Mar 12, 2013 • By

Dividend increase extends century-long legacy [infographic]

In a stock market full of uncertainty and unpredictability, General Mills’ 114-year long, unbroken track record of shareholder dividends definitely stands out.*

Today the company’s board of directors built on this record by approving a 15 percent increase in our dividend rate to $0.38 per share effective with the Aug. 1, 2013, dividend payment. This is the company’s 14th increase in the quarterly dividend rate since 2004.

The new annualized rate of $1.52 represents a yield of approximately 3.3 percent at recent market prices for General Mills common stock.

Today the board also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.33 per share, payable May 1, 2013.

General Mills’ 2.9 percent dividend yield at the current rate beats many investment vehicles in today’s low interest rate environment. Five-year U.S. Treasury notes are currently yielding 0.8 percent and 10-year U.S. Treasury bonds are currently yielding 1.9 percent.**

In fact, General Mills dividends per share have grown at an 11 percent compound rate over the most recent five fiscal years.

Total return to General Mills shareholders from stock price appreciation and dividends over the most recent five-year period has compounded at 14 percent per year.***

The average annual return for the S&P 500 Index during this same time period was only 6 percent.

Today’s announcement comes just three weeks after we told investors at the Consumer Analyst Group of New York (CAGNY) conference that we will be focused on increasing cash returns to General Mills shareholders in 2014.

We are building on our long-standing commitment to shareholder returns. General Mills began trading on the New York Stock Exchange in 1928. If you had invested $1,000 in GIS in 1928 and held it through calendar year 2012, with dividend reinvestments, it would be worth more than $7 million today.

You can read more about today’s announcement in a press release on

Editor’s notes:
* General Mills and its predecessor firm — the Washburn Crosby Company — have paid dividends without interruption or reduction for 114 years.

**As published by Yahoo Finance the week of March 4, 2013.

***Bloomberg. Most recent five-year period ending March 11, 2013.