Williams Cos. Boosts Dividend By 50%

By Tomi Kilgore Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Williams Cos. said Tuesday it will boost its quarterly dividend by 50% to 30 cents a share from 20 cents a share. The oil and gas infrastructure company's new dividend will be payable March 27 to shareholders of record on March 10. Based on Friday's stock closing price of $28.20, the new annual dividend rate of $1.20 a share implies a dividend yield of 4.26%, compared with the SPDR Energy Select Sector ETF payout yield of 2.36% and the aggregate S&P 500 dividend yield of 2.04%, according to FactSet. Williams' stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has soared 82% over the past 12 months, while the energy sector ETF has rallied 27% and the S&P 500 has climbed 23%.

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