The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. (NYSE:EL) announced today that its Board of Directors increased the annual dividend on the Company’s Class A and Class B Common Stock to $.72 per share, a 37% increase over the previous annual rate of $.525 per share. The $.72 per share annual dividend will be payable on December 17, 2012 to stockholders of record at the close of business on November 30, 2012. The Company also announced that it will transition to a quarterly dividend payout schedule on its common stock beginning in calendar year 2013. This change will allow the Company to better manage its cash flow and deliver value to stockholders throughout the year. The Company expects the first quarterly dividend of $.18 per share to be declared in February 2013, and be payable in March 2013. Additionally, the Company’s Board of Directors authorized the repurchase of up to another 40 million shares of Class A Common Stock, or about 10% of the total outstanding common stock. This increases the total authorization to 216 million shares, of which approximately 164 million have been repurchased to date. The Company has a total of approximately 387 million common shares outstanding. Repurchases are made from time to time in the open market or in private transactions, and there is no specific time frame. The repurchased shares are held as treasury shares and may be used for general corporate purposes, including employee share incentive programs. Cash on hand or borrowings will be used to fund the purchases. The Estée Lauder Companies Inc. is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and marketers of quality skin care, makeup, fragrance and hair care products. The Company’s products are sold in over 150 countries and territories under the following brand names: Estée Lauder, Aramis, Clinique, Prescriptives, Lab Series, Origins, M•A•C, Bobbi Brown, Tommy Hilfiger, Kiton, La Mer, Donna Karan, Aveda, Jo Malone, Bumble and bumble , Darphin, Michael Kors, American Beauty, Flirt!, GoodSkin Labs, Grassroots Research Labs, Tom Ford, Coach, Ojon, Smashbox, Ermenegildo Zegna, AERIN Beauty and Osiao. The forward-looking statements in this press release involve risks and uncertainties. Factors that could cause actual results to differ from those statements are contained in the Company’s filings with the SEC, including those detailed in the “forward-looking statements” section of the Company’s report on Form 10-K for the year ended June 30, 2012.