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Snap-on Inc. (SNA - Analyst Report), a leading industrial goods manufacturer recently announced a 15.8% quarterly dividend increase, from 38 cents a share to 44 cents per share.

Snap-on has a consistent track record of not only paying quarterly dividends but also increasing the same every year, since 1985. The latest hike brings the forward annual dividend yield, as of Nov 8 2013, to 1.68%. The increased quarterly dividend will be paid on Dec 10, 2013, to stockholders of record as of Nov 22.

The company’s commitment toward increasing shareholder return reflects its free cash flow generating capability, sound liquidity position and defined future prospects. Exiting the quarter, Snap-on’s cash and cash equivalents were $182.5 million compared with $176.1 million in the prior-year quarter, whereas the company’s long-term debt has reduced to $861.1 million as on Sep 28, 2013 compared to $970.4 million on Dec 29, 2012.

Snap-on’s performance is being primarily driven by its ongoing strategic investments to strengthen its mobile tool distribution network, proliferation in the vehicle repair garage, expansion of critical industries and expansion in the emerging markets. Its recent acquisition of Challenger Lifts, Inc and increased sales in Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) business are also aiding the growth momentum. The company is witnessing an economic recovery in its end markets and is focused on deriving benefits from the emerging markets.

Snap-on currently has a Zacks Ranks #2 (Buy). Some other stocks operating in the same industry which are also worth a look at the moment are Emerge Energy Services LP (EMES - Snapshot Report), which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy),  and Core Laboratories NV (CLB - Analyst Report) and Baker Hughes Inc. (BHI - Analyst Report) both having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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