Dell Inc. (NASDAQ: DELL) has been part of our technology dividend sinners for quite some time. It is now finally changing its policies and will start to unlock that shareholder value by paying a dividend to its common shareholders. The news is ahead of the company’s 2012 Analyst Meeting.
The company noted: “In conjunction with the meeting, Dell also announced that its Board of Directors has adopted a dividend policy under which the company intends to pay quarterly cash dividends on its common stock beginning in the third quarter of the current fiscal year.” It is about time!
Today’s initial dividend rate will be paid out at $0.08 per quarter, or at $0.32 per year, per share. After a 1% gain and a $11.98 close on Tuesday, this $0.32 payoutgenerates a dividend yield of 2.67%.
The move follows a similar “it’s about time!” call from Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Yahoo! Finance shows that the current payout yield of rival Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE: HPQ) has a 2.4% dividend yield even after it just raised its payout rate as part of the turnaround under new CEO Meg Whitman. This yield is also far better than Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) yield of 1.9%.
Here is that list of 20 dividend sinners from last year, and there are still many which are dividend sinners today by not paying out any dividends to their shareholders.
Before you try to out-guess Michael Dell here on how he will assess the payout ahead, here is how he projected it: “The company expects that through the dividend and share repurchases, it will increase its target range for distribution of capital to shareholders from 10-30 percent of free cash flow to 20-35 percent.”
This move has been long overdue.
JON C. OGG