The board of directors of
Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
), the western European bottler of
The Coca-Cola Company
), recently announced a 25% increase in its quarterly dividend,
marking the seventh consecutive year of dividend hike. The first
quarterly dividend will be paid on Mar 20, 2014, to shareholders
as of Mar 07, 2014.
The quarterly dividend was increased from 20 cents to 25 cents
per common share, equivalent to an annual dividend of $1.00 per
share for fiscal 2014, up from 80 cents per share for fiscal
2013. The new dividend will yield 2.3% annually.
Driving shareholders' value, either through regular share
repurchases or increased dividends, is Coca-Cola Enterprise's key
objective. The bottling company achieves this objective through
its solid balance sheet and strong free cash flows. The company
has $488 million of cash and cash equivalents as of Sep 27, 2013.
Year-to-date, through the third quarter, the company has
repurchased approximately $900 million worth of its stock. In Dec
2013, the board of directors of Coca-Cola Enterprises authorized
a new $1 billion share repurchase program, which is the company's
fourth buyback program since its origination in 2010.
In 2014, the company expects to buyback $800 million worth of
stock. Coca-Cola Enterprises expects free cash flow for full-year
2014 to be in the range of $600 million-$650 million.
COCA-COLA ENTRP (CCE): Free Stock Analysis
COCA COLA CO (KO): Free Stock Analysis Report
MONSTER BEVERAG (MNST): Free Stock Analysis
WHITEWAVE FOODS (WWAV): Free Stock Analysis
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Coca-Cola Enterprises carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold). A
better-ranked beverage stocks is
The WhiteWave Foods Co.
) which carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Another consumer
staple company worth considering is
Monster Beverage Corp.
) with a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).