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Dividend Hikes: MSC Industrial

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- MSC Industrial Direct (MSM - Get Report) shares rose in early trading Wednesday after metalworking products company raised its dividend by 10%.

MSC Industrial said it has increased its quarterly dividend to 22 cents per share from 20 cents, boosting its dividend yield to 1.75% from 1.59%. The new dividend is payable on July 27 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 13, the company said.

The dividend announcement comes one day before MSC Industrial reports fiscal third-quarter earnings results. Analysts expect the company to report a quarterly profit of 66 cents a share on revenue of $444.7 million, according to Thomson Reuters.

Shares of MSC Industrial were higher by 64 cents, or 1.3%, to $50.97 in Wednesday's premarket session. The stock is up more than 7% in 2010 and 44% over the last 12 months.

In other dividend news, Williams Controls (WMCO) said its board of directors has declared a cash dividend of $1 per share. The dividend will be payable on July 28 to shareholders of record at the close of business on July 14, although the electronic sensors maker said it has not yet determined whether the distribution would be taxable as a dividend or be treated as a return of capital.

Shares of Williams Controls closed Tuesday at $8.40.

-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston.

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