OAK BROOK, ILL. — The McDonald’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly cash dividend of 61c per share on the common stock, an 11% increase over the company’s previous quarterly dividend rate.

The dividend will be payable on December 15 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on December 1. This also brings the fourth quarter dividend payout to about $650 million.

“With today's announced dividend increase, we expect the 2010 total cash returned to shareholders to be approximately $5 billion, split between dividends and share repurchases,” said Jim Skinner, chief executive officer.

“Our ongoing financial performance reflects the strength of the McDonald's system and resilience of our Plan to Win. We remain committed to maintaining financial discipline and enhancing shareholder value. Our first priority is to reinvest in our business by allocating capital where we expect to drive sales and cash flow, generating strong returns. After these investment opportunities, we expect to return all of our free cash flow to shareholders over the long term through dividends and share repurchases.”