Dividend Stock: Viacom (VIA.B)
Unlike Target and Caterpillar, which have been dividend stocks for some time, Viacom made a splash last week with its first-ever dividend announcement. The company will also be resuming its stock buyback program, which was halted in early 2009 amid the financial crisis. The 15-cent quarterly dividend, payable July 1 to shareholders of record by June 17 (that's today!) will cost Viacom about $365 million a year.
Some are worried this may mean the end of growth for Viacom, as the company has struggled since splitting from CBS (CBS) in 2006. And subsidiary Paramount has been suffering because Shrek movie sales haven't been all that great. But Viacom Class B shares are up 25% so far this year, so this new member of the dividend stock army must be doing something right.
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