Dividends are often regarded as a key indicator of a company’s financial health. They also contribute significantly to a stock investor’s long-term wealth, making them a crucial factor in evaluating a company for long-term investment. In today’s economic climate, it’s even more important to build a portfolio of quality companies with the financial strength necessary to issue dividends.

A recent research study found that in the year large-cap companies first began paying dividends, or reinstated them after a lapse, they outperformed their peers by 2.7 percentage points. However, large-cap stocks aren’t the only ones that issue dividends. Small-cap and Micro-cap companies also issue various types of dividends to reward existing investors as well as attract new investors.

Although the dividend payable dates for these companies have passed, some of the recently announced micro-cap dividends include Cadence Financial Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CADE) cash dividend of $0.05; Crosstex Energy, Inc.’s (NASDAQ: XTXI) $0.09 dividend; and Unilens Vision Inc.’s $0.09 cash dividend. Companies that have upcoming dividend payable dates include Ecology and Environment, Inc.’s $0.20 six-month dividend that will be paid on or before August 7, 2009; First Keystone Corp.’s (OTCBB: FKYS) $0.23 stock dividend to be paid on June 30, 2009; and James Financial Group, Inc.’s 5% stock dividend that is payable on July 21, 2009.

One of the companies we’re watching closely that recently approved a stock dividend is Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. (OTCBB: KBLB). The development-stage biotechnology company is focused on tapping the $92 billion market for high performance polymers and technical fibers. Kraig Biocraft has made significant progress in their labs over the past few months and is closer than ever to finding a solution for producing commercial quantities of spider silk, a super-strength fiber that has an unparalleled capacity to absorb energy and dissipate it in a very controlled manner.

Let us hear your thoughts: Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, Inc. Message Board