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Hasbro, Westar Added To Nasdaq Dividend Index
By: Investor's Business Daily
The Nasdaq OMX Group recently announced changes to its Nasdaq Dividend Achievers Indexes.
Hasbro ( HAS ), a mainstay in the Dividend Leaders screen to the left, andWestar Energy ( WR ), also a mainstay in the Utility Leaders screen, are new additions to the Nasdaq U.S. Dividend Achievers 50 Index.
Hasbro, with a market capitalization just north of $7 billion, is the No. 2 toy and game maker behindMattel ( MAT ), but Hasbro has been making inroads in the girl-toy market, an area long dominated by Mattel with its Barbie and American Girl dolls.
Hasbro reported lukewarm Q4 results on Feb. 10. Investors didn't mind, though, as the stock soared 4.5% in heavy volume on the results. Earnings and sales missed estimates, but Wall Street was encouraged by news that girl-toy sales rose for the sixth straight quarter, up 19% to $348.8 million. In 2013, sales at its girls division rose 26%, topping $1 billion for the first time, helped by a revived My Little Pony brand.
Hasbro also forecast strong emerging markets growth this year and raised its quarterly dividend 8% to 43 cents a share, giving it a yield of 3.1%.
Westar Energy has a simple business. It distributes electricity in Kansas. Electricity providers like Westar have been rising lately after Warren Buffett signaled in a recent letter to shareholders thatBerkshire Hathaway 's (BRKA) MidAmerican Energy Holdings is keen on another "major" acquisition after paying more than $5 billion last year for Nevada utility NV Energy.
Earnings and sales growth has been choppy in recent quarters at Westar. Fourth-quarter profit fell 11% from a year ago, but sales growth accelerated nicely from the third quarter, rising 7% to $559.9 million.
Westar pays a quarterly dividend of 35 cents a share, giving it a yield of 4%.