Dividend Aristocrats Week in Review for September 6, 2014: This Acquisition Target Continues Dividend Payments

Three dividend stocks – two Dividend Aristocrats and one High Yield Dividend Aristocrat – announced dividend events this week.

Family Dollar Continues to Pay Dividends While in Merger Talks with Dollar General

Dividend Aristocrat Family Dollar Stores (FDO, Company Summary) has been in the news lately, as it is the target of a competition between Dollar Tree Stores and Dollar General.  In July, Dollar Tree announced that they had come to an agreement with Family Dollar to buy them for $8.5 billion.  Soon thereafter, Dollar General came in with a larger competing offer that Family Dollar has rejected due to concerns about anti-trust issues.  While the three companies are working this out, Family Dollar is continuing to pay dividends to its investors.  The company announced its latest quarterly dividend of 31 cents per share, payable on October 15th to shareholders of record on September 15th.  Family Dollar has increased dividends since 1976.  The stock currently yields 1.57% after the stock jumped on news of the merger with Dollar Tree Stores and then again on the counteroffer from Dollar General.  If you’re investing for dividend growth, you should be wary – neither Dollar Tree nor Dollar General has paid a dividend and, as I discussed in this blog post, it’s likely that neither company will continue the dividend growth history that Family Dollar has built.

Chubb Corporation (CB, Company Summary) announced its latest regular dividend payment of 50 cents per share.  The Cincinnati-based insurer increased its dividend for the 32nd straight year in January when it raised the dividend by 13.8% from the prior quarterly rate of 44 cents per share.  The latest payout will be paid on October 7th to shareholders of record of September 19th and with an annualized dividend of $2.00, the stock currently yields 2.18%.

A Natural Gas Company Continues a 36-Year Record of Dividend Growth

Piedmont Natural Gas has increased dividends since 1979. Photo courtesy Tod Baker/flickr.com.

Piedmont Natural Gas has grown dividends since 1979.
Photo courtesy Tod Baker/flickr.com.

High Yield Dividend Aristocrat Piedmont Natural Gas (PNY), which distributes natural gas to over 1 million customers across North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee, will pay a regular dividend of 32 cents on October 15th to shareholders of record on September 24th.  Piedmont last increased its dividend in March 2014, raising the quarterly payout by 1 cent, or 3.2%, from 31 cents per share.  This was the 36th year of regular dividend increases for Piedmont, which is a member of the S&P Small Cap 600 index.  Piedmont stock currently yields 3.45%.

There are over 50 S&P 500 companies that have increased dividends for more than a quarter century.  See the full list of S&P Dividend Aristocrats.

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