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Tesla Proposes a Dividend (Not Really). TJX and PNC Announce Payout Hikes (for Real).

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Tesla’s proposed ‘dividend’ was really a proposed stock split. Here, a Tesla manufacturing plant near Gruenheide, Germany.

Sean Gallup/Getty Images

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Tesla

was among the handful of companies that announced a dividend move this past week. The difference is that the other companies actually pay cash dividends, while


Tesla
’s
is a stock split.

In a March 28 filing, the electric vehicle maker said it is making plans for a stock split “in the form of a stock dividend.”

Tesla (ticker: TSLA) had a 5-for-1 stock split in August 2020, but it did not specify any details about the impending stock split’s ratio in its recent filing.

“There won’t be any cash distributed to the shareholders, just additional shares of Tesla stock,” says Robert Willens, a New York-based accounting and tax expert.

Seth Goldstein, a Morningstar analyst who covers the electric vehicle maker, says he doesn’t expect the company to initiate a cash dividend “anytime soon,” given that it’s in growth mode and needs to plow back capital into its “vehicle and batter production capacity.”

Goldstein doesn’t expect Tesla to buy back any of its stock in the near term, either.

Tesla couldn’t be reached for comment about the filing’s phrasing.

Meanwhile, it was a relatively light week for dividend announcements of the cash-disbursing variety.

Retailer


TJX

(


TJX

) declared a quarterly disbursement of 29.5 cents a share, up 13% from 26 cents. The company stopped paying a dividend early in the pandemic in 2020 to preserve cash but reinstated it toward the end of that year at 26 cents a share.

The stock, which yields 2%, has a one-year return of about minus 7% as of the close on March 31, dividends included, compared with a 15.7% return for the S&P 500.


PNC Financial Services Group

(PNC), a large regional bank based in Pittsburgh, said it plans to boost its quarterly payout to $1.50 a share, an increase of 20% from $1.25. The stock, which has a one-year return of about 8%, yields 2.8%.

Among other large U.S. companies, four members of the S&P 500 said they will maintain their quarterly payouts at current levels.

Memory chip maker


Micron Technology

(MU) maintained its quarterly dividend at 10 cents a share, while


Hormel Foods

(HRL) will continue to pay a quarterly distribution of 26 cents a share.


McCormick

(MKC), whose portfolio includes spices and seasonings, is keeping its quarterly dividend at 37 cents a share. And infrastructure company


Quanta Services

(PWR) plans to keep paying a quarterly dividend of 7 cents a share.

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

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