DOVER, Del., May 3, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At their meeting held on May 2, 2012, the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.365 per share on the Company's common stock. The Board's action raises the annualized dividend eight cents per share from $1.38 to $1.46 per share, equating to a 5.8% increase over the prior year. The $0.365 per share dividend will be paid July 5, 2012 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on June 15, 2012.
"Chesapeake celebrated its fifth consecutive year of record earnings in 2011 despite a weak and recovering economy. The execution of our strategic plan has been successful due to the talent and personal drive of our employees to identify opportunities and turn them into meaningful results to grow our Company. These results have benefitted our customers, the communities we serve and our shareholders," stated Michael P. McMasters, President and CEO. "With a total shareholder return of 70 percent over the past 5 years, including the acquisition of Florida Public Utilities Company during that time period, the results are truly exceptional and a source of great pride," Mr. McMasters added. "We value the confidence that our shareholders have in Chesapeake. The Board's action to raise the dividend by 5.8 percent today -- the largest annual increase in twenty-five years -- echoes the commitment to continued dividend growth, reaching the Company's dividend payout target and our confidence in achieving sustainable long-term earnings growth."
2012 represents the 51st consecutive year that Chesapeake has paid a dividend to its shareholders. In each of the 51 years, Chesapeake has either maintained or increased its annualized dividend.