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Watch These 5 Stocks That Recently Announced Dividend Hikes

Major U.S. indexes like the Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq have given investors a positive return of 3.8%, 14.8% and 18.1%, respectively, over the year-to-date period.

According to the Consumer Price Index (CPI) data published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, inflation for the month of May remained flat after rising 0.3% in April, though the year-over-year increase was 3.3%. However, the Wall Street expectation was a 0.1% monthly gain and a 3.4% annual increase. The downward trend in inflation was also confirmed by an unexpected fall in the Producer Price Index (PPI) over the same period. Owingto lower energy costs,PPI fell by 0.2% in comparison to 0.5% in April.

In line with Wall Street estimates, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC), in its recent meeting, has kept the benchmark interest rates unchanged in the range of 5.25-5.50%. Though inflation numbers in May have shown signs of improvement, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said that the central bank does not yet have the confidence to start lowering interest rates, and forecast one rate cut this year. Investors are worried about how long the central bank intends to continue with a higher interest rate to bring inflation down to its desired target of 2%.

The Michigan Consumer Sentiment Index (MCSI) fell further to a seven-month low in June. The overall index of consumer sentiment declined to 65.6 in June after falling to 69.1 in May as households are still worried about inflation and incomes. The GDP growth rate of 1.3% for first-quarter 2024 compared to 3.4% in fourth-quarter 2023 was the weakest since the spring of 2022. Higher interest rates make borrowing money more expensive for corporates and individuals. The challenge remains for the Fed to create a soft landing for the economy by striking the right balance between inflation and growth.

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In such a situation, prudent investors who wish to invest their money for regular income and capital preservation can remain invested or buy dividend stocks. These companies, due to their well-established businesses, pay out regular dividends and remain profitable due to their proven business models. Companies that tend to reward investors with a high dividend payout outperform non-dividend-paying stocks in a highly volatile market.

On that note, let us look at companies like National Fuel Gas Company NFG, KornFerry International KFY, Caterpillar CAT, Target TGT and Casey's General Stores CASY that have lately hiked their dividend payouts.

National Fuel Gas Company is an integrated energy company that has natural gas assets located in the prolific Appalachian basin and oil-producing assets in California. This Williamsville, NY-based company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). You can see the complete list of today's Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

On Jun 13, NFG declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of 52 cents a share on Jul 15, 2024. NFG has a dividend yield of 3.6%.

Over the past five years, NFG has increased its dividend six times, and its payout ratio presently sits at 39% of earnings. Check National Fuel Gas Company’s dividend history here.

National Fuel Gas Company Dividend Yield (TTM)

National Fuel Gas Company Dividend Yield (TTM)
National Fuel Gas Company Dividend Yield (TTM)

National Fuel Gas Company dividend-yield-ttm | National Fuel Gas Company Quote

KornFerry International is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA. This Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) company is the world's leading and largest executive recruitment firm with the broadest global presence in the executive recruitment industry.

On Jun 12, KFY declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of 37 cents a share on Jul 31, 2024. KFY has a dividend yield of 2%.

In the past five years, KFY has increased its dividend five times. Its payout ratio at present sits at 31% of earnings. Check KornFerry International’s dividend history here.

Korn/Ferry International Dividend Yield (TTM)

Korn/Ferry International Dividend Yield (TTM)
Korn/Ferry International Dividend Yield (TTM)

Korn/Ferry International dividend-yield-ttm | Korn/Ferry International Quote

Caterpillar is the largest global construction and mining equipment manufacturer. The Zacks Rank #3 company is headquartered in Irving, TX.

On Jun 12, CAT announced that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $1.41 a share on Aug 20, 2024. CAT has a dividend yield of 1.6%.

Over the past five years, CAT has increased its dividend five times. Its payout ratio now sits at 24% of earnings. Check Caterpillar's dividend history here.

Caterpillar Inc. Dividend Yield (TTM)

Caterpillar Inc. Dividend Yield (TTM)
Caterpillar Inc. Dividend Yield (TTM)

Caterpillar Inc. dividend-yield-ttm | Caterpillar Inc. Quote

Target has evolved from just being a pure brick-and-mortar retailer to an omni-channel entity. This Minneapolis, MN-based company currently carries a Zacks Rank #3.

On Jun 12, TGT declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $1.12 a share on Sep 10, 2024. TGT has a dividend yield of 3.1%.

Over the past five years, TGT has increased its dividend six times, and its payout ratio presently sits at 49% of earnings. Check Target’s dividend history here.

Target Corporation Dividend Yield (TTM)

Target Corporation Dividend Yield (TTM)
Target Corporation Dividend Yield (TTM)

Target Corporation dividend-yield-ttm | Target Corporation Quote

Casey's General Stores is headquartered in Ankeny, IA. This Zacks Rank #3 company offers a comprehensive range of products and services to meet the needs of its customers.

On Jun 11, CASY declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of 50 cents a share on Aug 15, 2024. CASY has a dividend yield of 0.5%.

In the past five years, CASY has increased its dividend six times. Its payout ratio at present sits at 13% of earnings. Check Casey’s General Store’s dividend history here.

Casey's General Stores, Inc. Dividend Yield (TTM)

Casey's General Stores, Inc. Dividend Yield (TTM)
Casey's General Stores, Inc. Dividend Yield (TTM)

Casey's General Stores, Inc. dividend-yield-ttm | Casey's General Stores, Inc. Quote

Want the latest recommendations from Zacks Investment Research? Today, you can download 7 Best Stocks for the Next 30 Days. Click to get this free report

Korn/Ferry International (KFY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Target Corporation (TGT) : Free Stock Analysis Report

National Fuel Gas Company (NFG) : Free Stock Analysis Report

Casey's General Stores, Inc. (CASY) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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