Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO) today announced that its Board of Directors voted to increase Altria's regular quarterly dividend by 8.2% to $0.66 per common share versus the previous rate of $0.61 per common share. The quarterly dividend is payable on October 10, 2017, to shareholders of record as of September 15, 2017. The ex-dividend date is September 14, 2017. The new annualized dividend rate is $2.64 per common share, representing a yield of 4.1% based on Altria's closing stock price of $63.69 on August 18, 2017. Today's dividend increase reflects Altria's intention to return a large amount of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends and is consistent with Altria's dividend payout ratio target of approximately 80% of its adjusted diluted earnings per share. Altria has increased its dividend 51 times in the past 48 years.