S&P Indices this week said 444 publicly traded firms increased their dividend payouts in the second quarter, a 32.5% increase from the 335 companies who bolstered shareholders' balances in the year-ago quarter.

For the quarter, companies paid out $11.2 billion, bringing the year-to-date total to more $30 billion -- already $3.5 billion more than $26.5 billion in dividends proffered in all of 2010.

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