Dividend stocks 2014 update: With the U.S. Federal Reserve keeping interest rates at rock-bottom levels since 2008, yield-hungry investors have been flocking to dividend-paying stocks.
"Dividends continue to be one of the few income-generating alternatives to investors," said Howard Silverblatt, senior analyst with S&P Dow Jones Indices.
And Silverblatt anticipates a record dividend payout in 2014: $339 billion from S&P 500 Index companies, which would surpass last year's $312 billion and be almost twice the $196 billion paid out in 2009.
In the first three weeks of February, some 205 companies boosted payouts. Following are 30 notable increases among the 70 total hikes for the week ending Feb. 21.30 Dividend-Paying Stocks That Just Hiked Their Payouts
AbbVie Inc. (NYSE: ABBV) raised its dividend $0.02 to $0.42 a share for a yield of 3.3%.
Alaska Air Group Inc. (NYSE: ALK) increased its dividend a nickel to $0.25 a share for a 1.23% yield.
Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) upped its dividend $0.03 to $0.28 a share for a yield of 2.08%. This marks the fourth year in a row the country's largest publicly held personal insurer enhanced its payout.
Analog Devices Inc. (Nasdaq: ADI) increased its dividend 8.8% to $0.37 for a near 3% yield. Since paying its first dividend in 2003, the chip maker has enriched disbursements annually, shelling out a total of $2.5 billion.
Barrick Gold Corp. (NYSE: ABX) boosted its dividend 6% to $0.06 a share for a yield just shy of 1%.
Carlyle Group LP (Nadaq: CG) raised its dividend a whopping 775% to $1.40 a share, up from $0.16, for a yield of 15.14%.
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Coca-Cola Co. (NYSE: KO) sweetened its payout 9% to $0.30 a share for a 3.28% yield. The world's No. 1 soft-drink maker has paid dividends since 1893. The latest increase is its 52nd consecutive improvement.
Corrections Corp of America (NYSE: CXW) increased its dividend $0.03 to $0.51 a share for a yield of 5.84%.
Danaher Corp. (NYSE: DHR) hiked its dividend 300% to $0.10 a share, up from $0.02.
Foot Locker Inc. (NYSE: FL) boosted its dividend 20% to $0.22 a share for a 2.2% yield.
Genuine Parts Co. (NYSE: GPC) raised its payout 7% to $0.57 a share for a yield of 2.64%.
Host Hotels & Resorts Inc. (NYSE: HST) hiked its dividend a penny to $0.14 a share for a 2.66% yield.
InterContinental Hotels Group PLC (NYSE: IHG) increased its payout 104.3% to $0.47 a share for a 2.18% yield.
ITT Corp. (NYSE: ITT) upped its dividend a penny to $0.11 a share for a yield approaching 1%.
Lorillard Inc. (NYSE: LO) boosted its payout 11.8% to $0.61 a share, good for a 4.58% yield.
Macquarie Infrastructure Co. LLC (NYSE: MIC) moved its dividend up 4.3% to $0.91 a share for a 6.57% yield.
North Western Corp. (NYSE: NWE) increased its payout $0.02 to $0.40 a share for a yield of 3.27%.
PS Business Parks (NYSE: PSB) upped its dividend 13.6% to $0.50 a share for a 2.4% yield.
Public Service Enterprise Group Inc. (NYSE: PEG) boosted its dividend a penny to $0.37 a share for a yield of 4.05%.
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Regal Entertainment Group (NYSE: RGC) raised its dividend 4.8% to $0.22 a share for a 4.67% yield.
Reliance Steel & Aluminum (NYSE: RS) increased its payout $0.02 to $0.35 a share for a 2% yield.
Sherwin Williams Co. (NYSE: SHW) hiked its dividend a nickel to $0.55 a share for a 1.14% yield.
Starwood Hotels (NYSE: HOT) raised its dividend 3.7% to $0.33 a share for a yield of 1.7%.
T. Rowe Price Group Inc. (Nasdaq: TROW) tweaked its payout 15.8% to $0.44 a share for a 2.2% yield.
Tootsie Roll Industries Inc. (NYSE: TR) increased its dividend 3% to $0.08 a share for a 1.08% yield.
Vulcan Materials Co. (NYSE: VMC) hiked its payout 400% to $0.05 a share.
Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) raised its dividend a penny to $0.48 a share for a yield of 2.68%. The world's No. 1 retailer has bettered its payout every year since its first distribution in 1973.
Waste Management Inc. (NYSE: WM) increased its dividend a penny to $0.37 a share, good for a 3.6% yield. The nation's largest trash collector and recycler began boosting its payout a decade ago when its distribution was just one cent.
Xcel Energy Inc. (NYSE: XEL) upped its dividend 7% to $0.30 a share for a 4% yield.
Yamana Gold Inc. (NYSE: AUY) grew its dividend by 6.4% to $0.06 a share for yield of 1.44%.
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