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SPLS Crosses Above 3% Yield Territory

By Dividend Channel Staff, Monday, August 8, 3:29 PM ET
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In trading on Monday, shares of Staples Inc (NASDAQ:SPLS) were yielding above the 3% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $0.40), with the stock changing hands as low as $13.11 on the day. Dividends are particularly important for investors to consider, because historically speaking dividends have provided a considerable share of the stock market's total return. To illustrate, suppose for example you purchased shares of the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) back on 12/31/1998 you would have paid $123.31 per share. Fast forward to 12/31/2010 and each share was worth $125.75 on that date, a mere $2.44 or 2% increase over all those years. But now consider that you collected a whopping $20.53 per share in dividends over the same period, increasing your return to 18.6%. Even with dividends reinvested, that only amounts to an average annual total return of about 1.4%; so by comparison collecting a yield above 3% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. Staples Inc (NASDAQ:SPLS) is an S&P 500 company, giving it special status as one of the large-cap companies making up the S&P 500 Index.

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In general, dividend amounts are not always predictable and tend to follow the ups and downs of profitability at each company. In the case of Staples Inc, looking at the history chart for SPLS below can help in judging whether the most recent dividend is likely to continue, and in turn whether it is a reasonable expectation to expect a 3% annual yield.

SPLS Dividend History
Date Div*
06/22/11 0.100
03/23/11 0.100
12/21/10 0.090
09/22/10 0.090
06/23/10 0.090
03/24/10 0.090
12/21/09 0.083
09/23/09 0.083
06/24/09 0.083
03/25/09 0.083
03/26/08 0.330
03/28/07 0.290
03/29/06 0.220
03/23/05 0.167
04/22/04 0.133
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, SPLS makes up 1.47% of the First Trust NASDAQ-100 Ex-Technology Sector IndexFund ETF (NASDAQ:QQXT) which is trading lower by about 5.8% on the day Monday.

See what other ETFs contain SPLS
See what other stocks are held by QQXT

SPLS operates in the Specialty Retail sector, among companies like Ulta Salon Cosmetics & Fragrance Inc. (NASDAQ:ULTA) which is off about 11.1% today, and Tractor Supply Co. (NASDAQ:TSCO) trading lower by about 7.7%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of SPLS, versus ULTA and TSCO.

SPLS,ULTA,TSCO Relative Performance Chart


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