4 Dividend Stocks Showing You the Money

Dividend checks continue to get fatter in Corporate America, as more companies jack up their distribution rates.

Readers of the Income Investor newsletter can certainly appreciate that kind of thinking. Let's take a closer look at some of the companies that inched their payouts higher this past week.

Let's start with Yum! Brands (NYS: YUM) . The fast food behemoth behind KFC, Pizza Hut, and Taco Bell is increasing its quarterly dividend by 14% to $0.285 a share. Yum! Brands has come through with annual hikes since initiating a distribution policy in 2004, and every boost has been a double-digit move on a percentage basis.

Philip Morris International (NYS: PM) is also puffing higher. The cigarette giant's operations abroad are holding up well enough to light up its yield by 20%. Philip Morris will now be paying shareowners $0.77 a share every three months.

Cracker Barrel Old Country Store (NAS: CBRL) can feel the activist heat in its kitchen, so it's ramping up its efforts to return more money to its investors. The casual dining chain with attached rustic gift shops is juicing up its quarterly rate by 14% to $0.25 a share. It is also whipping up a $65 million share buyback plan. The company has come under critical attack by Biglari Holdings (NYS: BH) , which is seeking to shake things up at Cracker Barrel after amassing a nearly 10% stake in the chain.

Kroger (NYS: KR) is also coming through with the one-two punch of a stock repurchase plan and a yield hike. The country's largest traditional grocery retailer is boosting its quarterly disbursements 10% to $0.115 a share. Kroger also committed to a $1 billion stock buyback, replacing the $213 million in repurchases it still had pending under a previous authorization.

These companies are joined by Portland-based banker Umpqua Holdings (NAS: UMPQ) and chip giant Texas Instruments (NYS: TXN) in jacking up their distributions.

Subscribers to the Income Investor newsletter can appreciate the companies sending more and more money to their investors. The newsletter singles out companies that are committed to growing their distributions with market-thumping results.

Want to see what is being recommended these days? Go ahead and give the newsletter service a shot with a 30-day trial subscription. Who knows? Maybe the next thing that will get hiked will be your interest.

If you want to track these stocks to see if and when they hike their payout again:

At the time thisarticle was published The Motley Fool owns shares of Biglari Holdings, Texas Instruments, Yum! Brands, and Philip Morris International.Motley Fool newsletter serviceshave recommended buying shares of Yum! Brands and Philip Morris International. Try any of our Foolish newsletter servicesfree for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe thatconsidering a diverse range of insightsmakes us better investors. The Motley Fool has adisclosure policy.Longtime Fool contributorRick Munarrizcalls them as he sees them. He does not own shares in any of the stocks in this story. Rick is also part of theRule Breakersnewsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.

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