Ford said its liquidity has increased by $2 billion through the first three quarters of 2012. The dividend will be paid on March 1 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 30. The company said the last time it paid a 10-cent dividend was in June 2006. Management didn't rule out additional increases.
"Investors want to start seeing companies that are more confident in the sustainability of their earnings and taking action to respond to what has been a pretty clear message from the equity markets that shareholders want higher dividends," said David Bianco, Chief US Equity Strategist at Deutsche Bank, at a briefing with reporters Wednesday.
Deutsche Bank is forecasting that the Standard & Poor's 500 index will end 2013 at 1,575 a gain of about 10 percent in the year, moving higher, in part because investors will be lured by higher dividend payouts. Companies in the index are sitting on a record cash pile of $1 trillion according to data from S&P Dow Jones indices.
AP Autos Writer Dee-Ann Durbin in Detroit and AP Business Writer Steve Rothwell in New York contributed to this report.
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