Avista Corporation (AVA) recently announced it has raised its quarterly dividend 5.5% to $.29 per share from $.0275. This marks 10 consecutive years of dividend increases and puts Avista into the prestigious "dividend contenders" category of dividend growth stocks. Avista is an electric and gas utility based in Washington state. It also has operations in parts of Idaho and Oregon.
I am very pleased with this announcement. A 5.5% dividend increase for an utility is awesome. I hope to see solid increases like this from Avista and Unisource, my other utility, in the future. In general I like utilities because they have a localized monopoly in the area they serve. They are unlikely to face competition, and have very stable earnings. The downside is that they are heavily regulated and have limited growth opportunities.
The bottom line is that this holding provides an attactrive dividend yield coupled with dividend increases that outpace inflation. So far I have been pleased with AVA.