Walmart raises dividend

Follows one week after Q4 earnings release

BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Walmart said Thursday that it is increasing its annual dividend 21% on the back of strong earnings.

The retailer last month reported a 27% increase in fourth-quarter net income as it benefited from cost-cutting and strong international sales. Walmart said it will pay an annual dividend this year of $1.46, up from $1.21. It will pay quarterly dividends of 36.5 cents in April, June, September and January in fiscal 2012, which ends Jan. 31.

The next dividend will be paid on April 4 to shareholders of record on March 11.

Walmart president and CEO Mike Duke said the company was able to boost its dividend because of its earnings performance in fiscal 2011 and its strong financial position.

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