To think about how good Disney (DIS) is now is to remember how episodic and moribund it was before Bob Iger came in as CEO in 2005. Before Iger, Disney had long struggled to be a consistent growth company. I don't need to go into the nuts and bolts of why that didn't occur. That's all covered in the excellent book Disney War by one of my oldest and dearest friends, Jim Stewart, but suffice it to say that Disney had become, alternately, a stellar winner and an excruciatingly fabulous short, depending upon the economy and the hits and misses of the chief executive officer.

Originally, there were more hits than misses, including the brilliant merger of ABC Capital Cities in 1995 which brought with it the 80% of ESPN that is not owned by Hearst. Disney's become a lot like Procter & Gamble (PG) , with $11 billion franchises, 11 products, including Mickey and Minnie, Spiderman the Avengers and, of course, perhaps the biggest of them all, Frozen -- that generate more than $1.0 billion. The difference? PG, which built its reputation on building franchises with that kind of power, has stalled in its growth, but for Disney the hits keep coming, including the December release of Star Wars.

Source: The Street

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The Best Growth Story in Retail

Posted by D4L | Tuesday, March 03, 2015 | | 0 comments »

Costco Wholesale Corporation (NASDAQ:COST) is doing so well when it comes to growth, that they have just announced they are providing a special dividend of $5.00 a share, payable Feb. 27 to shareholders of record as of Feb. 9. That’s on top of the usual dividend of 36 cents per quarter for COST stock. Costco is the pioneer in the super-grocery store trend that has recently spread throughout the nation. Growing quicker than their competitors, COST has increased their revenue 45% since fiscal 2010 through fiscal 2014 compared to a meager 17% revenue growth for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:WMT) across the same period.

Costco Values Shareholders - COST stock is using its own cash along with debt to pay its shareholders a special dividend. Rather than sitting on their money, Costco decided to pay it back to its loyal shareholders, part of a long tradition of dividends and buybacks. COST Stock Destined for Growth - Costco’s Q1 earnings for fiscal 2015 were $1.12, which is over 15% growth compared with earnings for Q1 2014. Clearly, Costco’s growth story is still going strong. According to the American Customer Satisfaction Index, Costco is the most loved in its industry. Not only are Costco customers happy, but employees also are satisfied.

Source: InvestorPlace

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AT&T Stock is Still a Dividend Machine

Posted by D4L | Tuesday, March 03, 2015 | | 0 comments »

After digging through AT&T Inc.’s (NYSE:T) quarterly earnings report, my overall thoughts on the company were once again confirmed; share price appreciation will continue to be minimal moving forward, but AT&T stock may still deserve a spot in your portfolio simply because of its 5.7% dividend yield. The good news for AT&T stock is that earnings per share came in at a loss of 77 cents, but when adjusted for one-time items, EPS hit a positive 55 cents, beating estimates by a penny and scoring 2 cents higher than the same quarter last year.

The not-so-good news was that increased competition within the industry hurt AT&T earnings during the quarter, causing profit margins to fall from 42% to 36.7% in a year. Customer defections rose to 1.22%, up from 1.11%, and postpaid average revenue per user dropped 10.7% on a year-over-year basis. In the short term, the slow growth and minimal share price appreciation makes AT&T stock look like a poor investment. But, when you consider AT&T is an extremely safe blue-chip stock, combined with its high-yielding dividend and management’s commitment to protecting the dividend, it’s hard to see how investors can go wrong with owning AT&T stock.

Source: InvestorPlace

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General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) saw its fourth quarter earnings topple analyst’s estimates mostly driven by strong sales on high margins SUV’s as well as trucks in North America on record low fuel costs. During an interview on CNBC, Chief Financial Officer, Chuck Stevens, affirmed that the company is in the process of increasing its dividend yield by 20% from $0.30 a share to $0.36.

“Our planned increase in the dividend is very consistent with our stated objective, which is then to have a growing and sustained dividend underpinned by strong business performance. Announcing it today in conjunction with our strong 2014 performance as well as our expectation of better performance in 2015 including improved profitability in all four automotive regions is consistent with that objective,” said Mr. Stevens.

Source: Insider Monkey

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9 Stocks With A Vision Of Higher Dividends

Posted by D4L | Monday, March 02, 2015 | | 0 comments »

To succeed as a dividend growth investor you must identify and purchase stocks with sustainable dividend growth. Inertia is powerful force. Once a company has established a track record of growing its dividend over the decades and developed a shareholder base that expects higher dividends each year, it becomes increasing difficult for management to cut or fail to raise their dividend. No Board member or CEO of this type of company wants a dividend cut to occur on their watch.

Here are a few select companies that have recently followed through on their vision of providing increased cash dividends to their shareholders...

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