Posted by: Howard Silverblatt on July 1, 2010
The rebirth of dividends in the U.S. domestic market which started in the first quarter of this year has continued in the second quarter, with more issues increasing their cash dividends, but more dramatically, the downslide in decreases has stopped. The hole in investor’s pockets has been closed, but filling it back up again will take years. For the second quarter of 2010 only 34 U.S. common listed issues decreased their dividend rate verses 250 issues that did so in the second quarter of 2009, and increases picked up 43.8% for the period to 335 issues from 233 issues last year. Overall, indicated dividend rates went up $7.0 billion for Q2,’10 verses a $4.9 billion reductions in Q2,’09. The first half of 2010 posted a $13.4 billion increase in dividend rates compared to the $48.6 billion decline in the first half of 2009 - a $62 billion turnaround. But before you go out and celebrate realize that we have just started to come back from the worst dividend period in history. While some companies have increased, it will take years just to get back to where we were in 2008. Specifically I believe it will be 2013, and that is if the economy improves, if not,.. So the bottom line is yes we are headed in the right direction, but the ‘road is lonely, dark and deep’ and many dividend investors need the money now. One other note, the BP suspension, which two months ago would not even have been thought of, has rightfully unnerved dividend investors. They now need to more closely examine potential liability issues. In addition to environmental issues, they need to add medical and consumer products, plant and working conditions, and services to the list of concerns.
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