The Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Stores has approved an annual dividend of $1.59 per share, approximately a 9 percent increase from the $1.46 per share paid during fiscal year 2012.
For the current fiscal year ending Jan. 31, 2013, the annual dividend of $1.59 per share will be paid in four quarterly installments of $0.3975 per share.
“We are pleased that the strength of our financial position allows Walmart to again increase our dividend payout to shareholders,” said Mike Duke, Walmart president and CEO. “Our free cash flow continues to fund store growth across all our markets, facilitate strategic acquisitions and deliver returns to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase. We returned $11.3 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase during fiscal 2012.”
Walmart has increased its dividend every year since the first declared dividend of $0.05 per share in March 1974.
“We have high expectations for fiscal year 2013,” said Duke. “Our core Walmart U.S. business is back on track. International remains our strong growth engine and Sam’s Club continues to drive sales momentum. And, we will continue to build our e-commerce capabilities to serve more customers around the world.”
Walmart reported lower net income in 2011. The company’s shares closed trading on Wednesday at $59.08.