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Wal-Mart raises dividend; sets date for annual meeting


Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores said Thursday that it is increasing its annual dividend 21% on the back of strong earnings.

The retailer last month reported a 27% increase in fourth-quarter net income as it benefited from cost-cutting and strong sales overseas. Wal-Mart said it will pay an annual dividend this year of $1.46, up from $1.21. It will pay quarterly dividends of 36.5 cents in April, June, September and January in fiscal 2012, which ends Jan. 31.

The next dividend will be paid on April 4 to shareholders of record on March 11.

President and CEO Mike Duke said in a statement the company was able to boost its dividend because of its earnings performance in fiscal 2011 and its strong financial position.

In other news, Wal-Mart announced that its 2011 annual shareholders meeting will be held on June 3, at 7 a.m. CDT, in the Bud Walton Arena at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville, Ark. The meeting also will be webcast on the company’s website.

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