One High Yielding, Hot Dividend Stock: Ameren (AEE)

Ameren Corp. (NYSE: AEE), a utility holding company, last Friday announced that its board of directors approved a 3.9% increase in regular quarterly cash dividend.

Ameren will now pay a dividend of $0.40 per share. Ameren joined a growing list of companies returning cash to shareholders. With the dividend raise, Ameren now has a dividend yield of 5.03%.

Thomas R. Voss, president and CEO of Ameren, attributed the increase in dividend to the steps taken by the company over the last few years to boost its financial performance and position.

Ameren released its most recent quarterly (Q2) results back in August. The company reported second-quarter net income of $138 million, or $0.57 per share, compared with net income of $152 million, or $0.64 per share reported for the same period in the previous year. Excluding one-time items, the company reported net income of $143 million, or $0.59 per share, compared with $173 million, or $0.73 per share reported for the same period in the previous year.

Since the release of second-quarter financial results over two months, Ameren shares gained 7.25%, compared with a decline of 3.35% for the S&P 500. Year-to-date, the stock gained 9.08%, once again outperforming the S&P 500.

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