Announces 22.2 Percent Dividend Increase, Stock Split
NEW YORK (AP) _ Philip Morris Cos. Inc., flush with cash, said Wednesday it was raising its dividend 22.2 percent and splitting its shares 4 for 1.
The world’s largest consumer products company makes more profit than it can reasonably reinvest in its businesses, so it gives the rest to shareholders in higher dividends.
Since its stock price keeps rising, it has to lower the price periodically through share splits to make a standard lot of 100 shares more affordable to small investors.
New York-based Philip Morris makes cigarettes and owns Kraft, General Foods, Oscar Meyer and Miller Brewing Co. It earned $1.34 billion on revenue of $22.4 billion in the first half of the year.
The 4-for-1 stock split means shareholders will own four shares for each one they have now. The extra shares will be distributed Oct. 10 to shareholders of record on Sept. 15.
The dividend increase will raise annual dividends to $5.50 per share on a pre-split basis, or $1.37 1/2 per new share.
Quarterly dividends have been increased 25 times in the last 22 years. Including the latest split, one share in 1966 will have turned into 192 shares by October.