The sweet smell of success has its rewards.
on Wednesday raised its annual dividend to 30 cents from 20 cents, saying it is confident about growth.
The increase will send another $12 million out the door yearly, given the company's roughly 121 million outstanding shares. The company is something less than generous when it comes to its cash, however: It earned $305 million in the 12 months to June 30 and already sits on more than $2 a share cash, and the new dividend yield remains south of 1%.
Shares were recently off 2 cents, or 0.1%, at $37.13, but are up about 40% this year.
The New York-based skin care, cosmetics and fragrance maker says the dividend will be paid on Jan. 6, 2004, to shareholders of record as of Dec. 16, 2003.
Unlike many companies, Lauder's dividend on common stock is paid on an annual basis, rather than a quarterly one.
The dividend announcement came at the company's annual shareholders meeting.