McDonald's raises annual dividend 50%

by Eric Schroeder
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OAK BROOK, ILL. — The board of directors of McDonald’s Corp. on Wednesday raised the company’s annual dividend 50%, to $1.50 per share from $1 per share in 2006. The cash dividend is payable on Dec. 3 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.

"(The) dividend increase is a testament to our focus on being better, not just bigger," said Jim Skinner, chief executive officer. "We’ve improved our menu, marketing and restaurant experience and at the same time taken action to enhance the strength and reliability of our substantial cash flow. Our efforts have delivered exceptional business performance and created significant value for our owner/operators, suppliers and shareholders."

Mr. Skinner also cited business momentum, strong stable cash flow, borrowing capacity and anticipated future capital needs behind the company’s decision to raise the dividend. He also said McDonald’s expects to return $15 billion to $17 billion in cash to shareholders from 2007 through 2009, subject to business and market conditions.

McDonald’s has raised its dividend each and every year since paying its first dividend in 1976. At $1.50 per share, the company’s dividend is now more than six times higher than the 23.5c per share paid in 2002.

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