Tobacco giant Reynolds American (NYSE:RAI) is raising its quarterly dividend from $0.59 per share to $0.63 per share, a 6.8% increase, the company announced yesterday.

The quarterly dividend is payable on July 1 to shareholders of record at the close of business on June 10. Reynolds has made 36 consecutive quarterly dividend payments since going public in 2004 and this marks the 10th time it has raised the payout.

Reynolds American CFO Thomas R. Adams said: "This increase is in line with the company's policy of returning about 80% of net income to shareholders in the form of dividends, and underscores our commitment to returning value to shareholders."

The regular dividend payment equates to a $2.52-per-share annual dividend yielding 5.3% based on the closing price of Reynolds American's stock on May 9.

RAI Dividend Chart

RAI Dividend data by YCharts. Chart does not reflect latest dividend increase.