Exxon is top dividend payer after 21 pct. increase
Exxon is raising its quarterly dividend by 21 percent. In doing so, it becomes the top corporate dividend payer, surpassing AT&T.
The Irving, Texas, oil giant raised the payout to 57 cents from 47 cents in the first quarter. That brings its annual dividend to $2.28 per share.
Exxon Mobil Corp. will now pay its shareholders $10.75 billion in dividends per year, according to Standard & Poor's, up from $9 billion. AT&T Inc. is second at $10.44 billion. Apple Inc., which restored its dividend in March, is next at $9.88 billion.
The move raises the company's dividend yield to 2.6 percent. The yield measures annual payouts to shareholders against a company's stock price. Rival oil major Chevron's dividend yield is 3.1 percent. AT&T's is a hefty 5.5 percent.
Exxon will report first-quarter financial results on Thursday. Analysts expect relatively flat earnings growth from the company this year following a plunge in natural gas prices. Exxon is expected to earn $2.10 per share in the first quarter, according to FactSet, compared with $2.14 per share in the same period last year.
Exxon Mobil shares rose 28 cents to $86.59 in afternoon trading.