Siemens AG (SI) upped its dividend for the first time in four years as it aims for strong growth in emerging markets.

The German engineering company is proposing to pay out 2.7 euros per share, after three years of holding dividends at 1.6 euros per share, Bloomberg News said.

Siemens said Thursday that fiscal fourth-quarter sales gained 7.7% to 21.23 billion euros ($29.27 billion).

"The strong cash flow and dividend hike is encouraging, while the guidance is sufficiently vague to allow for future upside," UniCredit analyst James Stettler said in a note to clients.

Siemens CEO Peter Loescher said that the dividend was a "strong signal" of the company's confidence that it will pull ahead of rivals and increase its presence in emerging markets.

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