Target becoming dividend darling

Target is almost halfway home on its goal of paying a $3 annual dividend following news this week that for the second consecutive year it would increase its dividend by 20%.

In advance of the company’s shareholders’ meeting on Wednesday, Target announced the 20% increase, which puts the quarterly payout at 36 cents a share, up from 30 cents. The company’s annual payout now stands at $1.44, which is nearly half the goal the company established to boost its annual payout to $3 by 2017.

Since Target weathered the financial crisis and recession several years ago, the company has become increasingly generous with returning cash to shareholders. This new stance was evident in June 2010 when the quarterly dividend was increased 47% to 25 cents from 17 cents. Last June, the dividend was increased 20% to 30 cents from 25 cents.

Similar increases can be expected in the coming years if Target plan to achieve its $3 goal.



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