OAK BROOK, ILL. — The board of directors of McDonald’s Corp. on Sept. 25 declared a quarterly cash dividend of 55c per share on the common stock, payable Dec. 15 to shareholders of record as of Dec. 1. The dividend payout represents a 10% hike from the previous payout of 50c per share and brings the total quarterly dividend payout to about $600 million.

"So far in 2009 we’ve returned nearly $4 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases, bringing total cash returned since the beginning of 2007 to about $15.5 billion," said Jim Skinner, chief executive officer. "With today’s dividend increase, we expect to end the year near the high end of our three-year, $15 billion to $17 billion total cash return target."

McDonald’s has raised its dividend each year since paying its first dividend in 1976.