Black & Decker Corp. became the latest company to increase its quarterly dividend rate, boosting the payout by 75 percent to U.S. $0.21.
In a press release, the maker of tools and other home-improvement products said the dividend is payable Dec. 26 to shareholders of record Dec. 12. Black & Decker had been paying a dividend at a $0.12-rate since 1996.
A Black & Decker spokeswoman cited the change in the tax laws as the reason for the dividend increase; she also noted the company's payout ratio compared with its peers and other S&P 500 companies. The spokeswoman said Black & Decker wanted to "send a signal of confidence" in its long-term earnings and cash-generating capabilities.
In the second quarter, Black & Decker's earnings rose about 15 percent as a restructuring cut costs. Despite weaker sales, income grew to $75.7 million, or $0.97 a share, from $66.1 million, or $0.81, a year ago.
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