Procter & Gamble Boosts Dividend by 7%

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Dow component Procter & Gamble ( PG) said Friday its board has approved a 7% increase in its quarterly dividend.

The Cincinnati-based company, whose brands include Tide detergent and Pampers diapers, lifted its regular payout to 56.5 cents a share from 52.5 cents a share. The higher dividend is to be paid on May 15 to shareholders of record on April 27.

P&G noted that this marks the fifty-sixth straight year that it's raised its dividend. The stock closed Friday's regular session at $65.81, down 28 cents. At current levels, the higher payout implies a forward annual dividend yield of 3.4%.

P&G shares have sat out the rally in the broad market in 2012, down less than 1% year-to-date vs. a 5.2% gain for the Dow. The stock trades at a forward price-to-earnings multiple of 15.3X vs. 13.X for Kimberly-Clark ( KMB), 11.7X for Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ), 16X for Clorox ( CLX), and 16.5X for Colgate-Palmolive ( CL).

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

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