Altria ups dividend 8.3%, plans repurchase program

| August 25, 2014

Altria Group said that its board voted to boost the company’s quarterly dividend by 8.3 percent, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The largest U.S. cigarette manufacturer in sales raised the dividend to $0.52 cents a share from $0.48 cents, meaning its yield would be about 4.9 percent based on its recent closing price of $42.46. Its previous yield was about 4.5 percent.

The move comes as the tobacco industry in general contends with declining U.S. demand for cigarettes. Altria has gained market share thanks to promotional pricing for its cigarettes, although shipments have slowed.

The company, however, has posted stronger results from its smokeless products, such as its Copenhagen brand of chewing tobacco and its MarkTen offering in the growing e-cigarette market.

Altria said the dividend increase is part of its plan to return a “large amount of cash” to shareholders through dividend payouts. It also unveiled a $1 billion share-repurchase program last month.

Category: Financial

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