Driller Helmerich & Payne Sharply Lifts Dividend


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Some companies will slowly bump up their dividends from time to time;Helmerich & Payne ( HP ) is not one of them.

On Wednesday, the company more than tripled its quarterly dividend to 50 cents from 15 cents a share for its fiscal Q3 ending June 30. Helmerich & Payne will pay the dividend Aug. 30 to shareholders of record Aug. 15.

"We are pleased to be in position to deliver a meaningful level of yield to our shareholders while retaining a strong ability to continue to pursue growth opportunities," said Chairman and CEO Hans Helmerich in a press release.

Helmerich & Payne had already sharply increased its dividend for its fiscal first quarter. The firm has hiked its dividend each year for more than 40 years.

At the new rate, Helmerich & Payne pays $2 a share each year, giving it a yield of about 3.2%. It has one of the highest yields among the 10 dividend-paying stocks in the Oil & Gas-Drilling group.

Helmerich & Payne drills oil and gas wells for oil and gas exploration companies in the U.S. and abroad. Weather, oil and gas prices, the economy and foreign country risks can impact its bottom line.

In 2009, earnings fell due to contract terminations stemming from lower commodity prices and tough credit conditions. Profit was also down in 2010, hurt by losses from discontinued operations in Venezuela. The Venezuelan government seized its rigs and other property. The declines weigh on its Earnings Per Share Rating, which is 75.

Helmerich & Payne is in a cup-with-handle base with a 66.12 buy point. The current pattern's correction of 20% is less than half of its prior base.

While the market is having a tough time this week, Helmerich & Payne is holding just above its 50-day moving average.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas

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