Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) announced that its board of directors has elected to increase its quarterly dividend. The new payout will be $0.53 per share, which is just over 10% higher than the last hike. It will be dispensed on Nov. 27 to investors of record as of Oct. 23. At the most recent closing share price, the new amount would yield 2.1%.
The move heralds a potential return to annual dividend hikes for the home goods retailer, which operates the Pottery Barn and West Elm store brands. For most of this decade, it had lifted the payout once per year. Its last increase prior to this one was declared in March 2019.
Williams-Sonoma also announced that it is restarting its stock repurchase program, although it did not indicate an amount or a time frame for this. Finally, it revealed that it has fully retired the short-term borrowings it drew from a $500 million revolving credit facility.
CEO Laura Alber said, "Our decisions to increase our quarterly dividend, resume our share buyback program, and pay down our revolver reflect the strength of our business and financial position, and our commitment to maximizing returns for our shareholders."
Although it had to endure mandatory store closures amid the coronavirus pandemic, the company has proven surprisingly resilient. In its first quarter of fiscal 2020, for example, Williams-Sonoma blew past analyst estimates and posted a net profit. Alber said that this was due largely to robust growth in the direct-to-consumer segment.