Sunday, November 15, 2009

"Bexley Public Radio Dividend Note No. 13 (Companies A through L)" by Laura Franks.

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

Bexley Public Radio hopes this is a positive note amidst the dreadful reports from Wall Street since October 2007.

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

Companies "A" through "L."

Aaron's, Inc. (NYSE: AAN) Atlanta, Georgia, November 4, 2009 the nation's leader in the sales and lease ownership and specialty retailing of residential and office furniture, consumer electronics and home appliances and accessories, today announced that its quarterly dividend rate has been raised to $.018 per share.

The Board of Directors of Aaron's, Inc. declared a quarterly cash dividend of $.018 per share on Common Stock and $.018 per share on Class A Common Stock, payable January 4, 2010 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 1, 2009. This is an increase of 5.9% from the previous quarterly dividend of $.017 per share on both classes of stock.

"This is the fifth consecutive year we have increased our dividend rate," said Robert C. Loudermilk, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer. "This is a reflection of the Company's performance and we believe Aaron's will continue
to grow in future periods with excellent financial returns for our shareholders."

Aaron's, Inc., based in Atlanta, currently has more than 1,665 Company-operated and franchised stores in 48 states and Canada. The Company also manufactures furniture and bedding at 12 facilities in five states.

Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, Ltd (NYSE: AWH) Pembroke, Bermuda, November 5, 2009 reported net income of $200.6 million, or $3.83 per diluted share, for the third quarter of 2009 compared to a net loss of $46.4 million, or $0.95 per diluted share, for the third quarter of
2008. Net income for the nine months ended September 30, 2009 was $445.6 million, or $8.62 per diluted share, compared to net income of $163.8 million, or $3.22 diluted share, for the first nine months of 2008.

President and Chief Executive Officer Scott Carmilani commented, "We are very excited to report record operating results in the third quarter 2009 as we continue to effectively manage through the sluggish market environment.

The company's net operating income was $155 million, which is the best quarterly result in our company's history. This equates to a very impressive 22.2% annualized operating return on shareholders' equity for the quarter.
Given these continued excellent results, we are also announcing that our Board has increased the quarterly dividend by 11%, to $0.20 per share, beginning with our fourth quarter dividend."

Mr. Carmilani continued, "As we expand our footprint in the specialty insurance market, our sustained excellent results reflect favorably on the strategic decisions we have made in recent years in both our underwriting operations and with our investment portfolio.

Allied World announced today that its Board of Directors has declared an increase in the quarterly dividend to $0.20 per common share, an 11% increase. The dividend will be payable on December 10, 2009 to shareholders of record on November 24, 2009.

AmerisourceBergen Corp. (NYSE: ABC) Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, November 13, 2009, increased the company’s quarterly dividend rate 33 percent to $0.08 per common share from $0.06 per common share. The board also authorized a new $500 million share repurchase program.

The quarterly dividend of $0.08 per common share will be payable December 7, 2009, to stockholders of record at the close of business on November 23, 2009.

AmerisourceBergen said it will use the new program to repurchase its outstanding shares of common stock, subject to market conditions. The new repurchase program, combined with $68.1 million remaining on a November 13, 2008 authorization, provides AmerisourceBergen with $568.1 million currently authorized for the repurchase of common shares.

The company plans to spend around $350 million to repurchase its common shares in fiscal year 2010. The company currently has around 288 million common shares outstanding.

AmerisourceBergen is a pharmaceutical services firm with operations primarily in the United States and Canada.

Aqua America Inc. (NYSE: WTR) Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania November 3, 2009 water and wastewater utility holding company reported net income of $33.5m or $0.25 diluted earnings per share for the quarter ended September 30, 2009, compared to $35.4m or $0.26 in the same quarter last year.

Aqua America said that the wet weather in the third quarter of 2009 resulted in an approximate $0.03 reduction in basic and diluted earnings per share. In the third quarter of 2008 the company's results were positively affected by a $0.02 per share gain from a utility system sale under the company's strategy to evaluate and sell under-performing operations.

Revenues for the third quarter totaled $180.8m, up 2.1% from revenues of $177.1m in the corresponding period in 2008.

The board of directors has declared a dividend of $0.145 per share for the quarter, reflecting a 7.4% increase or $0.01 per share from the previous $0.135 per share. The new dividend will be paid on 1 December 2009 to all shareholders of record on November 16, 2009.

Atmos Energy Corp. (NYSE: ATO) Dallas, Texas November 10, 2009 posted a fourth-quarter loss of $16 million, citing a plunge in natural gas consumption and prices that cut deeply into revenue this year. The company, which stores and transports natural gas to a dozen states, reported a loss of 17 cents a share for the three months that ended Sept. 30. That compares with a profit of $1.6 million, or 2 cents a share, in the same quarter in 2008.

Revenue dropped 55 percent to $650 million, compared with the year-ago period.

Like many of its peers, Atmos' results slumped considerably when compared with the same period in 2008, when energy prices spiked. Last summer, natural gas contracts fetched about twice what they're asking for now on the New York Mercantile Exchange.

For the full year, Atmos said profit increased 6 percent to $191 million, or $2.08 a share, from $180.3 million, or $2 a share. Revenue fell 31 percent to $5 billion.

The company said it expects to earn between $2.15 and $2.25 a share in the 2010 fiscal year. It also expects profits next year of $153 million to $159 million in its regulated operations and $48 million to $52 million from nonregulated operations. Capital expenditures are expected to run from $520 million to $535 million in fiscal 2010.

Analysts expected Atmos' fourth-quarter loss at 8 cents a share.

Separately, Atmos said its board of directors raised the company's quarterly dividend about 2 percent, or a half-cent, to 33.5 cents per share. The dividend is payable Dec. 10 to shareholders of record Nov. 25.

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADP) Roseland, N.J., November 10, 2009 approved a 3% increase in the cash dividend to an annual rate of $1.36 per share, Gary C. Butler, president and chief executive officer, announced today.

The new quarterly dividend of 34 cents per share compares with the previous quarterly dividend rate of 33 cents per share.

This increased quarterly dividend will be distributed on January 1, 2010 to shareholders of record at December 11, 2009.
The increased cash dividend marks the 35th consecutive year in which the company has raised its dividend.

Automatic Data Processing, Inc. (Nasdaq:ADP), with nearly $9 billion in revenues and about 570,000 clients, is one of the world's largest providers of business outsourcing solutions. Leveraging 60 years of experience, ADP offers a wide range of HR, payroll, tax and benefits administration solutions from a single source. ADP's easy-to-use, cost-effective solutions for employers provide superior value to companies of all types and sizes. ADP is also a leading provider of integrated computing solutions to auto, truck, motorcycle, marine and recreational vehicle dealers throughout the world.

Beckman Coulter, Inc. (NYSE: BEC) November 4, 2009 declared an $0.18 per share quarterly cash dividend, a 6% increase over prior year, payable on November 23, 2009 to all stockholders of record on November 9, 2009, representing the company's 16th consecutive year of annual dividend increases.

Beckman Coulter, Inc. provides biomedical testing instrument systems, tests, and supplies for clinical laboratories worldwide.

BlackRock Kelso Capital Corporation (NASDAQ:BKCC) November 5, 2009 the "Company") announced today that its Board of Directors has declared a fourth quarter dividend of $0.32 per share payable on January 4, 2010 to stockholders of record as of December 21, 2009. The amount of this dividend represents an increase of $0.16 per share over the Company`s $0.16 per share third quarter dividend.

The increase in the dividend marks a return to the Company`s practice of distributing to its stockholders an amount that is more reflective of its net investment income.* Earlier this year and in light of the previously unsettled economic conditions, the Company had taken the conservative step of temporarily reducing its dividend to preserve operating flexibility. The Company`s recent operating results warrant a return to the previous dividend policy. In addition, the Company expects to carry forward to 2010 any 2009 taxable income in excess of 2009 distributions.

James R. Maher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of BlackRock Kelso Capital,commented: "We are pleased that our operating results and strong balance sheet have enabled us to increase the amount of our dividend distributions to
stockholders. There are attractive investment opportunities available in the middle-market and a dwindling number of capital providers to middle-market companies. We are excited to have the capital resources and disciplined
investment process in place to take advantage of these opportunities."

Dividends declared to stockholders for the three and nine months ended September 30, 2009 totaled $9.0 million, or $0.16 per share, and $26.7 million, or $0.48 per share, respectively. For the three and nine months ended September 30, 2008, dividends declared totaled $23.5 million, or $0.43 per share, and $69.1 million, or $1.29 per share, respectively. Tax characteristics of all dividends will be reported to stockholders on Form 1099 after the end of the calendar year.

The Company's investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments. The Company invests primarily in middle-market companies in the form of senior and junior secured and unsecured debt securities and loans, each of which may include an equity component, and by making direct preferred, common and other equity investments in such companies.

Dreyfus Municipal Income,Inc. (NYX:DMF) November 2, 2009 declared from net investment income a monthly cash dividend of $0.0475 per share of common stock, payable on December 31, 2009, to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 3, 2009. The ex-dividend date is December 1, 2009. This dividend increase of $0.0065 per share of common stock from the previous dividend of $0.041 per share of common stock declared in October, is due primarily to income earned on the Fund`s portfolio securities and lower borrowing costs.

Buckeye Partners LP (NYSE: BPL) Houston, TX November 2, 2009 The Board of Directors of Buckeye GP LLC, the general partner of Buckeye, declared a regular quarterly partnership cash distribution of $0.925 per LP unit, payable on November 30, 2009 to unit holders of record on November 12, 2009. This cash distribution represents a quarterly increase in the distribution of $0.0125 per LP unit and an annualized cash distribution level of $3.70 per LP unit. This is the 91st consecutive quarterly cash distribution paid by Buckeye.

C. H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHRW) Eden Prairie, MN, November 6, 2009 C.H. Robinson Worldwide Inc (Nasdaq:CHRW) increased the company's regular quarterly cash dividend to $0.25 per share.

The previous dividend was $0.24 per share.

The new dividend will be paid on January 4, 2010 to shareholders of record on December 4, 2009. C. H. Robinson Worldwide, Inc. is a provider of transportation services and logistics solutions.

Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. (NYSE: CLF) Cleveland, OH November 10, 2009 today announced an increase in its quarterly cash dividend to $0.0875 per common share.

Cliffs had reduced its quarterly cash dividend to $0.04 per share in May 2009 as part of a number of proactive steps to enhance financial flexibility.

“Cliffs’ management team responded to the sudden downturn in the global steel industry by implementing various proactive measures to enhance cash flow and preserve cash,” stated Laurie Brlas, Cliffs’ executive vice president and chief financial officer. “While difficult, those actions have allowed us to whether the financial crisis and continue to pursue our strategic plan, as evidenced by the recently announced acquisition of our partners’ interests in Wabush Mines.

“Now, our improved visibility and outlook, including projections for strong cash flow from operations in our business, have enabled our Board of Directors to restore the cash dividend to its level prior to the reduction in May.”

Cliffs indicated the increased cash dividend will be payable on Dec. 1, 2009, to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Nov. 20, 2009.

Cliffs Natural Resources is an international mining and natural resources company. We are the largest producer of iron ore pellets in North America, a major supplier of direct-shipping lump and fines iron ore out of Australia and a significant producer of metallurgical coal. With core values of environmental and capital stewardship, our colleagues across the globe endeavor to provide all stakeholders operating and financial transparency as embodied in the Global Reporting Initiative (GRI) framework. Our Company is organized through three geographic business units:
The North American business unit is comprised of six iron ore mines owned or managed in Michigan, Minnesota and Eastern Canada, and two coking coal mining complexes located in West Virginia and Alabama. The Asia Pacific business unit is comprised of two iron ore mining complexes in Western Australia and a 45% economic interest in a coking and thermal coal mine in Queensland, Australia. The South American business unit includes a 30% interest in the Amapá Project, an iron ore project in the state of Amapá in Brazil.

Over recent years, Cliffs has been executing a strategy designed to achieve scale in the mining industry and focused on serving the world’s largest and fastest growing steel markets.

DeVry Inc. (NYSE: DV) Oak Brook Terrace, IL November 11, 2009 announced that its board approved a 25% dividend increase, raising its dividend from $0.16 to $0.20 per share annually. Payable on a semi-annual basis, the next dividend payment of $0.10 will be made on Jan. 7, 2010, to common stockholders of record as of December 11, 2009.

DeVry also announced that its board authorized a third share repurchase program of $50 million to commence upon completion of the existing $50 million program. The new program expires on December 31, 2011.

Eaton Vance Limited Duration Income Fund (AMEX: EVV) Boston, MS, November 2, 2009, a closed-end management investment company, today declared a monthly distribution of $0.1158 per common share. As portfolio and market conditions change, the rate of future distributions may change. The distribution is expected to be paid on November 19, 2009, to shareholders of record on November 12, 2009. The ex-dividend date is November 9, 2009. The November distribution is an increase of $0.0075 per share, or 6.9%, from the October 2009 monthly distribution rate. The last change in the Fund's monthly distribution was in November 2008.

The increased monthly distribution reflects a rise in the Fund's net earnings rate. This is primarily due to a decrease in the Fund's cost of leverage coupled with an increased allocation to high yield corporates. The Fund is managed by Eaton Vance Management, a subsidiary of Eaton Vance Corp. (NYSE: EV), based in Boston, one of the oldest investment management firms in the United States, with a history dating back to 1924. Eaton Vance and its affiliates managed $157.0 billion in assets as of September 30, 2009, offering individuals and institutions a broad array of investment products and wealth management solutions.

Emerson Electric (NYSE: EMR) St. Louis, MO, November 3, 2009 reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat expectations despite falling from a year ago.N
Emerson said it had net earnings of $506 million, or 67 cents a share, for the quarter ended Sept. 30, falling from a year-ago profit of $688 million, or 88 cents a share.

Net sales slid 21% from a year ago to $5.32 billion, Emerson said.
Analysts were looking for a profit of 60 cents a share on revenue of $5.30 billion, according to a poll by Thomson Reuters.

Emerson also said its board of directors approved a dividend increase of 1.5% to 33.5 cents a share.

Looking ahead, Emerson said underlying sales for fiscal 2010 are expected to be down 5% to 7%. Fiscal first quarter underlying sales are expected to be down 17% to 20%, the company said. Operating profit margin for fiscal year 2010 is expected to be flat to slightly down.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. (NYSE: EPD) Houston, TX November 2, 2009 reported its third quarter earnings per limited partners unit at 43 cents, in line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate and year-ago earnings of 49 cents. Before adjusting one-time items, earnings per limited partner unit reached 36 cents.

Importantly, Enterprise increased its quarterly distribution by 5.7% year-over-year to the annualized run rate of $2.21 per unit. This was the 21st consecutive quarterly distribution increase. Following the merger, Enterprise and TEPPCO generated distributable cash flow of $359 million and $43 million, respectively, in the quarter. Total distributable cash flow (DCF) for Enterprise and TEPPCO provided 1.03X distribution coverage.

Enterprise Products Partners L.P. is a North American midstream energy company providing a range of services to producers and consumers of natural gas, natural gas liquids (NGLs), crude oil, and certain petrochemicals. Other activities include the development of pipeline and other midstream energy infrastructure in the continental United States and Gulf of Mexico.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. (NYSE:FSC) ("Fifth Street") White Plains, NY, Movember 13, 2009 announced its Board of Directors has declared a cash dividend of $0.27 per share for the first fiscal quarter of 2010, an increase of 8% from the previous fiscal quarter.

First Quarter 2010 Record Date: December 10, 2009

First Quarter 2010 Payment Date: December 29, 2009

"We are encouraged that our deal origination growth has allowed us to increase the dividend," stated Fifth Street Finance Corp.'s President and Chief Executive Officer, Leonard Tannenbaum.

Dividends are paid from taxable income. Our Board of Directors determines quarterly dividends based on estimates of taxable income, which differ from book income due to changes in unrealized appreciation and depreciation of investments and due to temporary and permanent differences in income and expense recognition.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. has adopted a dividend reinvestment plan ("DRIP") that provides for reinvestment of our dividends on behalf of our shareholders, unless a shareholder elects to receive cash. As a result, if we declare a cash dividend, our shareholders who have not "opted out" of our DRIP will have their cash dividends automatically reinvested in additional shares of our common stock, rather than receiving the cash dividends. If your shares of our common stock are held through a brokerage firm or other financial intermediary and you wish to participate in the DRIP, please contact your broker or other financial intermediary.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. is a specialty finance company that lends to and invests in small and mid-sized companies in connection with investments by private equity sponsors. Fifth Street Finance Corp.'s investment objective is to maximize its portfolio's total return by generating current income from its debt investments and capital appreciation from its equity investments.

Goodrich Corporation (NYSE: GR) Charlotte NC November 2, 2009 has approved an eight percent increase in the company's quarterly dividend to 27 cents a share from the current level of 25 cents a share on its common stock. The dividend is payable January 4, 2010 to shareholders of record as of December 1, 2009.
Goodrich Corporation engages in the supply of aerospace components, systems, and services worldwide.

Home Capital Group Inc. (TSX: HCG) Toronto, Ontario November 3, 2009 has approved an increase in the quarterly dividend to 16.0 cents per share on the outstanding Common Shares of the Company, which is equivalent to an annual dividend of 64.0 cents per share. The dividend is payable on December 1, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on November 16, 2009.

Gerald M. Soloway, CEO of Home Capital Group Inc., stated, "This is the third increase to the quarterly dividend this year and the eleventh increase in the past five years, reflecting Home Capital's ongoing commitment to enhancing long-term value for all shareholders and our positive future outlook."

The above-mentioned dividend on the Common Shares is designated as an "eligible" dividend for the purposes of the Income Tax Act (Canada) and any similar provincial legislation.

Home Capital Group Inc. is a public company, traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange (HCG), operating through its principal subsidiary, Home Trust Company. Home Trust is a federally regulated trust company offering deposit, mortgage lending, retail credit and payment card services. Licensed to conduct business across Canada, Home Trust has offices in Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec.

Leggett & Platt (NYSE: LEG) Carthage, MO, November 5, 2009 announced a dividend of $.26 per share for the fourth quarter. The dividend will be paid on January 15, 2010 to
shareholders of record on December 15, 2009.

Leggett has increased its annual dividend for 38 consecutive years, at an average compound growth rate of 14%. The company knows of no other S&P 500 company that has achieved as long a string of consecutive annual dividend increases at the growth rate Leggett has sustained.

Leggett & Platt is a FORTUNE 500 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 126-year-old firm is comprised of 19 business units, 19,000 employee-partners, and more than 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 for wire forming, sewing and quilting.

For M through Z companies, go to previous blog posting.

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Design is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2009. All rights reserved. Laura Franks.

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