Dividend.com analyzes the search patterns of our visitors each week. By sharing these trends with our readers, we hope to provide insights into what the financial world is concerned about and how to position your portfolio.
Oil and gas producer Ovintiv has taken the first position in the list this week after the company raised its dividend by 25%. Second in the list is another energy company, Civitas Resources, which announced the highest variable dividend since it started paying dividends at the end of 2021. Community Bank NBT Bancorp is third in the list as the bank kept its dividend intact. The list is closed by Waste Connections, which reported strong results in the first quarter of 2022.
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Energy company Ovintiv (OVV) has taken the first position in the list with an advance in viewership of 3,500%. Ovintiv has reported downbeat results in the first quarter of 2022, but increased its dividend by 25%.
The company’s capital expenditures rose to $451 million in the first three months of the year from $350 million in the same period last year. Meanwhile, total production of oil and natural gas and natural gas condensates declined from 538 million barrels of oil equivalent to nearly 500 million. The company’s cash flow increased by around $150 million to $1.05 billion thanks to higher prices for both oil and gas.
This has allowed the company to increase its dividend to an annualized $1 per share, resulting in a yield of 2.2%. The yield is lower than the energy average of 4.2%. The company also announced a plan to double its shareholder returns from 25% of non-GAAP free cash flow after the base dividend starting in October 2022. In the first quarter, Ovintiv bought back $123 million of its own shares and plans to increase payouts in the second quarter.
Ovintiv’s stock has plunged 16% over the past 30 days, but remains up 29% since the start of the year, largely due to higher oil prices.
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Civitas Resources (CIVI) is second in the list with an advance in traffic of 1,200%. Civitas, a Denver, Colorado-based natural gas company, has reported exceptionally good results and announced the highest variable dividend in its history.
Civitas’ production of crude oil and natural gas shot up from 20,850 barrels of crude oil equivalent in the first three months of 2021 to 159,000 in the first quarter of this year. Revenues increased from $74 million to $817 million. The company also switched to a profit of $91.6 million from a loss of $119 million in the same period last year.
Civitas was created in late 2021 after a three-way merger between Bonanza Creek Energy, Extraction Oil & Gas, and Crestone Peak Resources.
Thanks to the strong results, the company will pay a dividend of $1.36 per share, a combination of a variable dividend of $0.90 per share and a base fixed dividend of $0.46 per share. The dividend will be payable on June 29 to shareholders of record on June 15.
Shares in Civitas are up 21% since the start of the year.
NBT Bancorp (NBT) is placed third in the list this fortnight, seeing an increase in viewership of 1,100%. The Norwich, New York-based community bank reported a net income of $39.1 million in the three months ended March 31, down from $39.8 million during the same period last year.
The disappointing results were primarily due to a drop in net interest income from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), a government scheme allowing small companies that suffered from the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns to apply for financial relief. Excluding the impact of the PPP, net income actually increased.
NBT shares have declined more than 8% year-to-date. The bank announced its regular quarterly dividend of $0.28 per share on May 17. The dividend will be paid on June 15 to shareholders of record on June 1. The dividend yields 3.12%, roughly in line with the financials sector average of 3.18%.
Waste Connections (WCN) has taken the last spot in the list, seeing its traffic increase by 1,000%.
The waste collection, transfer, and disposal company has reported a set of strong results in the first quarter, with higher prices for its services driving margin expansion. Revenues in the quarter jumped from $1.39 billion to $1.64 billion, while net income increased to $180 million from $160 million. The strong results were largely due to a 7.1% increase in pricing.
Waste Connections will pay its regular dividend on June 1 to shareholders of record on May 18. The company typically reviews its dividend every October. It has hiked its dividend in each of the past 11 years.
The Bottom Line
Energy company Ovintiv has raised its dividend despite weak financial results. Another energy firm Civitas paid the highest variable dividend since it was founded in a three-way merger in 2021, thanks to exceptionally good results. NBT Bancorp has seen net income fall due to a drop in net interest income from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Finally, Waste Connections has reported an expansion of its revenues and net income thanks to growth in pricing.
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