General Mills, Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Foot Locker, Inc.: Top April Dividend Increases

dividends1Marshall Hargrave:  Another month has come and gone and we’ve put in the hard work once again to find the stocks that will be upping their dividends next month.

dividend increases

We’re coming out with our list a bit early, as a number of the companies will be paying out their dividends in early April.

Now, I’ve talked a lot about stocks that consistently up their dividends. The biggest takeaway is that the stocks that are willing to reward shareholders with steady dividend increases tend to outperform those that don’t pay dividends.

Over the last year, the market has been somewhat rocky; the S&P 500 is down just over 1%. However, on a total return basis, which includes dividends, the S&P 500 is up 1%. Taking that a step further, thePowerShares Dividend Achievers ETF (NYSEArca: PFM) – which invests in stocks that have upped their dividends for 10 years or more – is up 4.1% over the last year.

So with that in mind, here are the top five dividend increases for the month of April:

No. 1 April Dividend Increase: Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO)

Cisco is upping its quarterly dividend payment by 24% in April and will be paying a $0.26 a share dividend. That’s a heck of a dividend increase for a $140 billion market cap company. It’s also offering a sizable dividend yield, coming in at 3.7%.

Cisco is an underrated bet on the tech market, which includes the expansion of wireless and Wi-Fi – a market it dominates. It also has a stronghold on the router and switch market, which should continue to provide strong free cash flow for that hefty dividend.

Cisco trades ex-dividend April 4.

No. 2 April Dividend Increase: Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA)

Although it needs no introduction as a near $150 billion market cap company, Comcast flies under the radar a bit in the dividend world.

But the fact that it’s upping its dividend by 10% next month and will soon be paying out a $0.275 a share quarterly should catch investors’ attention. The stock offers a 1.8% dividend yield and has managed to up its dividend for five straight years.

Despite the fears over cable customers canceling their service to opt for an Internet-only lifestyle, Comcast still has a large user base. It’s also managed to continue making a name for itself in the Internet world by investing in companies like Vox and BuzzFeed. These are big positives as it makes its move to gain access to a younger audience.

Comcast shares go ex-dividend April 4.


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