The following is an excerpt from Jack Hough | March 20, 2012 | Smartmoney.com |
The dollar amount of dividend payments underlying the S&P 500-stock index should increase 15% this year, according to estimates by Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at S&P.
That number might prove conservative.
It takes into account dividend boosts that have already been announced, as well as anticipated announcements from companies with a long history of raising payments. It also includes Apple’s newly announced payment, which will take effect beginning in the second half of 2012.
However, the estimate doesn’t include the possibility that other cash-stuffed technology firms will follow Apple’s (AAPL) lead and announce payments. Google holds cash and investments worth 20% of its stock market value, and is projected by Wall Street to bring in additional free cash this year worth about 6% of its stock market value. It pays no dividend and hasn’t regularly spent funds on share repurchases — an alternate means of returning cash to stockholders.
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