BCE Inc. (TSX: BCE) (NYSE: BCE), Canada’s largest communications company, today reported results for the fourth quarter (Q4) and full-year 2016, provided financial guidance targets for 2017, and announced a 5.1%, increase in the BCE annual common share.
BCE’s Board of Directors has declared a quarterly dividend of $0.7175 per common share, payable on April 15, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2017.
Today’s dividend announcement is BCE’s 13th increase to its annual common share dividend since Q4 2008, representing a 97% increase. The BCE annualized common share dividend will increase 5.1%, or 14 cents per share, from $2.73 to $2.87 effective with BCE’s Q1 2017 dividend payable on April 15, 2017 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2017. This is BCE’s 9th consecutive year of 5% or better dividend growth, while maintaining the dividend payout ratio within the target policy range of 65% to 75% of free cash flow. The higher dividend for 2017 is fully supported by projected growth in free cash flow.