Procter & Gamble (NYSE:PG) is giving its shareholders a raise. The consumer-staples giant said on Tuesday evening that it's increasing its dividend by 6%.
The boost pushed the payout to just over $3 per share on an annual basis. The increase was significant, given the economic uncertainty in key markets around the world. P&G's last two annual raises were at a more modest 4% rate.
Still, P&G had been enjoying accelerating sales growth over the past few quarters, which apparently added to management's confidence in the company's financial position. P&G has now increased its dividend in each of the past 64 years, giving it one of the longest such streaks on the stock market.
P&G also sped up the timetable of its next earnings report. Instead of occurring on April 21, as originally scheduled, that announcement will now happen before the market opens on Friday, April 17. Management said the change shouldn't be taken as an indication of either positive or negative results, but that the quicker release "is simply to provide shareholders [with] information as quickly and transparently as possible."