Health insurance provider WellPoint declared it was raising its dividend 30%, to $0.375 a share, as part of an overall plan to return capital worth approximately $2 billion to shareholders in 2013.
The new quarterly rate, up from $0.2875 per share, will be effective with the first quarter ,and will be payable on March 25 to holders of record on March 8. It represents an annualized dividend of $1.50 per share, which yields approximately 2.4% based on yesterday's closing price. WellPoint initiated its dividend in 2011 at a rate of $0.25 per share.
The company spent $2.9 billion on share repurchases and dividends in 2012, and plans to use the same capital deployment formula to achieve its goals this year. The $2 billion total represents more than 10% of WellPoint's market cap.
The article WellPoint Hikes Dividend 30% originally appeared on Fool.com.Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends WellPoint. The Motley Fool owns shares of WellPoint. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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