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Waste Management, Inc. (WM - Analyst Report) recently declared a second quarter 2013 dividend of 36.5 cents per share or $1.46 on an annualized basis, representing a 2.8% year-over-year increase. The dividend is payable on Jun 21 to shareholders of record as of Jun 7.

Based on the closing price of $41.21 on May 10, 2013, the dividend affirms a yield of 3.5%. A steady dividend payout is part of the long-term strategy of Waste Management to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders. In addition, decent dividend increases at periodic intervals have been one of the company’s most attractive features.

Waste Management had earlier raised the quarterly dividend payout from 35.5 cents to 36.5 cents per share or from $1.42 to $1.46 on an annualized basis in Mar 2013. Prior to that, Waste Management raised its quarterly dividend in Mar 2012 from 34 cents to 35.5 cents and in Mar 2011 from 31.5 cents to 34 cents per share.

In the first quarter of 2013, the company returned $170 million to shareholders in the form of dividends. Moving forward, Waste Management plans to return significant cash to its shareholders through steady dividends in the future quarters as well.

Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Waste Management is the largest provider of comprehensive waste management services in North America. The company provides collection, transfer, recycling and resource recovery, as well as disposal services to nearly 20 million residential, commercial, industrial and municipal customers. It is also a leading developer, operator and owner of waste-to-energy and landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the U.S.

Currently, Waste Management has five operating groups including Eastern, Midwest, Southern, Western, and the Wheelabrator. The Wheelabrator group includes the company’s waste-to-energy facilities and independent power production plants. The company also has a joint venture with Linde Group, which includes plant that converts landfill gas into liquefied natural gas for use as fuel in the company’s trucks.

Waste Management currently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other stocks that look promising and are worth considering now are Clean Harbors, Inc. (CLH - Snapshot Report), Fidelity National Information Services, Inc. (FIS - Analyst Report), and Green Dot Corporation (GDOT - Snapshot Report), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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