(Frontline upgrade corrected to reflect Lazard Capital Markets name.)
NEW YORK (
announced a cash dividend Friday as the tanker operator reported first-quarter results.
announced a larger-than-expected cash dividend of 75 cents per share for the first quarter, which is up from 25 cents in the fourth quarter of 2009. Frontline paid 90 cents per share in dividends for all of 2009.
The dividend announcement came as Frontline posted first-quarter earnings of $1.02 a share on revenue of $331.8 million, which was above the Thomson Reuters average estimate for earnings of 86 cents a share on revenue of $274.5 million.
Lazard Capital Markets analysts upgraded Frontline to hold from sell, citing an improved outlook for earnings and dividends.
Frontline has experienced somewhat of a valuation paradigm shift due to investors' appetite for yield and we suspect that this will last for some time," the firm wrote in a research note.
Still, shares of Frontline were down 0.4% to $28.99 in Friday's premarket session. The stock is down 21% over the last month but is up 6.5% in 2010.
Among other companies making dividend news Friday,
( TRH) said late Thursday it has raised its quarterly dividend by 5% to 21 cents per share. The reinsurance company noted that its board of directors has increased its quarterly dividend every year since becoming a public company in 1990.
reported first-quarter results late last month, posting net income of $16 million, or 24 cents a share.
Shares of Transatlantic Holdings closed Thursday at $46.50.
raised its quarterly dividend on common shares from 23 cents per share from 21 cents. The agribusiness and food company also declared late Thursday dividends on preference shares. The company's stock closed Thursday at $48.07.
said late Thursday it has bumped its quarterly cash dividend payment higher to 6 cents per share from 5 cents.
Knight Transportation shares finished Thursday's session at $20.25.
-- Written by Robert Holmes in Boston
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