NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire -04/26/12)- With the low interest rates provided by the banks, investors have been turning to dividend-paying stocks as a source of investment income. Dividend investing has become increasingly popular among investors, and the resulting demand is driving up stock prices. In 2011, dividend stocks crushed the 2.1% gain for the S&P 500 Index, gaining an average of 8.3%. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for Dividend paying stocks and provides equity research on 3M Company (MMM - News) and Colgate-Palmolive Company (CL - News).
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Howard Silverblatt, S&P's senior index analyst, recently stated that the Standard & Poor's 500 Index companies have never paid more dividends than now. In 2012, S&P 500 companies are on pace to pay out a record amount in dividends -- $277 million or about $29.02 per index share.
"The pressure to introduce and increase dividends could get intense," said Joshua Peters, an equity analyst at Morningstar Inc. "Chief executives and corporate boards are going to start noticing that investors are rewarding dividend-paying stocks."
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3M recently reported record first-quarter sales of $7.5 billion, up 2.4 percent year-on-year. Earnings were $1.59 per share, an increase of 6.7 percent versus the first quarter of 2011, and operating margins for the quarter were 21.8 percent.
Reflecting the Company's positive outlook, the Board of Directors of Colgate-Palmolive increased the ongoing quarterly common stock cash dividend by 7%. The increase will be effective as of the second quarter, 2012. The new rate of $0.62 per share is up from $0.58. The Board declared that the second quarter dividend is to be paid on May 15, 2012 to shareholders of record as of April 24, 2012.
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