on Thursday reaffirmed guidance and said its board had approved a dividend increase.
The Bermuda-based conglomerate said the quarterly dividend will increase to 10 cents a share compared with the current 1.25 cents a share. The dividend is payable on Feb. 1, 2005, to shareholders of record as of Jan. 3, 2005.
The company also confirmed earnings guidance for its fiscal first quarter and full year. The company expects EPS from continuing operations of 40 cents to 42 cents for the quarter and $1.88 to $1.98 for the full year. The outlook excludes any charges related to divestitures or early retirement of debt.
The consensus forecasts are 42 cents and $1.96, respectively, according to Thomson First Call.
Shares rose 9 cents, or 0.3%, to $34.17