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Trending: Oil Shipping Company Frontline Raises Dividend After Solid Results 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 shipping company Frontline took the first spot in the list as the firm raised its dividend following the publication of strong results. Annaly Capital Management has taken the second spot as the mortgage real estate investment trust declared an unchanged dividend payout. Third spot is taken by Walgreens Boots Alliance, which pays a high dividend but its stock has been crashing. Last in the list is tech giant Microsoft, which has gained some support in its fight with the FTC over the closing of blockbuster deal Activision.

Don’t forget to read our previous edition of trends here.

Frontline Reports Strong Results and Hikes Payout

Oil shipping company Frontline (FRO) has taken the first position in the list with an advance in viewership of 120%. Frontline has been trending after it released solid financial results for the second quarter, which allowed it to increase its dividend by 10 cents per share to 80 cents. This is the company’s highest dividend ever.

Second quarter profit came in at $230 million, or $1.04 per share, while revenues were also high at $512 million. The good results came despite OPEC cutting supply in a bid to support oil prices. The company said demand for oil remained strong and was higher than similar periods in previous years. For the third quarter, however, the company expects lower prices for shipping, which is likely to impact the results.

Frontline shares have traded sideways this year, and are up about 210% for the past five years. The dividend currently yields a handsome 16%, as the company trades at a price-to-earnings ratio of just 4.5. As with any bulk shipping company, the discount is warranted, as Frontline’s business depends on the macroeconomy. A global slowdown will hit shipping prices.



Annaly Capital Declares Dividend

Annaly Capital (NLY) has taken the second spot in the list with a rise in viewership of 33%. Annaly, a mortgage real estate investment trust, has declared its regular quarterly dividend of 65 cents per share, unchanged from the previous quarter but down about 30% from 2022.

Annaly has suffered from higher interest rates as the value of its held mortgages has fallen in value following the Federal Reserve’s interest rate hikes. The stock is down about 6% so far this year and about 16% over the past 12 months. Annaly’s dividend yields more than 12%. Going forward, Annaly may benefit from the Federal Reserve’s expected pause in monetary policy tightening, as the REIT’s book value could expand, which combined with the dividend yield could lead to strong returns.



Walgreens Boots Alliance Falls After CEO Exit

Walgreens Boots Alliance (WBA) has taken the third place in the list, seeing a modest increase in viewership of 8%. Walgreens Boots shares have fallen about 15% in the past month, as CEO Rosalind Brewer stepped down from the role. The company appointed current director Ginger Graham as interim CEO while it seeks a permanent replacement.

Walgreens Boots has been struggling with falling sales for years, as consumers increasingly prefer to order online. Cost cutting measures by Brewer have yet to deliver benefits. The drop in the stock price has further increased the dividend yield to close to 9%. Buying Walgreens stock would mean a bet on a turnaround implemented by the new CEO, who has yet to be named. But the company’s high debt, falling sales, and rising competition might be hard to reverse.



Microsoft Sees Supporters in its Fight for Activision Deal

Microsoft (MSFT) has placed last this fortnight with an increase in readership of 7%. Microsoft has been fighting with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) over its $68.7 billion deal to acquire gaming company Activision. The FTC has sued to block the deal, arguing it would hurt competition in the gaming market. Activision’s hit game Call of Duty could only be made available on Microsoft’s Xbox console, which will hurt console makers like Nintendo and Sony.

A few days ago, Microsoft gained support for its deal from parties including game developers, economists, government employees, and labor unions. Microsoft is also working on securing approval for the deal in the U.K. by presenting a few proposals to soothe the country’s competition regulators.

Microsoft’s dividend yields less than 1%, but the company has rewarded shareholders with strong stock price performance.


The Bottom Line

Frontline has increased its dividend to a record after reporting strong results. Annaly Capital has suffered from higher interest rates but the end of the Fed’s tightening cycle might bear good news. Walgreens Boots Alliance CEO has resigned, triggering a fall in the stock price and a rise in the dividend yield. Finally, Microsoft has been fighting with government antitrust regulators to complete the buyout of gaming company Activision.

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