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2 Large-Cap Companies Announce Quarterly Dividends

- By Alberto Abaterusso

Two large-cap companies announced quarterly dividends on June 5.

Shares of General Dynamics Corp. (GD) rose 2.48% to $171.94 on Wednesday following the announcement of the quarterly dividend of $1.02 per share that will be paid on Aug. 9 to shareholders of record as of July 5. The ex-dividend date is scheduled for July 3. The payment is in line with the previous distribution and will be the third payment this year.


Based on the closing price on Wednesday, the quarterly payment leads to a forward dividend yield of 2.43%, beating the industry median of 1.49%. It is ranked higher than 142 out of 240 companies that operate in the aerospace and defense industry.

General Dynamics has paid dividends for 40 years. The trailing 12-month dividend per share increased, on average, 4.1% every year over the last five years.

The stock has gained 9% year to date, underperforming the S&P 500 Index by 3.3%. The closing price on Wednesday was 19.5% above the 52-week low of $143.87 and 20.8% below the 52-week high of $207.72.

The market cap is $49.7 billion, the price-earnings ratio is 15.49 versus the industry median of 24.7, the price-book ratio is 4.09 versus the industry median of 2.22 and the price-sales ratio is 1.34 versus the industry median of 1.43.

The Peter Lynch chart suggests the stock is not cheap.

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Wall Street issued an overweight recommendation rating for shares of General Dynamics with an average target price of $200.67, reflecting 16.7% upside from the closing price on Wednesday. The overweight recommendation rating means that the stock is expected to outperform either the industry or the overall market within 12 months.

Shares of UnitedHealth Group Inc. (UNH) were up 0.38% to $242.77 at close on Wednesday after the company announced it will pay a quarterly dividend of $1.08 per share on June 25 to its shareholders of record as of June 17. The ex-dividend date is scheduled for June 14. The payment, which will be the second so far this year, represents a 20% increase year over year.

Based on the closing price on Wednesday, the Minnetonka, Minnesota-based health care plans company has a forward dividend yield of 1.5% versus the industry median of 1.33%. The forward dividend yield is ranked higher than 14 out of 28 companies that operate in the Health Care Plans industry.

UnitedHealth Group has paid dividends since September 1990. The trailing 12-month dividend per share increased 4.6% on average every year over the past five years.

The stock has fallen 3% year to date, underperforming the S&P 500 Index by 15.3%. The closing price on Wednesday was 16.7% above the 52-week low of $208.07 and 18.6% below the 52-week high of $287.94.

The stock has a market capitalization of $230.71 billion, a price-earnings ratio of 18.85 versus the industry median of 19.79, a price-book ratio of 4.58 versus the industry median of 3.42 and a price-sales ratio of 1.03 compared to the industry median of 0.73.

According to the Peter Lynch chart, the stock is not cheap.

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Wall Street issued a buy recommendation rating for shares of UnitedHealth Group with an average target price of $284.71, reflecting 17.3% upside from the closing price on Wednesday.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any securities mentioned.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.