3 Stocks That Just Increased Their Dividends

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Looking for stocks with dividend growth? Look no further. Here's your latest update on interesting dividend stocks boosting their payouts.

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Recent dividend increases reveal two dividend stocks with rapid growth in their dividend payouts, and one with slower growth, but a nice dividend yield. These three stocks are Accenture (NYSE: ACN), Penske Automotive Group (NYSE: PAG), and Ameren (NYSE: AEE).

Here's what investors should know about each of these stock's dividends.

Accenture

At 1.9%, Accenture has the lowest dividend yield of these three stocks. But its dividend is growing the quickest. The information technology company recently increased its semi-annual dividend by 10%, the same rate Accenture increased it by last year.

Accenture's strong dividend growth recently has been enabled by profitable growth in its just-ended full-year fiscal 2017. During the period, revenue and adjusted earnings per share increased 7% and 11%, respectively.

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Accenture's dividend will likely continue to see nice growth, as the company is currently only paying out 37% of its earnings in dividends. In addition, the company provided strong guidance for fiscal 2018.

Penske Automotive

Penske Automotive's recent announcement of its $0.33 quarterly dividend only represents a 3% increase compared to its previous quarterly dividend. But there's more to the story for this transportation services company. Penske doesn't follow the typical practice of increasing its quarterly dividend once per year. Instead, it increases its dividend every quarter -- for the past 26 quarters in a row, to be exact. For investors to grasp the extent of Penske's dividend growth, they need to view its quarterly dividends on a year-over-year basis.

Compared to the quarterly dividend Penske declared last October, its $0.33 dividend is up a strong 14% -- not far off from the 16% year-over-year increase in its dividend last October. The yield currently sits at 2.9%.

Penske's dividend growth should continue. Not only does the company have a low payout ratio of just 27.5%, but earnings per share are increasing robustly. EPS from continuing operations in its most recently reported quarter was up 10.8% year over year, and the EPS was Penske's highest ever.

Ameren Corporation

Ameren has the slowest-growing dividend of these three stocks -- not surprising for a public utility company. Its most recent dividend hike of 4% encapsulates the stable but slow dividend growth the stock offers investors. Indeed, this dividend increase is close to the 3.5% rise in its dividend at the same time last year.

Helping offset Ameren's slow dividend growth, the company has a solid dividend yield of 2.9% -- handily above the S&P 500's average dividend yield of 2%.

While Ameren's payout ratio of 61% is low enough for the company to continue increasing its dividend, investors shouldn't count on a dividend increase every year. The company has paused dividend growth in the past, and it could easily do so again if earnings take a hit.

As Ameren said in its most recent dividend increase announcement: "Future dividend decisions will be driven by earnings growth, cash flows and other business conditions."

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Daniel Sparks has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Accenture and Penske Automotive Group. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.