B&G Foods hikes quarterly dividend 24%

by Eric Schroeder
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PARSIPPANY, N.J. — The board of directors of B&G Foods, Inc., whose product portfolio includes Cream of Rice and Cream of Wheat, has increased the company’s quarterly dividend rate 24% to 21c per share from 17c per share. The next quarterly dividend will be payable on May 2, 2011, to shareholders of record as of March 31, 2011. At the closing market price of the common stock on Feb. 22, 2011, the new dividend rate represents an annualized yield of 5.9%.

Additionally, B&G authorized a stock and debt repurchase program for the repurchase of up to $25 million of the company’s common stock and/or 7.625% senior notes due 2018 through March 31, 2012. Under terms of the authorization, B&G may purchase shares of common stock and/or senior notes from time to time in the open market or in privately negotiated transactions in compliance with the applicable rules and regulations of the Securities and Exchange Commission.

“We continue to believe that returning cash to our shareholders through strong dividends and share repurchases is a key component of B&G Foods’ total return to our shareholders,” said David L. Wenner, president and chief executive officer of B&G Foods. “The board’s actions reflect continued confidence in the strength of our business and our ability to continue generating strong cash flows. We also remain committed to our acquisition strategy and continue to pursue accretive acquisitions when opportunities arise.”

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