Houston-based Waste Management announced yesterday that its Board of Directors approved a 9.1 percent increase in its quarterly dividend program, raising the amount from $0.22 per share to $0.24 per share. According to a company press release, annual dividends in 2007 are expected to total $0.96 per share, an increase of $0.08 per share compared to 2006.
“Waste Management is first and foremost a strong and consistent generator of cash,” said David P. Steiner, chief executive officer of Waste Management, in the press release. “The Board of Directors and management consider the return of cash to our shareholders to be one of our most important duties. Based on the current share count, this equates to approximately $510 million in dividend payments on an annual basis beginning in 2007. At the current share price of $36.97, this dividend produces a yield of 2.6%, which is in the top 25% of the dividend paying companies within the S&P 500.”