General Mills, Inc. (NYSE:GIS) said Tuesday that its board of directors approved a 9% hike to the companys annual dividend, citing the companys robust financial state as the impetus for the increase.
The board approved a new quarterly dividend of 30.5 cents a share, up from the previous quarterly dividend of 28 cents per share, which is payable August 1, 2011, to all shareholders as of July 11, 2011.
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The new annual dividend, of $1.22 a share, compares with the $1.12 per share paid to shareholders in fiscal 2011.
"Strong and growing cash dividends are an important component of General Mills' total return to our shareholders," said Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Ken Powell, in a statement. "The dividend increase announced today is a reflection of General Mills' robust financial condition and excellent future growth prospects."
Shares of General Mills fell 4 cents or a fraction of 1% on Tuesday, closing the day at $37.21 a share. The stock was inactive in trading after hours.