Caterpillar Inc. said Wednesday that its board has approved a 13 percent increase in the quarterly cash dividend. It marked the biggest percentage increase in the dividend since the financial crisis of 2008.
The board of the Peoria, Ill., manufacturer agreed to raise the quarterly cash dividend by 6 cents to 52 cents per share. It will be payable on Aug. 20 to stockholders of record at the close of business on July 20.
It was the biggest increase at Caterpillar since its board increased the quarterly dividend by 16.7 percent to 42 cents per share from 36 cents per share in August 2008.
The company is the world's largest maker of construction and mining equipment.
Its shares fell $1.83, or 2 percent, to $85.22 in afternoon trading after trading as high as $87 earlier in the session. The price has ranged between $67.54 and $116.95 per share in the past 52 weeks.
The broader U.S. stock markets struggled for direction most of Wednesday on concerns about Europe's financial crisis. Government borrowing costs rose in Spain and Italy, which was an indication that investors were worried that those countries might be unable to pay their debt.