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Macy’s Doubles Its Dividend

Iconic retailer Macy’s (NYSE:M) on Thursday announced two plans to give back to investors in the throes of an upgraded outlook for fourth-quarter earnings.

Macy’s announced its second quarterly dividend doubling in as many years Thursday, upping its payout to 20 cents payable April 2 to shareholders of record as of March 15. The new payout would represent a 2.4% yield as of Thursday’s midday price of $33.43. Macy’s previously hiked its quarterly dividend from 5 cents to the current 10 cents in summer 2011.

Macy’s also announced a $1 billion boost in its share repurchase program, bringing its current authorization to $1.6 billion. The company began its share buyback initiative in August 2011 and has repurchased $250 million worth of shares as of the end of 2011.

The news came alongside new fourth-quarter and full-year earnings projections boosted by news that same-store sales jumped 6.2% last month. Macy’s expects Q4 earnings per share of $1.55 to $1.60, compared to a previous forecast of $1.52 to $1.57. Full-year earnings now are forecast between $2.73 and $2.78 per share, up from $2.70 to $2.75. The fourth-quarter earnings still fall short of analysts’ expectations, but the high end of the full-year projection is on par with Wall Street forecasts.

Macy’s reports earnings Feb. 2.

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