SOURCE: Paragon Financial Limited

Paragon Financial Limited

April 30, 2012 08:20 ET

Investors Flock to Dividend Stocks -- Companies on Pace to Pay Out a Record Amount in Dividends

Five Star Equities Provides Stock Research on Altria Group and The Coca-Cola Company

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - Apr 30, 2012) - In 2012, S&P 500 companies are on pace to pay out a record amount in dividends. Dividends have always been a large source of returns in the markets and with the appalling interest rates being providing by the bank, investors have been looking to dividend paying stocks for investment income. "Given underlying fundamentals, low payouts and cash reserves, 2012 should set a record high for cash dividend payments," Howard Silverblatt, S&P's senior index analyst, said in a recent email. The Paragon Report examines investing opportunities on dividend paying stocks and provides equity research on Altria Group, Inc. (NYSE: MO) and The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO).

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The amount of S&P's 500 Index companies paying dividends has climbed to the largest number in over a decade. According to data compiled by Silverblatt the total amount of dividend payers have climbed to 401, and estimates total payouts in 2012 to be a record of $279 billion. The previous record was in 2008 when 372 S&P 500 companies distributed $248 billion in cash to shareholders. The Nasdaq OMX group, operators of the second largest stock exchange in the U.S., recently announced its first quarterly dividend of $.13 (2 percent yield).

"The pressure to introduce and increase dividends could get intense," said Joshua Peters, an equity analyst at Morningstar Inc. "Chief executives and corporate boards are going to start noticing that investors are rewarding dividend-paying stocks."

Paragon Report releases regular market updates on dividend paying stocks so investors can stay ahead of the crowd and make the best investment decisions to maximize their returns. Take a few minutes to register with us free at and get exclusive access to our numerous stock reports and industry newsletters.

Altria Group, Inc., through its subsidiaries, engages in the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, smokeless products, and wine in the United States and internationally. Altria currently offers a dividend yield of 5.1 percent. The company reported a 3.8 percent raise in first quarter profit thanks to Marlboro's increase in market share.

The Coca-Cola Company currently offers a dividend yield of 2.70 percent. The company earlier this month beat analysts' estimates on earnings and met estimates on earnings. They have proposed a 2-for-1 stock split to keep shares affordable for smaller investors. This would increase the number of authorized shares of common stock to 11.2 billion from 5.6 billion.

Paragon Report provides Market Research focused on equities that offer growth opportunities, value, and strong potential return. We strive to provide the most up-to-date market activities. We constantly create research reports and newsletters for our members. The Paragon Report has not been compensated by any of the above-mentioned companies. We act as independent research portal and are aware that all investment entails inherent risks. Please view the full disclaimer at: