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Sunday, January 30, 2011

JM Smucker Lifts Quarterly Dividend 10%

J.M. Smucker Co. (SJM) boosted its dividend by 10% and added five million shares to its stock-buyback authorization as the food maker looks to disburse excess cash for shareholders' benefit.
The company, which makes jams, jellies and Jif peanut butter as well as Pillsbury products, raised its quarterly dividend to 44 cents from 40 cents, payable March 1 to shareholders of record on Feb. 11.

It also boosted its buyback authorization by five million shares. The company didn't say in a statement how many shares were left on its authorization, but it did note that it had repurchased about 3.7 million shares outstanding during the current fiscal quarter. The company has roughly 120 million shares outstanding.

Many companies have boosted their dividends or announced stock buybacks as the need to hoard cash has waned amid economic improvement.

"These actions indicate the confidence we have in our business and the strong cash flows it generates," said Co-Chief Executive Tim Smucker.

In November, Smucker said its fiscal second-quarter profit climbed 6.9%, helped by higher margins, as revenue was flat.

Disclosure I am Long SJM shares.

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