It seems as though Walmart, which has been beaten down for what seems like and eternity, may have a glimmer of hope to make a comeback.Â All of you contrarian investors that backed up the truck on WalmartÂ at its lows last summer, may now see some light at the end of the tunnel.
The Board of Directors of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) has approved an increase in the annual dividend to $0.88 per share, a 31% increase from the $0.67 per share paid during fiscal year 2007. For fiscal year ending January 31, 2008, the annual dividend of $0.88 per share will be paid in four quarterly installments of $0.22 per share.
Based upon this announced increase, the Company plans to return more than $3.6 billion to its shareholders in the form of dividends in fiscal year 2008.Â Does this sound like it fits the Shareholder Yield strategy that we talked about a little while back?
Wal-Mart has increased its dividend every year since its first declared dividend of $0.05 in March 1974.Â Â This makes WMT a member of the Mergent Dividend Achievers, one of my requirements for purchasing a dividend growth stock.
The Company also announced that April 5, 2007 is the record date for its annual shareholders’ meeting that will occur on June 1, 2007.