56th dividend hike over a 52-year period
As anticipated, today MO’s board elected to raise its annual dividend by 4.7% to $3.60
from $3.44/share, resulting in a 90c/share (+4c) quarterly dividend. This was below our
qtr/yr dividend increase forecast of 93c/$3.72 — but nevertheless highlights its
commitment to shareholders and underlying fundamentals despite planned investment
to support of its 10-year vision to support of ATC (adult tobacco consumer) conversion
to non-combustibles. Based on our 2021 EPS forecast of $4.26, today’s new dividend
rate indicates a payout ratio of 78%, in line with its ~80% payout target. The upcoming
dividend is payable on October 12, 2021 to shareholders of record on September 15.
Today marks MO’s 56th dividend increase in the past 52 years.