Coca-Cola increases annual dividend 11%

by Staff
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ATLANTA — The board of directors of The Coca-Cola Co. has approved the company’s 44th consecutive annual dividend increase, raising the quarterly dividend 11% from 28c to 31c per common share. This is equivalent to an annual dividend of $1.24 per share, up from $1.12 per share in 2005.

The dividend is payable April 1 to shareowners of record as of March 15.

The increase reflects the board’s confidence in the company’s long-term cash flow. Cash from operations in 2005 reached a record $6.4 billion, up 8% from 2004. The company returned $4.7 billion to shareowners during the year through $2.7 billion in dividends and $2 billion in share repurchases.

In the past five years, the company’s dividends have grown at a compound annual rate of more than 10%.

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