Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT) said Thursday that its board has approved a 21% hike to its annual dividend.
The world’s largest retailer plans to increase the dividend to $1.46 a share, up from the $1.21 a share that the company paid during fiscal 2011. The dividend will continue to be paid quarterly, at a new rate of 36.5 cents a share.
Continue Reading Below
The company said its strong financial position enabled the dividend boost.
"Our leadership team is completely aligned on enhancing shareholder value by delivering on Walmart's financial priorities of growth, leverage and returns," said Mike Duke, Wal-Mart Stores president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Walmart's underlying operations around the world remain strong, as we continue to focus on our mission of helping customers save money so they can live better."
The discount retailer, which saw sales surge during the recession, traded above $62 in 2008. Shares have fallen about 3% in the past year.
In Thursday’s session, the retailer gained just 4 cents, closing the day at $52.01. The stock was up another 43 cents, nearly 1%, in after-hours trading.