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Specialty chemicals maker American Vanguard (AVD - Snapshot Report) has replaced its traditional semi-annual cash dividend payment practice for the first time in its 20-year dividend history and will now be paying dividends on a quarterly basis.

Under the new quarterly dividend payment policy, the Board of Directors of American Vanguard announced a cash dividend of 5 cents per share. The quarterly dividend is payable on Jul 19, 2013, to the shareholders of record as on Jul 5, 2013.

In addition, the Board also authorized American Vanguard to repurchase its outstanding common shares.

The dividend policy and disciplined equity plan adopted by American Vanguard testifies its commitment to boost shareholders’ value while retaining its strong financial position. The newly adopted dividend policy will make way for shareholders to benefit from the continuing expansion and financial success of the company.

American Vanguard makes specialty chemical products for agricultural and commercial applications. The company develops and markets an array of chemicals, including insecticides, fungicides and herbicides, for crops, human and animal health protection. American Vanguard has the largest assortment of corn soil insecticides coupled with the most advanced dispensing equipment.

American Vanguard’s first-quarter 2013 profit nearly doubled on the back of strong market demand for its corn herbicide and insecticide products. It posted a profit of $16.9 million in the quarter, a 94% surge from a profit of $8.7 million recorded a year ago.

Revenues shot up 39% year over year to $121.5 million in the reported quarter, buoyed by strong adoption of American Vanguard’s granular soil insecticides and Impact herbicide in the domestic corn market.

American Vanguard is optimistic about 2013 and believes that it is well placed to meet the increasing demand for soil insecticides by maintaining full production of its products and proprietary equipment systems. The company should also benefit from its herbicide collaboration with Monsanto Company (MON - Analyst Report).

American Vanguard currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).

Other companies in the specialty chemicals industry with favorable Zacks Rank are OM Group Inc. (OMG - Snapshot Report) and Ferro Corp. (FOE - Snapshot Report). While OM Group holds a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Ferro Corp retains a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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