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Dividend Increases - March 21, 2009

This weeks dividend increases came form some unusual sources - A company issuing its first ever dividend and a company paying a generous special one-time dividend. Both companies had excess cash that they are looking to return to their shareholders.

Oracle (ORCL) on Wednesday it reported third-quarter EPS of $0.35/share, $0.03/share better than the analyst estimate of $0.32/share, and it declared its first ever dividend of $0.05/share. The dividend yield is 1.15%. ORCL is a leading supplier of enterprise database management systems and business applications.

On Tuesday, FortuNet (FNET) announced that shareholders will vote at its 2009 annual meeting on April 17, 2009 on a special $2.50/share cash dividend that was approved by the Board of the Company. FNET is a manufacturer of multi-game and multi-player server-based gaming platforms.

Thursday, Air Products and Chemicals Inc. (APD) announced a 2.2% increase its quarterly dividend to $0.45/share payable on May 11, 2009 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 1, 2009. The new dividend yield is 3.17%. APD is a major producer of industrial gases and specialty and intermediate chemicals also has interests in environmental and energy-related businesses.

Other than the above, it was a slow week for dividend increases. For more companies around the world with a long string of consecutive dividend increases, see my updated Stock Ideas page. There were a lot of companies crossed off last week.

Full Disclosure: No position in any of the aforementioned securities.

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