The biggest jump in profits in 16 years of companies listed in the Standard & Poor's 500 Index means that no company is likely to lower their dividend payouts this quarter, according to an analysis by Bloomberg News.
That would mark the first time since 2004 that no company has lowered their dividend in response to a depressed economy. At least that's the excuse most companies have used during the past few years.
Around 230 companies listed in the S&P have yet to announce their dividend levels for this year. Bloomberg projects 209 will keep the same dividend, with 23 seen to increase.
International Business Machines, the world's biggest technology services provider, on Tuesday increased its dividend by 18 percent and authorized another $8 billion of share repurchases, on top of $2 billion remaining from a previous authorization.
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