Prior to the Flowers Foods (NYSE: FLO) annual shareholders meeting today, the company's board of directors declared a three-for-two split of the company's stock by means of a 50% stock dividend and also increased the annual cash dividend by $.035.
This equates to a 5.5% increase over the previous dividend rate. Both the stock split and the dividend are payable on June 19, 2013, to shareholders of record on June 5, 2013.
Following the split, Flowers shareholders will own three shares for every two shares they held on the record date and the quarterly dividend rate will be $.1125 per share, or $.45 per share on an annualized basis.
The board is confident in the company's future performance, according to George E. Deese, Executive Chairman. "The board believes Flowers Foods is in an excellent position to reward our shareholders with an increased dividend, allowing our investors to continue participating in the company's success over the long term," he said. "In addition, the stock split will increase the liquidity of our stock and attract new shareholders."
Allen L. Shiver, president and newly elected CEO, cited Flowers' operational and marketplace performance as one of the reasons the leadership team has confidence in the company's future.
"Our long-term strategy of investing in our bakeries, brands, products, and our team has created competitive advantages that are helping us deliver record results," he said.
During the shareholders meeting today, members of management will review the company's operating strategies and financial performance.
The meeting is being broadcast live at 11:00 a.m. Eastern on www.flowersfoods.com and also will be archived on the website.