.70%.

Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. (NYSE: ETE) announced an increase to its quarterly distributions to 53.50 cents per unit. This represents an approximate 2% increase over the previously declared quarterly distribution of 52.50 cents per unit and an approximate 11.40% increase over the distribution for the same quarter of the prior year. Energy Transfer Equity, L.P. is a publicly traded partnership, which owns the general partner of Energy Transfer Partners, L.P. and approximately 62.5 million ETP limited partner units. The units representing the General Partner interests in this MLP currently yield 7.30%.

Equity LifeStyle Properties, Inc. (NYSE:ELS) August 11, 2009 announced that its Board of Directors increased the quarterly common stock dividend from $0.25 to $0.30 per share. The dividend will be paid on October 9, 2009 to shareholders of record on September 25, 2009.

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ: ESSA) August 26, 2009 announced an increase to its quarterly cash dividend from $0.04 per share to $0.05 per share of the Company’s common stock. The dividend will be payable to stockholders of record as of September 16, 2009, and will be paid on September 30, 2009.

“ESSA’s approach to banking has allowed us to continue to produce solid results, even during these most difficult of economic times,” said Gary S. Olson, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “We are very pleased to share our success with our investors through this increased dividend.”

ESSA Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company for ESSA Bank & Trust, which has total assets of over $1.0 billion and is the leading service-oriented financial institution head-quartered in the greater Pocono, Pennsylvania region. The Bank maintains its corporate headquarters in downtown Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and has 13 community offices throughout the Pocono area. In addition to being one of the region’s largest mortgage lenders, ESSA Bank & Trust offers a full range of retail and commercial financial services. ESSA Bancorp, Inc. stock trades on the NASDAQ Global MarketSM under the symbol “ESSA.”

Federal Realty Investment Trust (NYSE: FRT) today reported operating results for its second quarter ended June 30, 2009.
Federal Realty also announced today that its Board of Trustees increased the dividend rate on its common shares, declaring a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.66 per share, resulting in an indicated annual rate of $2.64 per share, an increase of $0.04 annually or 1.5%. The regular common dividend will be payable on October 15, 2009, to common shareholders of record as of September 23, 2009. This increase represents the 42nd consecutive year that Federal Realty has increased its common dividend, the longest record of consecutive annual dividend increases in the REIT sector.

"We believe that a cash dividend is essential to most REIT investors and we are proud to not only continue to pay a quarterly dividend in cash, but to increase that dividend for the 42(nd) consecutive year," said Donald C. Wood, president and chief executive officer of the Trust. "We would not be able to continue this record without a consistent earnings stream which comes from owning the highest quality properties with a steady focus on core operations. In addition, we have demonstrated significant access to capital which has strengthened our balance sheet and provides us the ability to pursue future growth opportunities."

G & K Services Inc. (NASDAQ: GKSR) August 24, 2009 announced that it will increase its quarterly dividend 7 percent, despite a 73 percent income decline in its fourth quarter.

G&K, a uniform rental company based in Minnetonka, declared a quarterly dividend of 7.5 cents per share, up from its previous dividend of 7 cents per share. The dividend will be payable on Sept. 24 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Sept. 17.

G&K announced at the beginning of August that its fourth quarter revenues had been cut by job losses among its customers and the impact of the reduced value of the Canadian dollar. Yet G&K continued its four-year run of increased quarterly dividends.

“We’re pleased to increase the quarterly dividend, which demonstrates our confidence in continuing to generate strong cash flow and our commitment to increase shareholder returns,” said Jeffrey Wright, the company’s chief financial officer, in a statement.

Getty Realty Trust (NYSE: GTY) August 20, 2009 Real estate investment trust Getty Realty Corp. said Thursday its board raised its quarterly dividend to 47.5 cents per share.

The payout is up from its previous dividend of 47 cents per share.

The company dividend is payable on Oct. 8 to shareholders of record on Sept. 24.

Shares rose 66 cents, or 3 percent, to $22.54 in afternoon trading. They've traded between $13.25 and $23.12 in the past year.

Guess? Inc. (NYS: GES) August 26. 2009 Apparel retailer Guess? weighed in with strong results for the second quarter on Wednesday, reporting 14% earnings growth and boosted its dividend 25% to 12.5 cents per share.

The company's profit rose 11% to $59.6 million or 64 cents per share on revenue that increased 1.4% to $522.4 million. That compares to net earnings of $53.8 million or 56 cents per share on total net revenue of $515.2 million, reported during the same quarter last year. The retailer easily beat analyst estimate, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters, who were expecting Guess to post profit of 44 cents per share on revenue of $485 million.

The company said revenue growth in Europe was crucial to its strong performance. European sales increase 21% in the quarter.
The international retail chain issued guidance for the third quarter and Guess expects to see earnings to range between 46 and 49 cents per share in the third quarter of 2009, with revenue between $465 and $485 million during the quarter.

Operating income in the quarter rose 7% to $91 million, compared to operating income of $85 million, one year ago.

Operating margins grew to 17.4%, compared to margins of 16.5% one year ago.
Shares of Guess surged 76 cents or 2.36% in after the market closed.

Harleysville Group’s ( NASDAQ: HGIC) August 4, 2009 board of directors declared an 8 % increase to its quarterly dividend to 32.50 cents per share. The company engages in the property and casualty insurance business primarily in the eastern and Midwestern United States. Harleysville Group Inc.is a dividend achiever, which has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the past twenty-two years. The stock currently yields 4.00%.

Harris Corporation (NYSE: HRSE) August 28, 2009 Board of Directors of Harris Corporation an international communications and information technology company, has increased the quarterly cash dividend to 22 cents per share, compared to the previous quarterly dividend of 20 cents per share. This dividend is payable September 18, 2009, to shareholders of record September 9, 2009. The annual dividend rate will increase from 80 cents per share to 88 cents per share.

"We are very pleased to announce this increase in our quarterly dividend," said Howard L. Lance, chairman, president, and CEO.

"Harris achieved excellent financial performance in fiscal 2009, with strong revenue, earnings, and cash flow. As we reported
August 12, 2009, new contract wins, improving order rates, and a solid pipeline of additional opportunities provide us with increased confidence in our outlook for fiscal 2010. This dividend increase further demonstrates the company's ongoing commitment to increasing shareholder value."

Harris is an international communications and information technology company serving government and commercial markets in more than 150 countries. Headquartered in Melbourne, Florida, the company has approximately $5 billion of annual revenue and more than 15,000 employees -- including nearly 7,000 engineers and scientists. Harris is dedicated to developing best-in-class assured communications® products, systems, and services.

H.J. Heinz Company (NYSE: HNZ) August 12. 2009 shareholders were told by Chairman William R. Johnson said, “the Company delivered record sales and profit and a sizeable increase in the dividend for Fiscal 2009 despite a difficult global economic environment.”

In Fiscal 2009, “Heinz delivered exceptionally strong Operating Free Cash Flow of $880 million, making it possible to raise your dividend for the sixth consecutive year at a time when many other public companies have suspended or reduced dividends to conserve cash in this tough economy,” Mr. Johnson said.

Noting that Heinz has increased its annualized dividend almost 56%, from $1.08 in Fiscal 2004 to $1.68 in Fiscal 2010, Mr. Johnson added: “As Heinz moves forward, I assure you that growing your dividend remains a top priority as we are committed to returning a high percentage of earnings to our shareholders.”

HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:HCC) August 21, 2009 today announced its 54th consecutive quarterly cash dividend.

HCC's Board of Directors has declared a regular cash dividend of $0.135 per share on the Company's shares of $1.00 par value common stock. The dividend is payable to stockholders of record on October 1, 2009, and will be paid on or about October 14, 2009.

"In recognition of our continuing solid performance and strong financial position, the Board has voted to increase the dividend for the 13th consecutive year, emphasizing HCC's commitment to deliver increased value to our shareholders," HCC President and Chief Executive Officer John N. Molbeck, Jr. said.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, HCC Insurance Holdings, Inc. (HCC) is a leading international specialty insurance group with offices across the United States and in Bermuda, Ireland, Spain and the United Kingdom. HCC has assets of $8.9 billion, shareholders' equity of $2.8 billion and is rated AA (Very Strong) by Standard & Poor's and AA (Very Strong) by Fitch Ratings. In addition, HCC's major domestic insurance companies are rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company.

Inergy, L.P.’s (NASDAQ: NRGY) August 9, 2009 general partner announced an increase to its quarterly distributions to 66.50 cents per unit. This represents the 31st consecutive quarterly increase and an approximate 6.4% increase over the distribution for the same quarter of the prior year. This master limited partnership’s operations include the retail marketing, sale, and distribution of propane to residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural customers. The units representing limited partnership interests in this MLP currently yield 9.00%.

Inergy Holdings GP, LLC ( NASDAQ: NRGP) July 27, 2009 announced an increase to its quarterly distributions to 78 cents per unit. This represents an approximate 4% increase over the previously declared quarterly distribution of $0.75 per limited partner unit and an approximate 28% increase over the distribution for the same quarter of the prior year. Inergy Holdings, L.P.’s assets consist of its ownership interests in Inergy, L.P., including limited partnership interests, ownership of the general partners, and the incentive distribution rights. Inergy Holdings GP has increased its quarterly distributions for fifteen consecutive quarters. The units representing the General Partner interests in this MLP currently yield 7.30%.

Investors Real Estate Trust (NASDAQ: IRET) August 26, 2009 said that its board of trustees increased the company's regular quarterly distribution by 0.3 percent.

The distribution of 17.10 cents per unit is payable on Oct. 1 to holders at Sept. 15. The previous regular quarterly distribution of 17.05 per unit was paid on July 1.

Minot, N.D.-based Investors Real Estate owns and operates income-producing residential and commercial properties, primarily in the upper Midwest.

The company's stock added 3 cents to close at $9.56 in Wednesday trading.

Lawson Products, Inc., (NASDAQ: LAWS) August 27, 2009 declared a dividend of $.06 per share on common shares, an increase of $.03 from the previous quarterly dividend. The dividend is payable October 13, 2009 to stockholders of record September 29, 2009. 

Lawson Products, Inc. distributes and markets systems, services, and products to the industrial, commercial, institutional, and governmental maintenance repair and operations marketplace in the United States and Canada. [SM]

Lazard Ltd (NYSE: LAZ) August 3, 2009 announced that its board of directors has declared a 25 % increase to its quarterly dividend to 12.50 cents per share. The company operates as a financial advisory and asset management firm worldwide. This is the third dividend increase for the company since going public in 2005. The stock currently yields 1.30%.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) August 6, 2009 Platt's Board of Directors announced today they are raising the company's dividend by one cent per share, or 4%, to $.26 per share for the third quarter. The dividend will be paid on October 15, 2009 to shareholders of record on September 15, 2009.
Leggett knows of no other S&P 500 company that has achieved as long a string of consecutive annual dividend increases at a 14% compound annual growth rate.

Leggett & Platt is a diversified manufacturer that conceives, designs and produces a broad variety of engineered components and products that can be found in most homes, offices, and automobiles. The company serves a broad suite of customers that comprise a "Who's Who" of U.S. manufacturers and retailers. The 126-year-old firm's continuing operations are composed of 19 business units, 19,000 employee-partners, and approximately 160 manufacturing facilities located in 18 countries.

Leggett & Platt is North America's leading independent manufacturer of: a) components for residential furniture and bedding; b) components for office furniture; c) drawn steel wire; d) automotive seat support and lumbar systems; e) carpet underlay; f) adjustable beds; and g) bedding industry machinery.

Lorillard Inc. (NYSE: LO) August 17, 2009 said its board approved an 8.7% increase in its quarterly dividend, to $1 from 92 cents a share. The dividend is payable on Sept. 11 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 1, the cigarette maker said.

MGE Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: MGEE) August 21, 2009 increased the regular quarterly dividend for the company’s common stock, making it one of only 58 U.S. companies that have paid annual dividends for more than 100 years, according to MGE Energy chairman Gary Wolter.
The Madison-based utility increased its quarterly dividend to $0.3684 per share on its common stock, payable Sept. 15 to shareholders of record on Sept. 1. With the increase, the new dividend is equivalent to an annual rate of $1.4736 per share, MGE Energy said in a news release.

The company has increased its dividends annually for the past 34 years. MGE Energy is listed as a "Dividend Achiever" by Mergent Inc., a financial information publisher. Just 10 percent of all dividend-paying companies meet the Mergent test of increasing dividends annually for at least 10 years, according to MGE Energy.

MGE Energy is a public utility holding company. Its principal subsidiary, Madison Gas and Electric, generates and distributes electricity to 137,000 customers in Dane County, and purchases and distributes natural gas to 141,000 customers in seven south-central and western Wisconsin counties.

Nordson Corp. (NASDAQ:NDSN) August 18, 2009 said Tuesday its board of directors approved a 4.1 percent increase of its quarterly dividend to 19 cents per share.

The company, which makes equipment that applies adhesives, sealants and coatings, formerly paid a dividend of 18.25 cents.
The dividend is payable Sept. 15 to shareholders of record on Sept. 1.

Shares rose $1.11, or 2.4 percent, to $47.09 in afternoon trading.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers Inc. (NYSE: RBA) August 7, 2009 , industrial auctioneer reported a decline in earnings for the second quarter, despite higher revenues, due to the absence of a gain, recorded in the prior year quarter, related to asset sale.

Net earnings for the quarter declined to US$38.8 million or US$0.37 per share from US$45.9 million or US$0.43 per share in the corresponding period last year. Ritchie said net earnings for the second quarter of 2008 included total gains of US$7.3 million, after tax, recorded on the sale of excess property.

Auction revenues increased 4% to US$120.5 million from US$115.8 million in the second quarter of 2008 and came in above the US$114.54 million projected by ten Street analysts. Auction revenue rate was 10.86%, up from 9.95% in the year-ago quarter mainly due to the superior performance of the company's underwritten business. Gross auction proceeds were US$1.11 billion, down 5% from the same period last year.

The company conducted 92 industrial auctions in 10 countries throughout North America, Europe, the Middle East and Australia during the first half of 2009. Gross auction proceeds were US$1.91 billion, down 2% from the first half of 2008. Auction revenues were US$204.1 million, up 4% compared to the year-ago period.

Ritchie sold almost US$425 million of trucks, equipment, and other assets to online bidders during the first half of 2009, representing a 15% increase over approximately US$370 million in the same period last year. More than 115 thousands customers from almost 190 countries have now registered and received approval to bid online. Internet bidders represented about 30% of the total registered bidders at Ritchie Bros. industrial auctions for the six month period ended June 30, 2009

The company's Board declared a quarterly cash dividend of US$0.10 per common share payable on September 11, to shareholders of record on August 21, representing an 11% increase over the company's previous quarterly dividend.

Royal Dutch Shell (NYSE: RDS-A) August 4, 2009increased its dividend for the second half of the year by 5% to 84 cents per share. The company engages in the exploration, production, and trading of various energy resources worldwide. Royal Dutch Shell is an international dividend achiever, which has increased its quarterly dividend in each of the past sixteen years. The stock currently yields 6.40%.

Utah Medical Products, Inc. (NASDAQ: UTMD) August 4, announces that its Board of Directors approved a quarterly cash dividend of twenty-three cents ($.23) per share of common stock payable on October 5, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 16, 2009. This is a two percent (2%) increase over the dividend declared in the same quarter of the prior year, and the same as the preceding quarterly dividend.

Looking ahead, UTMD expects to pay the following quarterly dividend on December 30, 2009 instead of January 5, 2010, anticipating that 2009 dividends may be taxed at a lower rate than in 2010. The Board of Directors made this exception at the end of 2008, as well.

Utah Medical Products, Inc., with particular interest in health care for women and their babies, develops, manufactures, assembles and markets a broad range of disposable and reusable specialty medical devices.

Westlake Chemical Corp. (NYSE: WLK) August 24, 2009 said its board of directors declared a dividend of 5.75 cents per share, payable on September 17, 2009, to stockholders of record on September 2, 2009, which represents an increase of 1/2 cent per share, or 9.5%, over the 5.25 cents per share that the company has previously paid.

The company said it is the 20th successive quarterly dividend that it has declared since completing its initial public offering in August 2004.

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1 comment:

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