On the eve of a contested shareholders meeting, slot machine manufacturer International Game Technology announced an 8 cents per share dividend for stockholders that is payable in a month.
In a statement Monday, IGT said the board of directors declared the cash dividend, which was a 33 percent increase compared with the dividend paid in the same quarter last year.
The dividend will be paid April 5 to shareholders of record on March 21.
IGT CEO Patti Hart said in a statement that the quarter marked the 40th consecutive three-month period that the company has paid a dividend.
“This is a demonstration of our continued commitment to return capital to shareholders, efficiently and prudently, driven by the strong financial performance of the company,” Hart said.
Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon told investors that IGT has roughly $200 million in cash on the balance sheet and has $600 million left in its share repurchase program.
“We continue to have a positive view on how the company is going about returning cash to shareholders through both dividends and share repurchases,” Beynon said. “We think the company is making the right moves to return cash to shareholders, and we think there is further opportunity for dividend increases in the future.”
IGT shareholders will vote today on the makeup of the company’s eight-member board of directors. IGT is asking that all eight current directors be re-elected.
However, a dissident shareholders group that controls 3 percent of IGT’s outstanding shares has waged a proxy battle on the company.
The group has proposed replacing three board members with its own candidates, including former IGT Chairman Charles Mathewson.
Contact reporter Howard Stutz at hstutz@
reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3871. Follow @howardstutz on Twitter.