NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -02/23/12)- After lagging the market in the early stages of 2012, dividend paying stocks are beginning to gain momentum. The S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, comprised of companies that have raised dividends over the past 25 years or more, is up roughly four percent year-to-date. The Paragon Report examines the outlook for high yielding dividend paying companies and provides equity research on Ares Capital Corporation (NASDAQ: ARCC - News) & The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO - News). Access to the full company reports can be found at:
According to Gina Martin Adams, strategist at Wells Fargo Securities, dividends equal 27 percent of S&P 500 earnings -- the lowest levels in over 100 years. Looking ahead, dividends will be in greater demand as financial deleveraging is accompanied by slower earnings growth. "Companies may be only just beginning to catch on to the fact that investors are keenly interested in dividend-paying stocks," Martin Adams said in a report.
Dividend payouts are rising and the total dollar amount by S&P 500 companies could reach a record high this year, CNBC reports. Standard and Poor's analysts expect the dividend payout for the S&P 500 to surpass the record $247.9 billion paid out in 2008.
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Last week the Coca-Cola Co. raised its quarterly dividend by 8.5 percent, to 51 cents per share from 47 cents per share. The dividend is payable April 1 to shareholders of record March 15. Coca-Cola said it has increased its annual dividend 50 years in a row. The Coca-Cola Company manufactures, distributes, and markets nonalcoholic beverages worldwide.
Ares Capital pays an annual dividend of around $1.44 per share, for a hefty yield of around 8.8 percent. Ares Capital is a specialty finance company that is a closed-end, non-diversified management investment company. Ares Capital's investment objective is to generate both current income and capital appreciation through debt and equity investments.
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