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ConocoPhillips Shares Cross 4% Yield Mark

Forbes

According to Dividend Channel, in trading on Friday, shares of ConocoPhillips (COP) were yielding above the 4% mark based on its quarterly dividend (annualized to $2.64), with the stock changing hands as low as $65.25 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 4% would appear considerably attractive if that yield is sustainable. ConocoPhillips (COP) is an S&P 500 company, giving it special status as one of the large-cap companies making up the S&P 500 Index.

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 ConocoPhillips, looking at the history chart for COP 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 4% annual yield.

COP Dividend History
Date Div*
07/21/11 0.660
05/19/11 0.660
02/17/11 0.660
10/27/10 0.550
07/29/10 0.550
05/20/10 0.550
02/18/10 0.500
10/28/09 0.500
07/29/09 0.470
05/21/09 0.470
02/19/09 0.470
10/29/08 0.470
07/29/08 0.470
05/22/08 0.470
02/21/08 0.470
10/29/07 0.410
07/27/07 0.410
05/17/07 0.410
02/15/07 0.410
10/27/06 0.360
07/27/06 0.360
05/18/06 0.360
02/16/06 0.360
10/27/05 0.310
07/27/05 0.310
05/12/05 0.310
02/11/05 0.250
10/27/04 0.250
07/28/04 0.215
05/13/04 0.215
02/18/04 0.215
10/29/03 0.215
07/29/03 0.200
04/28/03 0.200
02/18/03 0.200
10/31/02 0.200
08/07/02 0.180
04/26/02 0.180
02/19/02 0.180
10/29/01 0.180
07/26/01 0.180
04/26/01 0.170
02/16/01 0.170
10/26/00 0.170
07/27/00 0.170
04/27/00 0.170
02/16/00 0.170
10/28/99 0.155
07/29/99 0.155
04/29/99 0.155
02/10/99 0.155
10/29/98 0.124
07/30/98 0.124
04/29/98 0.124
01/29/98 0.124
10/30/97 0.099
07/30/97 0.099
04/30/97 0.099
01/30/97 0.093
10/30/96 0.085
07/31/96 0.085
05/01/96 0.081
01/31/96 0.081
11/01/95 0.081
08/02/95 0.081
* Data may be adjusted for splits; we are not responsible for data errors; always verify data with the company.

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COP+Dividend+History+Chart

According to the ETF Finder at ETF Channel, COP makes up 6.22% of the Active Mega Cap Fund ETF (PMA) which is trading lower by about 3.3% on the day Friday.

See what other ETFs contain COP »

See what other stocks are held by PMA »

COP operates in the Oil & Gas Refining & Marketing sector, among companies like Green Plains Renewable Energy Inc (GPRE) which is up about 1.8% today, and Alon USA Energy Inc (ALJ) trading lower by about 6.8%. Below is a three month price history chart comparing the stock performance of COP, versus GPRE and ALJ.

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COP,GPRE,ALJ Relative Performance Chart


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