Home Depot, Best Buy, Sempra Energy, and Thermo Fisher Scientific raise dividends

  • By Lawrence C. Strauss,
  • Barron's
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Amid the mounting fears about the coronavirus and its impact on the global economy, dividend increases continued to roll out last week.

First-quarter earnings for the S&P 500 (.SPX) are down 3.6% year over year so far, but that hasn’t impacted dividends, says Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P Dow Jones Indices.

“It would take a while to work back down to dividends,” he says.

Large U.S. companies that announced dividend increases last week included Home Depot (HD), Best Buy (BBY), Sempra Energy (SRE), and Thermo Fisher Scientific (TMO).

Home Depot declared a quarterly payout of $1.50 a share, up 10% from $1.36. The home-improvement retailer’s stock yields 2.8%, and it has a one-year return of about 19%.

Electronics retailer Best Buy plans to boost its quarterly dividend to 55 cents from 50 cents, a 10% hike. The stock, which yields 2.6%, has a one-year return of about 13%.

Sempra Energy, which provides gas and electricity to its customers, declared a quarterly dividend of 1.045 a share. That’s an 8% increase from 96.75 cents a share.

The stock, which has a one-year return of about 16%, yields 3.1%.

Also, Thermo Fisher Scientific plans to raise its quarterly dividend to 22 cents a share, compared with 19 cents currently, for a 16% boost.

Its products include analytical instruments used in laboratories. The stock yields 0.3%, and has returned about 12% over the past year.

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