Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT) today announced a 9% increase in its annual dividend, from $1.46/share to $1.59/share. The increase is effective with the company’s first fiscal quarter of 2013, which ends in April.
Walmart’s CEO said:
Our free cash flow continues to fund store growth across all our markets, facilitate strategic acquisitions and deliver returns to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase. We returned $11.3 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase during fiscal 2012. We have high expectations for fiscal year 2013. Our core Walmart U.S. business is back on track. International remains our strong growth engine and Sam’s Club continues to drive sales momentum. And, we will continue to build our e-commerce capabilities to serve more customers around the world.