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Need More Income? These 4 Dividend Stocks Just Raised Their Payouts Again.

Motley Fool - Sat Sep 23, 7:05AM CDT

Inflation is driving up the cost of almost everything. That's eating into the purchasing power of your income, and that means most people need to find ways to increase their income. One strategy is to invest in companies that pay growing dividends. That rising income stream can help offset the impact of inflation by increasing your purchasing power. Here are four stocks that recently gave investors a raise.

A steadily rising payout

Microsoft(NASDAQ: MSFT) recently gave its investors a 10% raise, boosting its quarterly dividend payment by $0.07 per share to $0.75 ($3.00 annualized). That marked the tech titan's 19th straight year of dividend increases.

On the one hand, Microsoft's current dividend yield might not appeal to income-seeking investors since it's currently less than 1% even after the increase. However, Microsoft's payout is on an extremely sound financial foundation. It's one of two companies with an AAA bond rating. The technology company has a cash-rich balance sheet and generates massive amounts of free cash flow. That allows it to invest in growing its business while paying a steadily rising dividend. Microsoft has strong growth prospects, driven by its pending acquisition of video game company Activision and AI-related growth powered by its investment in OpenAI. These factors should enable Microsoft to continue increasing its dividend at a healthy rate in the coming years.

Building back better

Host Hotels & Resorts(NASDAQ: HST) recently boosted its payout by an impressive 20%, raising its dividend yield to 4.5%. That was the hospitality REIT's third increase this year as it worked to rebuild the payout after suspending it during the pandemic. It's almost back to its pre-pandemic level.

The hotel owner should be able to continue increasing its payout in the future. The company has spent the past couple of years high-grading its portfolio. It has sold $1.5 billion of hotel investments and reinvested that money into acquiring $1.9 billion of higher-quality properties with more growth potential. The company expects investments in those recently acquired properties to increase its earnings over the next few years. Meanwhile, it sees the potential to make additional acquisitions. The REIT envisions its growth strategy increasing its annual adjusted EBITDA to $2 billion in the future, up from the $1.6 billion it anticipates producing this year. That earnings growth should enable Host to continue increasing its dividend.

This high-yielding payout continues to get bigger and better

Verizon(NYSE: VZ) increased its dividend by 1.9% this month, increasing its yield to a whopping 8%. That marked the telecom giant's 17th straight year of increasing its dividend.

Verizon's dividend should continue heading higher. The company recently finished funding a $10 billion investment in additional spectrum to support its 5G network expansion. That will free up nearly $1.8 billion in cash flow each quarter, which Verizon intends to use on debt reduction to strengthen its already solid balance sheet. Meanwhile, the company's network investments should help grow its revenue and earnings. On top of that, cost savings initiatives (including interest expense savings from debt reduction) should further boost its earnings. That earnings growth should enable Verizon to continue increasing its dividend, while its rising cash flow and improving balance sheet will put its payout on an even more sustainable foundation.

Brewing another dividend increase

Starbucks(NASDAQ: SBUX) raised its dividend from $0.53 to $0.57 per share this month, a 7.5% increase. That marked the coffee retailer's 13th straight year of hiking its dividend. It has grown its payout at a 20% compound annual rate during that time. Starbucks' dividend now yields 2.4%.

Despite its already venti size, Starbucks continues to grow at a healthy clip. Same-store sales increased by 10% in its 2023 fiscal third quarter, while total revenue rose 12%. Meanwhile, earnings per share jumped 25%. The company benefits from its pricing power, which allows it to raise prices and more than pass on inflating costs to customers. It also continues to expand its menu items and grow its store count (it added 588 net new stores in the most recent quarter, growing its global total to over 37,000). The company should be able to continue growing by raising prices, launching new products, and opening additional locations. That growth should allow Starbucks to keep brewing up more dividend increases.

More dividend growth ahead

Microsoft, Host Hotels & Resorts, Verizon, and Starbucks are helping their investors offset some of the impact of inflation by raising their dividends. They should be able to continue increasing their payouts in the future. That makes them compelling options for those seeking to grow their income.

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Matthew DiLallo has positions in Host Hotels & Resorts, Starbucks, and Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Activision Blizzard, Microsoft, and Starbucks. The Motley Fool recommends Verizon Communications. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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