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Glatfelter (GLT - Snapshot Report) has raised its quarterly dividend by a penny or 11% to 10 cents per share. The increased dividend is payable on May 1, 2013 to shareholders of record as of Apr 4, 2013.

The dividend increase comes after 10 years. From Dec 2003, Glatfelter has been maintaining its quarterly dividend of 9 cents per share. Current annualized dividend yield of Glatfelter is 1.96%. The raised dividend will increase the yield to 2.18%.

The hike in dividend can be attributed to the company’s strong balance sheet position. It demonstrates the company’s continuing focus on healthy free cash flow generation and returning value to the shareholders.

For the full year, Glatfelter‘s net sales edged down 1.6% year over year to $1,577.8 million, missing the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1,581 million. Glatfelter exited 2012 with cash and cash equivalent of $97.7 million, a two-and-a-half fold increase annually. Total debt rose 10% year over year to $250 million.

Glatfelter expects to benefit from its ongoing growth initiatives. The company said that it anticipates shipping volume for Specialty Papers in first-quarter 2013 to be in line with the fourth quarter level. For both Composite Fibers and Advanced Airlaid Materials businesses, it expects shipping volumes to be 5% higher sequentially in the first quarter.

Glatfelter makes specialty papers and fiber-based engineered materials. Its offerings include security papers, book publishing papers, envelopes, converting papers, shopping bags, food and beverage paper, metalized products, composite laminate papers and feminine hygiene products.

Glatfelter currently retains a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). International Paper Company (IP - Analyst Report), Fibria Celulose SA (FBR - Snapshot Report) and Clearwater Paper Corporation (CLW - Snapshot Report) also belong to the diversified paper industry. Each of them holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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