Approving an increase in the quarterly cash dividend paid to shareholders, transmission manufacturer Allison Transmissions (NYSE:ALSN) announced today that its board of directors doubled the payout from $0.06 per share to $0.12 per share while also providing preliminary estimates for its first quarter, which ended March 31.

Allison began paying the $0.06-per-share dividend in the second quarter of 2012. The new, higher payment will be made on May 31 to stockholders of record at the close of business May 17, though the board notes any future quarterly dividends will be at their discretion based on factors including financial performance.

Allison said it expects first-quarter net sales to be in the range of $455 million to $460 million and adjusted EBITDA (excluding technology-related license expenses) to be in the range of $144 million to $149 million, implying an adjusted EBITDA margin of approximately 32%. These expected results are consistent with management's expectations and the company said they reflect "considerably" lower demand in the North America energy sector's hydraulic fracturing market and reductions in defense sales.

However, the transmission maker affirmed full-year 2013 guidance it released Feb. 19 when it said it expected net sales to decline in the range of 6% to 8% and adjusted EBITDA margin (excluding technology-related license expenses) would be in the range of 32% to 34%. 

Allison Transmissions bills itself as the world's largest manufacturer of fully automatic transmissions for medium- and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, medium- and heavy-tactical U.S. defense vehicles, and hybrid-propulsion systems for transit buses.


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