DETROIT TheStreet) -- Ford ( F) says it will reinstate its dividend. The automaker says it will pay a quarterly dividend of 5 cents a share, payable March 1 to shareholders of record of Class B and common stock on Jan. 31.
Trading in Ford shares was halted shortly before noon in anticipation of the announcement. Shortly after noon, shares were trading at $11.07, down 1 cent. "We are pleased to reinstate a quarterly dividend, as it is an important sign of our progress in building a profitably growing company and our confidence in the future," said Bill Ford, executive chairman, in a statement. Restoration of the dividend was a key topic during Ford's Oct. 26 earnings call. At the time, CFO Lewis Booth said the automaker was moving toward paying a dividend and was unlikely to wait until it achieved an investment trade credit rating. Asked exactly when the payout might begin, Booth responded: "We're not going to give out precise hard metrics," he said. "We just want to see a little bit of continued improvement in our business. We've made it pretty clear we'd like to see it sooner rather than later." On Thursday, Booth, in a statement, said: "We have demonstrated our capability to finance our plans and we are confident that we can begin to pay a dividend that will be sustainable through economic cycles." -- Written by Ted Reed in Charlotte, N.C. >To contact the writer of this article, click here: Ted Reed >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/tedreednc. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.