Royal Philips Electronics NV and SAP AG are among at least 10 companies in the Stoxx Europe 600 Index that may boost their dividends next week, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
Philips, the world’s biggest lighting company, may boost its annual payout to 74 euro cents a share from 70 cents, according to Bloomberg estimates that factor in earnings and options prices. SAP’s will likely rise to 58 cents from 50 cents, the data show.
Companies in the Stoxx 600 may boost dividends by 11 percent in the next fiscal year, according to estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Operating profit margins in the index have risen to 18.2 percent of revenue in the past twelve months, up from 16.5 percent a year earlier, the data show.
“The trend with all the cash available will be to spend it on lowering debt ratios, second to look at other cheap companies, and third to raise dividends,” said Vienna-based Herbert Perus, who as head of equities at Raiffeisen Capital Management helps oversee about $36 billion. “That is a trend that will go on the whole year.”
Raiffeisen’s TopDividende-Aktien fund, which invests in businesses with the highest dividends in Europe, is up 2.2 percent in 2011 after rising for the past two years, according to Bloomberg data.
Philips, based in Amsterdam, is due to announce its dividend when it reports earnings on Jan. 24. Ericsson AB, the world’s largest maker of wireless networks, may say the following day that its annual payment will rise to 2.2 kronor a share from 2 kronor, Bloomberg estimates show. Walldorf, Germany-based SAP follows Ericsson’s results the day after that.
Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest maker of mobile phones, may on Jan. 27 say it will pay a dividend of 40 cents per share for the third year in a row. The company, which has lost market share to rivals including Apple Inc., paid a dividend of 53 cents in 2008 before cutting it to 40 cents for 2009 and 2010.
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