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Occidental Lifts Dividend 17%, Raising Payout For 10th Year

DOW JONES NEWSWIRES Occidental Petroleum Corp. (OXY) raised its quarterly dividend 17%, extending the oil-and-gas company's streak of payout increases to 10 years. The boost, which raises the annual payout by 32 cents to $2.16 a share, will cost the company about $130 million more each year. It brings Occidental's compound annual dividend growth rate over the last 10 years to 15.8%. Many companies have introduced or continued higher payouts to shareholders in recent months to reassure existing investors while luring new ones. "We are confident in our company's financial strength and in our continued solid financial and operational performance," President and Chief Executive Stephen I. Chazen said. "Dividend growth along with rising production and well-above-average returns on capital are the key elements in Oxy's long-term strategy to achieve top-quartile total shareholder returns in our peer group." Shares were recently up 84 cents at $104.64 Thursday. The stock has climbed 12% this year. -By Drew FitzGerald, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2909; Andrew.FitzGerald@dowjones.com

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