Stock dividends continue to be a major enticement for investors. Many retail investors prize dividend payments and the steady income they provide, particularly in retirement. Also, people like the reliable return on capital they receive from dividends. This is especially true with markets remaining volatile and stock prices rising and falling along with interest rates and bond yields this year.
Companies recognize this fact, and many continue to make it a priority to steadily and reliably increase their dividend payouts to shareholders. Several well-known companies have hiked their dividends in recent months on the back of strong financial results and growing cash flow positions.
Let’s delve into three dividend stocks that will provide income year-round.
Supplemental insurer AFLAC (NYSE:AFL) just raised its quarterly dividend by 19% to 50 cents a share. It marks the 41st year in a row that AFLAC has increased its quarterly payout to shareholders. It has earned the coveted title of “dividend aristocrat“.
Going forward, AFL stock will have a dividend yield of nearly 2.50%. The company also spent $700 million buying back 9.4 million of its own shares in this year’s third quarter. Obviously, its commitment to returning capital to stockholders remains strong. AFL stock continues to be a steady performer, having gained 15% year to date (YTD).
AFLAC is able to keep raising its dividend because of consistently strong earnings and free cash flow. The company just reported third-quarter financial results that were reliably good. AFLAC announced adjusted earnings per share (EPS) of $1.84, beyond Wall Street forecasts calling for $1.44 in profits. Quarterly revenue amounted to $4.95 billion, which also topped estimates of $4.47 billion. The company currently has $111.3 billion of cash on hand and investments, putting it in an exceptionally strong financial position.
JPMorgan Chase (JPM)
The dividend increase was announced after JPMorgan Chase successfully completed the U.S. Federal Reserve’s annual stress test process. The procedure ensures companies are well capitalized and able to withstand financial pressures. Executives have said that they intend to continue raising the bank’s dividend payment going forward.
Like AFLAC, JPMorgan is able to continue lifting its dividend payment because of its strong financial performance and earnings growth. For Q3 of this year, the bank reported EPS of $4.33, which was greater than the $3.95 consensus estimate among analysts. Revenue in Q3 totaled $40.69 billion, which was above the $39.63 billion expected on Wall Street.
The lender credited its strong results to greater levels of interest income and lower credit costs than expected. JPM stock has increased 6% this year. It now has a dividend yield of 2.94%.
Also in late September, U.S. coffee chain Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) increased its quarterly dividend payment by 7.5%. Going forward, the company will pay its stockholders a quarterly dividend of 57 cents a share, up from 53 cents previously.
The latest dividend increase marks the 13th consecutive time that Starbucks has raised its payment to shareholders. The dividend increase comes as Starbucks reports strong financial results. In addition, SBUX is undertaking a major strategic growth plan. Specifically, it will open 17,000 new coffee shops worldwide by 2030.
Starbucks has just announced its “Triple Shot Reinvention Strategy”. In addition to the new locations, the company plans to cut costs by $3 billion over the next seven years. And $1 billion of those savings coming from making its stores more efficient.
The dividend hike and strategic plan come amid a significant management change at the coffee company. Howard Schultz, who ran Starbucks on multiple occasions over the last 40 years, recently retired and stepped down from the company’s board of directors. His replacement is new CEO Laxman Narasimhan, who is putting his stamp on Starbucks.
SBUX stock is up 2% on the year, but jumped more than 10% after the company’s recent Q3 print.
On the date of publication, Joel Baglole did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.