Altria Raises Dividend, Expands Share Buybacks

Altria (NYSE: MO  ) investors are about to get a bit more bang for their buck. The company has declared a quarterly common stock dividend of $0.48 per share, to be handed out on Oct. 10 to shareholders of record as of Sept. 16. That amount is $0.04, or 9%, higher than the tobacco giant's previous distribution of $0.44 paid in July.

The new dividend annualizes to $1.92 per share. That yields 5.6% at Altria's current stock price of $34.21.

The company's board also authorized a $700 million widening of its existing stock-repurchase program. When added to the $300 million of the current initiative authorized this past April, that brings the total amount to $1 billion. Altria said it expects to complete the program by the end of its Q3 in 2014.

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