Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Enterprises increased its regular quarterly dividend 25 percent to 20 cents, the company announced Tuesday. The dividend is payable March 21, 2013 to shareowners of record on March 8, 2013.
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer John Brock noted it was the sixth consecutive annual increase in the dividend and said the move, combined with the company’s share repurchase plans, “clearly demonstrates our ongoing commitment to drive shareowner value.”
The company’s board approved a $1.5 billion stock repurchase program in December and CCE is expected to buy back least $500 million of stock this year.
CCE is expected to report fourth-quarter results Thursday, and analyst expect a profit of 43 cents a share, compared with 36 cents a share a year ago, according to Forbes. Revenue is expected to be up by 10.9 percent. The company’s net income and revenues have fallen in recent quarters.
CCE became primarily a Western Europe bottler in 2010 after selling its North American operations to Atlanta-based Coca-Cola Co.
According to a Zacks.com report Monday, CCE faces economic uncertainty in Europe partly due to steep price competition in Great Britain and tax pressures in France. The report added, however, “Even though Coca-Cola Enterprises is facing some challenges in the short term, the long term fundamentals of the company are encouraging.”
CCE’s shares closed Tuesday at $34.64, down 12 cents. The company’s 52-week high is $35.48 and 52-week low is $26.05.