DOVER, Del., May 2, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- At their meeting held on May 2, 2013, the Board of Directors of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation (NYSE: CPK) declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.385 per share on the Company's common stock. The Board's action raises the annualized dividend eight cents per share from $1.46 to $1.54 per share, equating to a 5.5% increase over the prior year. The $0.385 per share dividend will be paid July 5, 2013 to all shareholders of record at the close of business on June 17, 2013.
"Chesapeake posted record earnings in 2012, for the sixth consecutive year. Energized by our employees' dedication, we continued to deliver increased value in 2012 to our customers, the communities we serve and our shareholders. Results for the first quarter of 2013 were also strong, and confirm the strong fundamentals that underlie the Board's dividend decision," stated Michael McMasters, President and Chief Executive Officer of Chesapeake Utilities Corporation. "We appreciate the confidence that our shareholders have in the Company and are committed to generating attractive returns on the capital they have entrusted to us. In this vein, our Board of Directors increased the dividend by 5.5 percent today – a dividend growth rate significantly above the average of our peer group. The dividend declared today represents the tenth consecutive year that Chesapeake's dividend has increased. The Board's action echoes the commitment to continued dividend growth and sustained long-term earnings growth."
2013 represents the 52nd consecutive year that Chesapeake has paid a dividend to its shareholders. In each of the 52 years, Chesapeake has either maintained or increased its annualized dividend. Over the past five years Chesapeake has increased its dividend at a compound annual rate of 4.8 percent, while maintaining an average dividend payout of 52.2 percent. Our strong earnings growth, which has averaged 9.3 percent over the past five years has enabled the Company to provide shareholders with superior dividend growth.