Altria raises dividend for 47th consecutive year

Altria Group (MO) will hike its dividend by 8%.

The quarterly dividend will be increased to $0.61 per share, marking 47 years of consecutive dividend increases by the tobacco company.

Altria's press release indicates that the quarterly dividend is payable on October 11, 2016, to shareholders of record as of September 15, 2016. The ex-dividend date is September 13, 2016.

The new annualized dividend rate is $2.44 per common share, representing a yield of 3.7% based on Altria's closing stock price of $66.33 on August 19, 2016.

The company states that the dividend increase reflects Altria's intention to return a large amount of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and is consistent with Altria's dividend payout ratio target of approximately 80% of its adjusted diluted earnings per share. Altria has increased its dividend 50 times in the past 47 years.

Source: Altria Group

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