Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc.
) recently increased its quarterly dividend by 25% to 20 cents
per share, which is equivalent to an annual dividend of 80 cents.
The dividend is payable on Mar 21, 2013, to shareholders of
records as of Mar 8, 2013. The company's new dividend increased
from 16 cents, and was last paid in Dec.
The current increase in dividend is higher than the previously
guided 15% year-over-year increase announced at the company's
Analyst Day held on Dec 18, 2012. This reflects that the
company has a strong liquidity position. Coca-Cola Enterprises
had cash and cash equivalents of $803 million as of Sep 28, 2012,
higher than $422 million as of Jun 29, 2012.
Coca-Cola Enterprises is a strategic bottling partner of
The Coca-Cola Company
) and has been consistently increasing its dividend rate for the
past six years. Earlier Coca-Cola Enterprises had increased its
dividend by 23% on Feb 7, 2012.
Other than issuing dividends, the company returns value to its
shareholders through buybacks. The company authorized its third
share repurchase program worth $1.5 billion that commenced in Jan
2013. The company expects to repurchase shares worth at least
$500 million during 2013.
Overall, we are optimistic about the company's strong brand
portfolio and solid cash position. Its cost saving initiatives
and accelerated share buybacks are aimed at offsetting headwinds
from a soft operating environment.
COCA-COLA ENTRP (CCE): Free Stock Analysis
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Coca-Cola Enterprises Inc. currently holds Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
Other related companies worth considering include
Coca-Cola Hellenic Bottling Company S.A.
Coca-Cola FEMSA S.A.B. de C.V.
) both carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).