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4 Stocks to Watch That Recently Announced Dividend Increases

Volatility has returned to Wall Street, with all major indexes snapping their rally last week. The Dow, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq ended 0.9%, 0.5% and 1.1% lower, respectively.

Several factors have raised concerns among investors lately. Inflation remains a major issue as it climbed sharply in the first three months of the year before easing slightly in April. The consumer price index (CPI) index rose 3.4% in April from the year-ago levels and 0.3% sequentially, which was marginally lower than the consensus estimate of a rise of 0.4%.

The Federal Reserve's preferred inflation indicator, personal consumption expenditure (PCE), climbed 0.3% month over month in April. This jump was consistent with the consensus estimate and remained unchanged from March's increase.

Core PCE, which excludes the volatile costs of food and energy, increased by 0.2% month over month. This was less than the 0.3% increase in March and the consensus estimate for a repeat increase.


PCE increased 2.7% year over year, in line with March's growth and projections. Core PCE rose 2.8% year over year in April, matching March's growth and consistent with expectations.

Inflation is still sharply high compared to the Federal Reserve’s 2% target. This has raised uncertainty over the time of the first interest rate cut. The Fed said at the beginning of 2024 that it plans multiple interest rate cuts but that now appears to be a distant dream.

Also, the U.S. growth for the first quarter was downwardly revised to 1.3% from 1.6% reported earlier, which was lower than the consensus estimate of 2.2% and the fourth-quarter 2024 growth of 3.4%.

Consumer spending, which accounts for more than two-thirds of U.S. economic activity, rose just 0.2% in April, indicating a slowing economy. Given this situation, markets could remain volatile for a longer period.

Stocks in Focus

Given this situation, investors seeking steady income and capital preservation should opt for dividend stocks. These companies, known for their stable operations, pay out regular dividends and maintain profitability thanks to their reliable business models. High-dividend-paying stocks typically outperform those that don't pay dividends in volatile markets.

Four such stocks are Hancock Whitney Corporation HWC, Donaldson Company, Inc. DCI, Royal Bank of Canada RY and NetApp, Inc. NTAP.

Hancock Whitney Corporation is a bank and financial holding company. HWC operates through 182 full-service bank branches and 223 automated teller machines across the states of Mississippi, Alabama, Louisiana, Florida and Texas. Further, Hancock Whitney Corporation operates a loan production office in Nashville, TN, and trust and asset-management offices in New Jersey and New York.

On Jun 4, Hancock Whitney Corporation declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.40 a share on Jun 14, 2024. HWC has a dividend yield of 2.62%. Over the past five years, Hancock Whitney Corporation has increased its dividend two times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 24% of earnings.Check Hancock Whitney Corporation’s dividend history here.

Donaldson Company, Inc. is engaged in the manufacturing and selling of filtration systems and replacement parts across the world. Leading filtration technology, strong customer relationships, and a solid presence across diverse geographies are DCI’s three core strengths. Donaldson Company has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.

On May 31, Donaldson Company announced that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.27 a share on Jun 28, 2024. DCI has a dividend yield of 1.39%. Over the past five years, Donaldson Companyhas increased its dividend five times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 32% of earnings. Check Donaldson Company’s dividend history here.

Royal Bank of Canada provides personal and commercial banking, wealth management services, insurance, corporate and investment banking, and transaction processing services on a global basis. RY has approximately 70,000 full- and part-time employees who serve more than 15 million personal, business, public sector and institutional clients through offices in Canada, the United States and 36 other countries.

On May 30, Royal Bank of Canada declared that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $1.03 a share on Aug 23, 2024. RY has a dividend yield of 3.76%. Over the past five years, Royal Bank of Canada has increased its dividend 16 times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 48% of earnings. Check Royal Bank of Canada’s dividend history here.

NetApp, Inc. provides enterprise storage as well as data management software and hardware products and services. NTAP assists enterprises in managing multiple clouds environments, adopting next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence, Kubernetes, and contemporary databases, and navigating the complexity brought about by the quick development of data and cloud usage.

On May 30, NetApp announced that its shareholders would receive a dividend of $0.52 a share on Jul 24, 2024. NTAP has a dividend yield of 1.68%. Over the past five years, NetApphas increased its dividend three times, and its payout ratio at present sits at 39% of earnings. Check NetApp’s dividend history here.

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NetApp, Inc. (NTAP) : Free Stock Analysis Report

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