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U.S energy holding company Energen Corp. (EGN - Snapshot Report) has recently increased its quarterly cash dividend payment by 3.6% to 14.5 cents per share, up from 14 cents per share paid in the fourth quarter of 2012. The new dividend will be paid on Mar 1, 2013, to shareholders of record as on Feb 15, 2013.

The increased payout indicates that Energen has maintained its streak of dividend increases for 31consecutive years. If the current dividend is maintained for the rest of the year, the annualized dividend payout of the company would be 58 cents per share.

Based on the closing price of $48.36 as on Jan 24, 2013, the revised dividend affirms a yield of 1.2%. A steady dividend payout facilitates the long-term strategy of the company to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders.

We believe that Energen will be able to generate sufficient cash flows for its shareholders in the coming years, which will likely be backed by strong operating performances and good management decisions.  

Birmingham, Alabama-based Energen is an independent oil and gas exploration and production company engaged in the acquisition, exploration, and development of oil and gas in the U.S. The company also purchases, distributes and sells clean-burning, energy-efficient natural gas to the commercial and residential customers. Energen has roughly 900 million barrels of oil equivalent proved reserves, majority of which is located in the Permian and San Juan basins.

The strikingly lower natural gas and natural gas liquids (NGL) prices for 2012 as compared to 2011, has negatively affected the company's fourth quarter earnings.

Energen currently retains a Zacks Rank #5 (Strong Sell), implying that it is expected to significantly underperform the broader U.S. equity market over the next one to three months.   

However, certain other domestic energy firms like Breitburn Energy Partners L.P. (BBEP - Snapshot Report), Cabot Oil & Gas Corporation (COG - Analyst Report) and Memorial Production Partners L.P. (MEMP - Snapshot Report) are expected to significantly outperform the equity market in the next one to three months. All the three stocks currently hold a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

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