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CLARCOR Hikes Dividend

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Industrial goods manufacturer CLARCOR Inc. recently hiked its fourth quarter fiscal 2013 dividend to 17 cents per share from 13.5 cents, representing a 25.9% year-over-year increase. The news probably helped the stock to rise 0.87% to $55.53 on close of trading on Sep 30.

The increased dividend is payable on Oct 18 to shareholders of record as of Oct 11 and affirms a yield of 1.22%. A steady dividend payout is part of the long-term strategy of CLARCOR to provide attractive risk-adjusted returns to its stockholders. In addition, decent dividend increases at periodic intervals have been one of the company’s most attractive features.

CLARCOR had earlier raised the quarterly dividend payout from 12 cents to 13.5 cents per share or from 48 cents to 54 cents on an annualized basis in Oct 2012. Prior to that, CLARCOR raised its quarterly dividend in Oct 2011 from 10.5 cents to 12 cents and in Oct 2010 from 9.8 cents to 10.5 cents per share.

Although CLARCOR has steadily increased its dividend each year over the last 30-year period, the current dividend hike is the largest of its kind in the last two decades. Despite the phenomenal increase in its quarterly dividend payout, management remained bullish to continue pursuing strategic acquisitions and investments in capital projects to fuel further growth, driven by its strong cash flows.

The company also has a share repurchase program in place, under which it had $244,841 worth of shares remaining under its $250,000 stock repurchase program as of Aug 31, 2013. Over the years, CLARCOR has consistently returned significant cash to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.

Founded in 1904, CLARCOR manufactures filtration products, filtration systems and services, and consumer and industrial packaging products worldwide. Headquartered in Franklin, Tenn., the company operates in three principal segments: Engine/Mobile Filtration, Industrial/Environmental Filtration and Packaging. In addition to direct marketing to the end-use customers, CLARCOR distributes its products through independent distributors, OEM (original equipment manufacturers) dealers, retail stores, and internal sales force.

CLARCOR presently has a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell). Other players in the industry worth reckoning include Danaher Corp. (DHR - Free Report) , ITT Corporation (ITT - Free Report) , and LSB Industries Inc. , each carrying Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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