Altria raises dividend for 48th consecutive year
Dividend Aristocrat Altria will increase the regular quarterly dividend by 8.2% to $0.66 per common share versus the previous rate of $0.61 per common share. The quarterly dividend is payable on October 10, 2017, to shareholders of record as of September 15, 2017. The ex-dividend date is September 14, 2017.
The new annualized dividend rate is $2.64 per common share, representing a yield of 4.1% based on Altria’s closing stock price of $63.69 on August 18, 2017. Last year Altria raised its dividend for the 47th year.
In its press release Altria states that "Today’s 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 51 times in the past 48 years".
Altria Group, Inc. is a holding company. Altria’s wholly-owned subsidiaries include Philip Morris USA Inc., U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company LLC, John Middleton Co., Nu Mark LLC, Ste. Michelle Wine Estates Ltd. (Ste. Michelle) and Philip Morris Capital Corporation. Altria's tobacco brands include Marlboro, Black & Mild, Copenhagen, Skoal, MarkTen and Green Smoke. Altria also holds an equity investment in AB InBev, owning approximately 10.2% of the Belgium-based beer brewer.