Walgreens posts historic increase to quarterly dividend

DEERFIELD, Ill. — The board of directors of Walgreens on Wednesday increased the quarterly dividend 28.6% — the largest quarterly dividend increase in the company's 110-year history — to 22.5 cents per share from the previous rate of 17.5 cents per share.

The dividend is payable Sept. 12 to shareholders of record from Aug. 19. The dividend increase raises the annual rate from 70 cents per share to 90 cents per share.

The board also authorized a new $2 billion share repurchase program, which will expire Dec. 31, 2015.

"This is our third share repurchase program announced since October 2009. Since then, we have completed $3 billion in share repurchases and paid $1.1 billion in dividends to shareholders," stated Walgreens president and CEO Greg Wasson. "We have continued to deliver on our commitment to return cash to our shareholders consistent with our capital policy guidelines."

Walgreens has paid a dividend in 315 straight quarters (more than 78 years) and has now raised its dividend for 36 consecutive years. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2007, Walgreens' annual dividend rate has increased from 31 cents per share to 90 cents per share, resulting in a compound annual growth rate of 23.8%.

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