Kiplinger

5 Stocks That Should Start Paying Dividends

Investors tend to be drawn to hot technology and biotechnology stocks for their growth prospects - not for the cash they return to shareholders. But several well-known tech and biotech stocks could afford to invest in their businesses, buy back their shares and pay dividends, if only they chose to.

When it comes to returning cash to shareholders, corporate management often prefers stock buybacks to dividends because it gives them flexibility. A company can adjust its share repurchases according to business and market conditions. A dividend is a commitment. The market often exacts severe and swift revenge if a company cuts or suspends its payout.

The initiation of a dividend can also be taken as a sign that a company or stock's best days are behind it. A) performance shows that's not necessarily the case. The company reinstated its dividend in 2012 after a 17-year hiatus. Between price appreciation and payouts, Apple stock has delivered a total return of about 170% since March 2012, when it announced plans to reinstate its dividend later that year - the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is up about 130% over the same span, including dividends.

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