NU Online News Service, Dec. 3, 2003, 1:09 p.m. EST – Professional investors and analysts say they now are much more interested in dividends than they used to be, according to an informal, Web-based survey by the New York office of Financial Dynamics Ltd.[@@]

The business communications firm says its survey received about 200 responses.

More than 80% of the respondents said dividends had increased in importance over the past year. More than 75% said the attractiveness of cash dividends had increased when compared with the attractiveness of share buybacks.