These Stocks Just Raised Their Dividends

By Markets Fool.com

Welcome to summer! Now that the warm months are here, we're just in front of our next earnings season. This unofficially begins with the results from industrial stalwart Alcoa, which is due to unveil the details of its most recent quarter on July 8.

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Until then, we'll munch on the steady diet of dividend raises that the market has served us over the past month or so. This past week saw another bunch of increases, among them:

Skyworks Solutions
Now this is a dividend raise. This maker of semiconductors for use in various technologies has doubled its quarterly payout, from $0.13 to $0.26 per share.

That might simply be an attempt to keep the dividend yield up, as the company's stock is white-hot, rising by more than 130% over the past year.

SWKS Chart

SWKS data by YCharts.

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That's not only because of impressive growth in fundamentals (second-quarter top line was 58% higher on a year-over-year basis, to $762 million, while net profit rose an awe-inspiring 117% to $167 million). The company is also involved in not one but two high-profile technologies, providing components for Apple's iDevices and for Internet of Things connectivity.

People are going to keep buying iPhones, and they'll be stepping up to connect with IoT, so Skyworks Solutions is beautifully positioned to benefit from both. Free cash flow is many times higher than what management shells out in dividends, even with the 100% rise, so I wouldn't worry about the viability of the company's payout.

The doubled dividend will be paid on Aug. 27 to stockholders of record as of Aug. 6.

Medtronic
This medical-devices manufacturer is lifting its quarterly distribution a chunky 25% to $0.38 per share. The move isn't a shock because Medtronic is a Dividend Aristocrat, one of the market's few stocks that has enacted at least one raise every year for a minimum of 25 consecutive years.

The company is quite confident these days, judging by that hefty increase and a recent pair of acquisitions in its devices segment -- the nearly $43 billion stock-and-cash deal for Covidien and the $93 million purchase of CardioInsight Technologies.

That's a fair bit of money draining from the coffers, but Medtronic has two big things in its favor. The Covidien deal landed the company a new tax domicile, as it switched its headquarters to its new asset's home of Ireland. This should result in many millions of dollars of savings on future tax bills.

Second, Medtronic's fundamentals are sound, thanks to a nice increase in healthcare spending. Adjusted to include Covidien's results, revenue in fiscal 2015 grew a robust 19% on an annual basis, to $20 billion. Net income fell, but not drastically, to $2.7 billion for the year.

Meanwhile, the company has been covering its dividend easily with free cash flow recently, and despite those big expenditures I believe it will continue to do so -- particularly with the sort of profit it has posted lately.

MDT Free Cash Flow (Quarterly) Chart

MDT Free Cash Flow (Quarterly) data by YCharts.

Medtronic's upcoming dividend is to be paid on July 17 to shareholders of record as of June 29.

Realty Income
This real estate investment trust, which concentrates on leasing commercial spaces, just incrementally lifted its monthly payout by less than 1% to $0.19 per share.

The veteran REIT knows how to fill its spaces and make money. Occupancy is an almost unbelievable 98% (out of, get this, nearly 4,400 properties), while the company nails down its tenants with 15 to 20-year leases that typically include annual increases.

Thanks to what it terms an "active flow of investment opportunities," the REIT has done a good job lifting its results lately. Revenue climbed 11% on a year-over-year basis to $247 million in the first quarter, while funds from operations (the yardstick profitability measure for REITs) advanced by 14% to $153 million.

The company's said it should end 2015 on the high end of its $700 million to $1 billion acquisitions guidance; that would add plenty of stock from which to draw even more of those steady and reliable rent payments.

Cash should continue to flow, and due to Realty Income's business model I don't think the Federal Reserve's anticipated upcoming rate hike will affect this company much, as some fear for the broader REIT sector. I'd say its dividend is quite safe at the current level, and would anticipate at least a few more hikes in the future.

O Dividend Chart

O Dividend data by YCharts.

Realty Income's next dividend is to be dispensed on July 15 to holders of record as of July 1.

The article These Stocks Just Raised Their Dividends originally appeared on Fool.com.

Eric Volkman has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple, and owns shares of Apple and Skyworks Solutions. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.