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Dupont To Raises Quarterly Dividend 4.9%

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES DuPont Co. (DD) said it will raise its quarterly dividend by 4.9% as the chemicals company looks to increase shareholder return. The two-cent increase brings the company's quarterly payout to 43 cents a share and will cost DuPont about $75 million more a year. "This increase in the dividend reinforces our commitment to return value to our shareholders as we continue to invest in innovation through our research capabilities, customer partnerships and targeted acquisitions," said Chief Financial Officer Nicholas C. Fanandakis. DuPont, a diversified U.S. manufacturer, has received a boost from higher pricing in recent quarters, offsetting raw material expenses. The company was one of the first companies last year to highlight the issue of destocking--customers working down their inventories instead of buying new products. The company saw a dip in its profits at the end of the year, and warned that customers in its consumer electronics sector would continue destocking. Last week, Dupont reported its first-quarter profit rose 4% as the company benefited from higher pricing and a jump in sales of agricultural products, as well as strong growth in developing markets. Shares rose by 40 cents to $53.08 in light premarket trading. The stock is up 15% since the start of the year. -By Nathalie Tadena, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-3287;

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