The TJX Companies (TJX 1.05%) has declared a dividend hike in advance of the holidays. The retailer, which among other holdings operates the T.J. Maxx and Marshalls discount department stores, announced Tuesday that its next quarterly common stock dividend will be $0.26 per share. This represents a 13% increase over the company's last disbursement, which was handed out all the way back in March.
Investors will have to wait for quite some time to be paid, however. The payment date on the new dividend will be next March 4, to stockholders of record as of Feb. 11, and at the most recent closing stock price it would yield 2.7%.
It's likely they're a patient bunch, however, since TJX Companies suspended its payout fairly early on in the coronavirus pandemic. This was not unusual for a big retailer, as the sector as a whole had come under severe strain due to the lockdowns and business closures frequently mandated by authorities in the face of the outbreak.
TJX declared this suspension in March, around the time it also halted its share buyback initiative. The company wrote in its annual report that it would "evaluate our dividend program in the near term, while we remain committed to paying our dividends whenever the environment normalizes for the long term." At the time, it made no promises as to when this would occur.
The reinstatement and raise, then, can be seen as a show of confidence that the economic landscape has improved that much for the company, even if the pandemic continues to rage. It's clearly looking forward to a robust holiday shopping season, perhaps encouraged by the strong online sales retailers experienced on Black Friday.