Industrial goods manufacturer IDEX Corporation (IEX) recently announced a 21.7% year-over-year hike in its dividend payout to 28 cents or $1.12 per share on an annualized basis. The increased cash dividend is payable on April 30 to shareholders of record as of April 21.
Based on the closing price of $71.07 on Apr 8, 2014, the proposed dividend affirms a yield of 1.6% and marks the 78th consecutive quarterly cash dividend payment by the company. A steady dividend payout is part of the long-term strategy of IDEX to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders. In addition, decent dividend increases at periodic intervals have been one of the company’s most attractive features.
IDEX had earlier raised the quarterly dividend payout from 20 cents to 23 cents per share or from 80 cents to 92 cents on an annualized basis in April 2013. Prior to that, IDEX raised its quarterly dividend in April 2012 from 17 cents to 20 cents per share or from 68 cents to 80 cents on an annualized basis. IDEX had also raised its quarterly dividend in April 2011 from 15 cents to 17 cents per share and in April 2010 from 12 cents to 15 cents per share.
The recent dividend hike comes on the heels of strong quarterly and annual results, with adjusted earnings well above the Zacks Consensus Estimate. The superior performance was primarily attributable to high productivity and stringent cost-cutting measures. IDEX also has a share repurchase program in place, under which it repurchased 2.9 million shares for $166 million in 2013. Over the years, IDEX has consistently returned significant cash to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
IDEX manufactures a wide array of pumps, flow meters and other fluidics systems and components and engineered products for customers in different markets around the world. The company is a world leader in fluid-handling technologies for positive displacement pumps, dispensing equipment for color formulation, and other highly engineered products, including fire suppression equipment, rescue tools, and stainless steel custom banding.
IDEX presently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other companies in the industry with a comparable rank include Altra Holdings, Inc. (AIMC), Dover Corporation (DOV) and Illinois Tool Works Inc. (ITW).