Ford Motor Co. will take another critical step in its recovery by doubling its shareholder dividend, the maker today announced. Stockholders of record on January 30, 2013 will receive a 10-cent payout.
The move comes as the maker prepares to announce strong earnings for the final quarter of 2012 – and as its profit margin climbs to an all-time record level. Ford officials are clearly hoping to give a much-needed boost to the company’s stock price, which only recently began gaining momentum after more than a year in the doldrums.
The move also reflects growing optimism among analysts and ratings agencies, several of which recently bumped Ford debt up to investment grade after a decade in junk bond territory.
“Our ability to double our dividend in one year is a testament to our One Ford plan, which has enabled us to maintain a solid balance sheet, while at the same time growing our business to provide our shareholders with more return on their investments,” said Bob Shanks, chief financial officer, Ford Motor Company.