SOURCE: Research Driven Investing
NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Mar 11, 2013) - Blue chips have garnered increased attention from investors in 2013 as the Dow Jones Industrial Average have hovering near an all-time high. Last week, the Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 14253.77, topping its previous high of 14164.53, which was set in October 2007. Research Driven Investing examines investing opportunities in Blue Chips and provides equity research on AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) and Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ: MSFT).
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Dividend payments from Dow Jones Industrial Average constituents have experienced a steady rebound since falling sharply during the financial crisis. Trailing 12-month dividends per share for the 30 companies that make up the Dow was a combined $348.61 as of the end of January. The total was the highest level seen since January 2008, and just short of the all-time high of $372.46 set in May 2007, according to FactSet. Data from FactSet showed blue chips held roughly $487.9 billion in cash at the end of 2012, an increase of 70 percent when compared to the end of 2008.
"When you look at the overall dividends, yes, they're [near] all-time highs. But the ability for companies to increase dividends from here remains very strong," said Dreyfus Corp.'s Chief Investment Officer, Chris Sheldon.
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AT&T currently offers investors an annual dividend of $1.80 a share, for a dividend yield of approximately 4.9 percent. Shares of the company have gained roughly 9 percent year-to-date. AT&T announced it sold a record of over 10 million smartphones in the fourth quarter of 2012, exceeding the previous record of 9.4 million set in the fourth quarter of 2011.
Microsoft currently offers investors an annual dividend of $0.92 a share, for a dividend yield of approximately 3.29 percent. Shares of the company have gained roughly 5 percent year-to-date. Microsoft reported record revenues of $21.46 billion for the fiscal second quarter.
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