Wal-Mart boosts annual dividend 9%

Bentonville, Ark. -- Wal-Mart Stores Inc. said Thursday it is continuing its annual tradition of increasing shareholder payout by raising its dividend by 9%.

Wal-Mart will pay a quarterly dividend of 39.75 cents on April 4 to shareholders of record on March 12. That works out to $1.59 per share for the year. The company has increased its dividend every year since its first declared dividend in March 1974.

According to Wal-Mart president and CEO Mike Duke, the company's U.S. business is back on track, and international results remain strong.