Pepsi Bottling Ups Dividend

Pepsi Bottling Group ( PBG) Thursday said it had raised its annual dividend and stock buyback program.

The bottling company upped its dividend on common stock from 4 cents a share to 20 cents a share. A quarterly dividend of 5 cents a shar will be paid out June 30 to shareholders of record on June 11.

The Somers, N.Y.-based company, which went public in 1999, will also buy back an additional 25 million shares, bringing its repurchase program total to 100 million. To date, the company has repurchased about 66.5 million shares

"The dividend increase is consistent with our long-standing practice of returning cash to shareholders, which in recent years, the Company has achieved primarily through share repurchases." The company said.

Shares rose 12 cents, or 0.4%, to $28.91, near their 52-week high of $29.99.

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