Intel increases quarterly dividend by 15%; shares rise

Chipmaker's earnings up as demand for PCs grows

Shares of Intel Corp. were up 30 cents, or 1.4 percent, to 21.51 in mid-afternoon trading Friday after the world's largest chipmaker announced an increase in its quarterly dividend of 15 percent. The added dividend will begin showing up in the first quarter of next year, when shareholders will get 18 cents per share, which comes to 72 cents per share on an annual basis, Intel said. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based company has been paying a dividend of 15.75 cents per share. (Also see: Intel reports huge increase in Q3 earnings)

In a statement announcing the dividend increase, Intel president and CEO Paul Otellini said, "Intel remains on track to have our best year ever and we continue to generate strong cash flows. Our ongoing operational performance and confidence in our business going forward provide the ability to return more cash to shareholders." A month ago today Intel announced a huge jump in third-quarter net earnings of 59 percent to $2.96 billion, or 52 cents per share, from last year's Q3 profit of $1.86 billion, or 33 cents per share. Revenue increased 18 percent to a record $11.1 billion from $9.4 billion. Interestingly, at the time Intel said it anticipated spending on enterprise technology to remain strong in the fourth quarter. But just two days ago, Cisco Systems saw its shares plummet after issuing a weak forecast for corporate spending. What a difference a month makes.

Chris Nerney writes about the business side of technology market strategies and trends, legal issues, leadership changes, mergers, venture capital, IPOs and technology stocks. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisNerney.

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