Albemarle Board Announces 20% Dividend Increase and Approves Expansion of Share Repurchase Program
Today, the Board of Directors of Albemarle Corporation (NYSE: ALB) increased the quarterly dividend to $0.24 per share, up 20% from $0.20 paid last quarter. The dividend is payable April 1, 2013 to shareholders of record at the close of business March 15, 2013. The new annualized dividend rate is $0.96 per share. This announcement marks the 19th consecutive year of dividend increases.
The Board of Directors also authorized an increase in the number of shares the Company is permitted to repurchase under its existing share repurchase program to 15 million from 3.9 million shares that remained outstanding under the program as of December 31, 2012. The Company currently expects to repurchase approximately 10% of its outstanding shares over the next 10 to 15 months. Share repurchases will be funded through a combination of available cash on hand, free cash flow and possibly debt.
"Today's announcement reflects our confidence in the strength of Albemarle's balance sheet and in the Company's ability to continue its proven track record of cash generation," said Chief Financial Officer Scott Tozier. "These actions also reflect our commitment to consistently returning capital to shareholders, even as we retain adequate capacity to fund organic growth opportunities and pursue appropriate acquisitions."
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