International Game Technology Again Lifts Dividend


The gambling firmInternational Game Technology ( IGT ) isn't playing around when it comes to returning cash to shareholders. On Tuesday, the equipment maker announced its second dividend hike of the year.

It unveiled a quarterly dividend of 9 cents share, up 50% from the same period a year ago.

International Game will pay the dividend July 5 to shareholders of record June 20.

"This is a clear signal that our strategy is driving strong financial performance and that we are committed to returning capital to shareholders in an effective and judicious matter," said CEO Patti Hart in a press release.

At the new rate of 9 cents a share quarterly, International Game pays 36 cents a share on an annual basis. This gives the stock a yield of about 2%, which is among the lowest among the dividend-paying stocks in the Leisure-Gaming/Equipment group. But International Game has one of the highest Composite Ratings in the group.

In March, the company had already raised its quarterly dividend by 33% from year-ago levels.

Last year, International Game returned more than $540 million to stock holders through dividends and share buybacks.

Even though the company is returning cash to shareholders, it's still delivering growth. In the past three quarters, earnings grew 33% to 65%. Sales climbed 11% to 19% over the same period.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters see profit rising 26% to $1.31 a share this year.

In recent sessions, International Game has pulled back after clearing a 17.59 buy point from a five-week flat base May 9. Shares faded after rising about 7%. But potential support at its 50-day moving average lies close below.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Investing Ideas

Referenced Stocks: IGT

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