Applebee's, IHOP Owner Boosts Dividend And Stock Repurchase Program

By Tomi KilgoreMarketWatch Pulse

DineEquity Inc. said it was increasing its quarterly dividend by 5% to 92 cents a share, payable on Jan. 8 to shareholders of record on Dec. 11. The company, which is the parent of the Applebee's Neighborhood Grill & Bar and IHOP restaurant chains, said it was increasing its stock repurchase program to $150 million from the $63 million that was remaining from a previous authorization. "The decision to raise the quarterly dividend and increase the share repurchase authorization reflects the confidence we have in our business model and long-term strategy," said Chief Executive Julia Stewart. The stock, which was still inactive in premarket trade, has dropped 13% year to date, while the S&P 500 has lost 6.6%.

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