AT&T ups dividend, but lowest increase since 2001

AP News
Posted: Dec 18, 2009 5:15 PM

AT&T Inc. said Friday that it was raising its quarterly dividend by 2.4 percent, continuing an unbroken record of increases for 26 years, although it's the smallest percentage hike since the 2001 recession.

AT&T is raising its quarterly dividend by a penny to 42 cents per share, or to $1.68 from $1.64 per share annually.

The dividend is payable on Feb. 1 to common shareholders of record on Jan. 8.

In 2001, the phone company raised its quarterly dividend by 1 percent to 25.625 cents per share. Since then, the highest quarterly dividend increase was in 2008 with an increase of 12.7 percent to 40 cents per share.

In the third quarter, AT&T's earnings fell by 1.2 percent to $3.19 billion, or 54 cents per share. Revenue fell as well, by 1.6 percent to $30.9 billion.

Shares of AT&T, based in Dallas, were up 10 cents to $27.32 on Friday.