Based on the aggregated intelligence of 140,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, oil and gas giant BP (NYSE: BP) has earned a coveted five-star ranking.
It's true. I probably would have shied away from writing a follow-up column if I had screwed up ... but I didn't.
Tell me if this isn't you:
Not every company is slashing its dividend these days. Some of the market's better performers are easing up on their purse strings and sending more money out to their shareholders.
Prospective investor: What is the sign of a good company?
General answer: Dividends.
Better answer: Companies that recently raised their dividend.
Mea culpa on Wells Fargo (NYSE: WFC). I did not think it was another Bank of America (NYSE: BAC)-type situation -- I still don't think it is -- yet it had to cut its dividend early last month. And so did the other stellar performers among the financial-sector malaise: US Bancorp (NYSE: USB) and JPMorgan Chase (NYSE: JPM).
Got dividends? Probably not as much as you previously thought.