A person's character is determined by how they behave when no one else is looking and during difficult times. In much the same way, we can learn a lot about a company's management when they face adversity. One metric I look at closely during a downturn is cash generation relative to earnings. The ability of a company to grow its dividend throughout the economic cycle is highly dependent on the management's ability to generate cash in a downturn.
Below are several select companies with a management confident enough to increase their cash dividends:
Calamos Asset Management, Inc. (CLMS) is a globally diversified investment firm offering equity, convertible, defensive equity, fixed- income and alternative investment strategies, among others. February 3rd the company increased its quarterly dividend 27% to $0.095/share. The dividend is payable on March 4, 2011 to shareholders of record on February 18, 2011. The yield based on the new payout is 2.3%.
Aetna (AET) is one of the nation's leading diversified health care benefits companies, serving approximately 35.4 million people. February 4th the company raised its quarterly dividend to $0.15/share, up from an annual dividend of $0.04/share. The dividend is payable on April 29, 2011 to all shareholders of record as of the close of business on April 14, 2011. The yield based on the new payout is 1.6%.
Temple-Inland Inc. (TIN) is a manufacturing company focused on corrugated packaging and building products. February 4th the company increased its quarterly dividend 18% to $0.13/share, payable March 15, 2011, to shareholders of record March 1, 2011. The yield based on the new payout is 2.2%.
Bemis Company, Inc. (BMS) is a major supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials used by leading food, consumer products, healthcare, and other companies worldwide. February 4th the company raised its quarterly dividend 4.3% to $0.24/share. The dividend is payable on March 1, 2011, to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 15, 2011. This marks the 28th consecutive year that the Company has increased its dividend payment. The yield based on the new payout is 2.9%.
Avista Corp. (AVA) is an energy company involved in the production, transmission and distribution of energy as well as other energy-related businesses. February 4th the company increased its quarterly dividend to $0.275/share. The common stock dividend is payable March 15, 2011, to shareholders of record at the close of business on Feb. 18, 2011. The yield based on the new payout is 4.7%.
Jack Henry & Associates, Inc. (JKHY) is a leading provider of computer systems and electronic payment solutions primarily for financial services organizations. February 4th the company increased its quarterly dividend 11% to $0.105/share.