Yesterday, Harris Corp. (HRS - Analyst Report), a leading professional communications and public safety service provider, announced its decision to significantly raise its shareholders’ wealth. The board of directors has decided to hike its quarterly divided by 13.5% from 37 cents per share to 42 cents per share. The annualized cash dividend rate is now $1.68 per share.
The new dividend will be payable on Sep 24, 2013 to shareholders of record as of Sep10, 2013. This is the twelfth consecutive annual dividend increase by Harris.
Additionally, the board of directors also decided to authorize a new $1 billion share buy-back program. This new share repurchase program is in addition to the existing share buy-back program for which $62 million of authorized amount is still left. The company expects to repurchase up to $200 million in shares in fiscal 2014 (started from Jul 2013).
Management stated that the company is quite confident regarding its future growth. Harris generated strong free cash flow in fiscal 2013 (approximately $668.2 million, up 3.9% year over year). Recently, the company won a $960 million deal from the U.S. Air force Network-Centric Solutions-2 (NETCENTS-2) Application Services. The contract can be extended for an additional year.
Other Stocks to Consider
Harris currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks in the professional communications and information technology industry which are also doing well include Ubiquiti Networks Inc. (UBNT - Analyst Report), Aruba Networks Inc. and Mitel Networks Corp. (MITL - Snapshot Report). While Ubiquiti currently carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), both Aruba and Mitel have a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).