|By Marketwire .||
|September 25, 2012 08:20 AM EDT||
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwire) -- 09/25/12 -- According to Howard Silverblatt, senior index analyst at Standard and Poor's, 2012 has turned out to be the most "dividend-friendly" markets in years. Currently 403 out of the 500 companies in the S&P Index are paying dividends, the highest in nearly thirteen years. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the S&P 500 Index and provides equity research on McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) and Yum! Brands, Inc. (NYSE: YUM).
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This past August set a record with $34 billion in cash payments according to Silverblatt. There have been approximately 250 dividend increases so far in 2012, ahead of last year's 242 during the first nine months. The current pace is the best since at least 2203 data from Silverblatt has shown. The average dividend yield for the S&P 500 has increased from 1.9 percent in 2010 to 2.2 percent in 2012.
"Given underlying fundamentals, low payouts and cash reserves, 2012 should set a record high for cash dividend payments, 16% above that of 2011," said Silverblatt in a note.
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McDonald's Board of Directors recently announced declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.77 per share, a 10 percent increase over the prior quarter. McDonald's CEO Don Thompson said, "Today's announced dividend increase brings our 2012 expected total cash return to shareholders to at least $5.5 billion through dividends and share repurchases."
Yum! Brands are the world's largest restaurant company in terms of system restaurants with nearly 38,000 restaurants in more than 120 countries and territories. The company had revenues of more than $12 billion in 2011. The company's Board of Directors recently raised their quarterly dividend from 28.5 cents per share to 33.5 cents per share, an increase of 18 percent.
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