Citing increased sales, profits, and cash flow from last fiscal year, Walmart (symbol: WMT) announced an impressive dividend raise of 21% today. Walmart is raising it’s annual dividend from the current $1.21 to an annual $1.46 payout. That translates to an annual dividend yield of 2.73% based on todays closing price of $52.01. After the WMT dividend raise announcement , shares were up $0.44 or .85% in after hours trading.
The first quarterly dividend of $0.355 at the new increased rate will occur on April 4th, 2011 for those shareholders on record March 11, 2011. Some pundits were surprised by the increase in dividend given Walmart’s last 7 consecutive quarters of declining sales. Even with the drop in sales, WMT’s net income was $6.1 Billion for the quarter ending in January 2011, with sales of $115.6 Billion.