Procter & Gamble ( PG) Company Profile: Cincinnati, Ohio-based Procter & Gamble is focused on providing branded consumer packaged goods. It markets its products in more than 180 countries. Procter & Gamble hiked its dividend by 9% to 52.5 cents per share , up from 48.18 cents, on its common stock and on the Series A and Series B ESOP Convertible Class A Preferred shares. The higher payout will be available on or after May 16 to shareholders of record at the close of business on April 29. That brings Procter & Gamble's yield to around 3.3%. Procter & Gamble has been paying a dividend for 121 consecutive years since its incorporation in 1890 and has increased its dividend for 55 consecutive years at an annual compound average rate of approximately 9.5%. In early April Procter & Gamble said it would divest its Pringles potato chips brand to Diamond Foods ( DMND) for $1.5 billion worth of stock. The move comes as Procter & Gamble looks to more closely focus its business on cosmetics and healthcare products. P&G shareholders will retain a 57% stake in the new company while Diamond shareholders will hold the rest. Diamond shareholders will also take on $850 million of Pringles debt.
On April 28 P&G posted an 11% rise in fiscal third-quarter earnings, though results were weaker than expected. The firm said commodity costs continue rise, about triple what it expected at the beginning of 2011, pressuring its outlook. P&G cut the high end of its full-year forecast.