AT&T Raises Quarterly Dividend by 2.3%

DALLAS ( TheStreet) - For the 28th year in a row, AT&T ( T) is raising its dividend.

The Dow component said Friday its board has approved a 2.3% increase in its quarterly payout to 44 cents per common shares from 43 cents. The boost brings the company's annual dividend to $1.76 a share, implying a whopping forward yield of 6.1% at the current stock levels.

AT&T announced it was raising its dividend

Randall Stephenson, AT&T's chairman and CEO, said in a statement that the company was able to raise its dividend because it exercised financial discipline throughout the economic downturn.

"As a result, we're pleased to be able to increase our stockholders' quarterly dividend for an industry-leading 28th consecutive year," Stephenson said. "We know millions of our owners are individuals and they count on their AT&T dividend each quarter. It's a responsibility to our owners that we take seriously."

The dividend is payable on Feb. 1 to shareholders of record on Jan. 10.

Shares of AT&T were off 7 cents to $28.72 in afternoon trades. Year-to-date, the stock is down 2%.

-- Written by Chris Ciaccia in New York

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