Investors may be uncertain these days, taking refuge in safe-havens and volatility hedging exchange traded funds (ETFs). But corporate America doesn’t seem so concerned, and several big companies are hiking their dividends.
Corporate America is giving investors reason to cheer. On Wednesday, three major U.S. companies- Caterpillar (NYSE: CAT), Target (NYSE: TGT) and Viacom (NYSE: VIA)- all raised their dividends, according to the Associated Press.
Caterpillar raised its quarterly dividend 5% to 44 cents per share; Target raised its dividend 45% to 25 cents per share; and Viacom is distributing its first-ever dividend of 15 cents per share.
Caterpillar is widely considered a bellwether for the global economy since its equipment is heavily used worldwide. [ETFs To Play The Dividend Uptick.]
Other companies that recently raised their dividends include liquor company Brown-Forman (NYSE: BF.B), engineering and construction company KBR (NYSE: KBR), agribusiness company Bunge (NYSE: BG), and medical devices company CR Bard (NYSE: BCR).
Year to date, 135 companies have raised, initiated or reinstated their dividends, resulting in a $10.4 billion increase in payouts this year. Last year, the net payout dropped by $39.8 billion.