Kroger board OKs 2-for-1 stock split; dividend boost

CINCINNATI (AP) — Kroger’s board has approved a 2-for-1 stock split, a 13.5 percent increase to its quarterly dividend and a $500 million share buyback program.

The Cincinnati company said Thursday that the stock split — the fifth in its history — will boost the number of outstanding shares to 962 million from about 481 million.

Kroger Co. said that the dividend will be 21 cents per share on a pre-split basis. But since the dividend will be paid after the stock split, shareholders of record on Aug. 14 will be paid 10.5 cents for each share they have on Sept. 1. Current shareholders will own twice as many shares by then, however.

The company’s previous buyback authorization has already been exhausted. The company said it doesn’t expect to make any purchases under the new buyback authorization for the rest of fiscal 2015.

Last week the supermarket chain reported that its fiscal first-quarter profit climbed compared with results hobbled by some pension-related charges that weighed it down a year ago.

Kroger shares rose $1.01, or 1.4 percent, to $73.95 in midday trading. Its shares are up almost 50 percent from a year ago.

 

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