will retain its Aristocratic title, at least for another year.
Ending a long period of speculation, Exxon Mobil (ticker: XOM) said Wednesday that it will raise its quarterly dividend—the first time the integrated energy giant has done that since April 2019.
In a release Wednesday, the company said its board of directors had declared a fourth-quarter dividend of 88 cents a share. That’s an increase of a penny, or a little more than 1%, from 87 cents.
The last time Exxon’s board had declared a quarterly dividend increase was in April 2019 when it went to 87 cents a share from 82 cents.
The latest dividend is payable on Dec. 10 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Nov. 12.
By increasing and paying a higher dividend this year, it means that Exxon Mobil (ticker: XOM) will remain in the
S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index,
whose members have paid out a higher dividend for at least 25 straight years.
In 2020, amid the pandemic, weak oil prices, and concerns that it was spending too heavily on growth projects, Exxon Mobil did not increase the common stock dividend, and kept it at 87 cents a share per quarter.
The company paid out a total of $3.48 a share last year, slightly higher than what it paid in 2019. That allowed it to remain a Dividend Aristocrat.
The stock was down wider than 2% to $64 in late Wednesday trading. The stock yields about 5.4%, though in the fall of 2020 it was above 10%, according to FactSet; the double-digit yield is evidence of how poorly the stock had performed last year.
It has since recovered somewhat, having returned more than 60% this year, dividends included, compared with around 23% for the
The company is scheduled to release its third-quarter earnings on Friday.
Write to Lawrence C. Strauss at [email protected]