THOMASVILLE, Ga. — The board of directors of Flowers Foods Inc. has declared a three-for-two split of the company’s stock by means of a 50% stock dividend. The board also increased the annual cash dividend by 10c, which equates to a 12.5% increase over the previous dividend rate. Both the stock split and the dividend are payable on June 24, 2011, to shareholders of record on June 10, 2011.
Following the split, Flowers said its shareholders will own three shares for every two shares they held on the record date and their quarterly dividend rate will be 15c per share, or 60c per share on an annualized basis.
“The board believes Flowers Foods is in an excellent position to reward our shareholders with an increased dividend, allowing our investors to continue participating in the company’s success over the long term,” said George E. Deese, chairman and chief executive officer. “In addition, the stock split will increase the liquidity of our stock and attract new shareholders.”
Mr. Deese said Flowers is confident in the future and remains committed to its strategy of investing cash to build value for its shareholders.
“We anticipate delivering good results in 2011 and in the years to come, even as we manage through near-term volatility in commodity markets and continued pressure from a weak economy,” he said. “Our business continues to generate substantial cash flow that funds dividends to our shareholders, capital improvements, and share repurchases, as well as growth through market expansion and strategic acquisitions. Our balance sheet is strong and our operating strengths are evident. This week, we announced a new $500 million credit facility that substantially improves our capital structure. This provides a solid debt capital base and source of liquidity as we continue to execute our new five-year growth plan.”