Microsoft, Accenture, and American Tower Boost Dividends

Microsoft, Accenture, and American Tower REIT lifted dividends.


Gerard Julien/AFP via Getty Images



Microsoft
,



Accenture
,

and



American Tower REIT

declared dividend increases this week in a fairly quiet stretch for such announcements among large U.S. companies.

Microsoft (ticker: MSFT) plans to pay a quarterly dividend of 68 cents a share, up by nearly 10%, or 6 cents, from 62 cents. That equates to an annualized dividend of $2.72 a share.

The software giant’s stock, which yields 1.1%, had returned minus 28% this year through the close on Sept. 25, including dividends. That compares with minus 20% for the



S&P 500
.

Consulting firm Accenture (ACN) declared a quarterly disbursement of $1.12 a share, up 15.5% from 97 cents. That will increase the annual dividend to $4.48 a share.

The stock, which has returned minus 36% this year, yields 1.7%.

American Tower (AMT) will boost its quarterly dividend to $1.47 a share. That’s an increase of nearly 3% or 4 cents a share. The annualized dividend will be $5.88 a share.

The real-estate investment trust’s stock, which yields 2.5%, has returned about minus 20% this year. The company’s assets include cellular towers.

Write to Lawrence C. Strauss at lawrence.strauss@barrons.com

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