NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Wal-Mart ( WMT) got a lift in extended trades on Thursday after the world's largest retailer said its board has approved a 21% increase in its annual dividend. The Dow component said its payout will rise to $1.46 per share from $1.21 per share. The first quarterly dividend reflecting the higher payment of 36.5 cents per share is payable on April 4 to shareholders of record on March 11. Based on Wal-Mart's regular session close at $52.01, the forward yield on the stock rises to 2.8% from a current yield of 2.3%. The stock's trailing average annual yield over the past five years is 1.9%. The stock was last quoted at $52.34, up 33 cents, on volume of more than 260,000, according to Nasdaq.com. Wal-Mart hasn't participated in the market's broad rally with the shares down 3.2% over the past year vs. a gain of nearly 17% for the S&P 500. "The strength of our earnings performance for fiscal 2011 and Walmart's strong financial position allow us to again increase our dividend payout to shareholders," said Mike Duke, the company's president and CEO. "We continue to generate ample free cash flow to fund store growth across all our markets, make strategic acquisitions and deliver returns to shareholders through dividends and share repurchase." Wal-Mart said it's raised its dividend every year since declaring its first dividend in March 1974.
Other stocks making big moves after the close included Spreadtrum Communications ( SPRD), whose shares jumped after the China-based wireless chip maker reported strong fourth-quarter numbers and gave a bullish outlook. The stock leapt 12% to $24.27 on volume of more than 600,000. LSB Industries ( LXU) was a standout gainer as well, rising 13% to $36.25 on volume of more than 60,000. The Oklahoma City-based maker of climate control equipment reported a fourth-quarter profit of $18 million, or 79 cents a share, as sales jumped nearly 50% year-over-year to $172.2 million. The performance far outpaced the average estimate of analysts polled by Thomson Reuters for earnings of 28 cents a share on sales of $146.6 million in the December period. "Both our Chemical, including the Pryor Facility and Climate Control businesses performed well during the fourth quarter," said Jack Golsen, the company's chairman and CEO, in a statement. "At this time, the outlook for business is very positive. We are looking forward to improvement in most of our markets in 2011." -- Written by Michael Baron in New York. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: email@example.com