Caterpillar (CAT) will raise its quarterly dividend by 19.8 percent to $1.03 per share in 2019. This follows a ten percent dividend hike by the equipment maker last year and marks the 26th consecutive year of dividend increases by the heavy machinery company.
The next dividend is payable August 20, 2019, to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 22, 2019. A new annualized rate of $4.12 per share yields 3.0% at a stock price of $138.85.
In its press release Caterpillar states that it expects to increase the dividend in each of the following four years by at least a high single-digit percentage. With its remaining free cash flow, the company intends to repurchase shares on a more consistent basis, with the goal of at least offsetting dilution in market downturns.
"Through the execution of our strategy, Caterpillar is now a stronger and more profitable company that can produce higher free cash flow through the cycles," added Umpleby. "We plan to return substantially all ME&T (Machine, Energy & Transportation) free cash flow to shareholders through dividend increases and more consistent share repurchases to create more long-term value for shareholders."
Caterpillar Inc. is a manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines and diesel-electric locomotives. The company principally operates through its three product segments - Construction Industries, Resource Industries and Energy & Transportation - and also provides financing and related services through its Financial Products segment. Caterpillar has paid a cash dividend every year since the company was formed and has paid a quarterly dividend since 1933.