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Public Service Enterprise Group’s (PEG - Analyst Report) Board of Directors announced a 1.4% increase in the dividend bringing the quarterly payout to 36 cents per share from the prior level of 35.5 cents. This comprises the ninth dividend hike in the past ten years.

The dividend is payable on Mar 29, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Mar 8, 2013. On an annual basis, the common stock dividend offering comes to $1.44 per share, up from the prior payment of $1.42 per share.

The company has been steadily providing dividends since 1907. Based on the closing price of $31.41 as on Feb 19, 2013, the proposed dividend affirms a yield of 4.58%, substantially higher than the industry yield of 2.36%.

Last year the company had hiked its dividend by 3.6% to 35.5 cents from 34.25 cents earlier. The company’s operating cash flow in the nine months ending 2012 stood at $2,311.0 million while the cash balance was $780.0 million as of Sep 30, 2012. Public Service Enterprise’s strong cash flow generation and its solid cash position indicate further dividend hikes in the future.

There have been a number of energy stocks recently boosting their quarterly dividends. These include CMS Energy Inc. (CMS - Analyst Report), which raised its common dividend by 6.25% to 25.5 cents from the previous payout of 24 cents per share. NV Energy Inc. increased its dividend by 11.8% to 19 cents from 17 cents per share and Avista Corporation (AVA - Snapshot Report) hiked its dividend by 5.17%, to 30.5 cents from the previous 29 cents per share.

Currently, Public Service Enterprise carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). The company’s fourth quarter results are yet to be released.

Headquartered in Newark, NJ, Public Service Enterprise Group Incorporated, through its subsidiaries, operates as an energy company primarily in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. The company operates nuclear, coal, gas, and oil-fired generation facilities with a generation capacity of approximately 13,060 megawatts.

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