DOW JONES NEWSWIRES
Omnicare Inc.'s (OCR) board announced a 44% increase in its quarterly dividend as the provider of drugs to nursing homes and assisted-living centers becomes the latest to lift its payout.
The increase to 3.25 cents per share, which will cost Omnicare some $4.7 million a year, comes as longtime Chief Executive Joel Gemunder abruptly retired last week. Days later, the company reported a 60% slump in second-quarter earnings and sharply reduced profit target for the year. In June, Omnicare's former chief operating officer departed.
Still, the payout comes as companies across the spectrum have been raising dividends and starting or resuming stock-repurchase efforts after hoarding cash in the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis.
Omnicare shares, higher ahead of news about the dividend, were recently up 1.7% at $20.28. The stock is down 18% this month.
-By John Kell, Dow Jones Newswires; 212-416-2480; firstname.lastname@example.org