Neenah, Wisconsin, USA, 01 February 2007 --(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Bemis Company, Inc. (NYSE:BMS) announced today that its board of directors has approved an 11% increase in the quarterly cash dividend, increasing it to 21 cents per share compared to the previous quarterly dividend of 19 cent per share.
The cash dividend is payable on 01 March 2007, to shareholders of record on at the close of business on 15 February 2007. This marks the 24th consecutive year that the company has increased its dividend payment. Bemis has been paying an annual dividend on its stock since 1922.
In addition, the board authorized the repurchase of an additional 3 million shares of Bemis Company stock, supplementing the current buyback authorization, which has approximately 1.2 million shares remaining. This approval enables Bemis to use a portion of its free cash flow to repurchase shares from time to time, based on market conditions. The shares may be purchased in open market or privately negotiated transactions.
"Our dividend program is an important part of our shareholders' total return on their investment in Bemis Company," said Jeff Curler, Bemis Company chairman, president, and chief executive officer. "This healthy dividend increase reflects the confidence of our board of directors in our ability to generate strong cash flow that supports our objective of a 35% to 45% dividend payout ratio in addition to funding the current and future growth initiatives of Bemis' operations."
Bemis Company is a major supplier of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials used by leading food, consumer products, manufacturing, and other companies worldwide. Founded in 1858, the company reported 2006 sales of USD 3.6 billion, of which USD 3.0 billion was from the flexible packaging business segment and USD 0.6 billion was from the pressure sensitive materials business segment. Bemis employs about 16,000 individuals in 56 manufacturing facilities in 10 countries around the world. More information about the company is available at www.bemis.com.