Harman International Doubles its Dividend

Car audio equipment maker Harman International Industries Inc (HAR) announced it would double its annual cash dividend to 60 cents per share.  The company will pay a dividend of 15 cents per share quarterly, effective July 1. The first quarterly payment will be made in September 2012.  Shares of the company, which owns brands such as Harman Kardon, JBL, AKG and Infinity, closed at $37.45 for a dividend yield of 0.80%.  HAR is a dividend growth stock as it has a 5-year average annual dividend growth of 43% with a payout ratio of 5%.

As of June 14, HAR has repurchased just over $100 million shares of common stock, which represents more than half of the amount authorized by its Board in October 2011.  The amount approved by the Board was $200 million for stock repurchases.  Dinesh C. Paliwal, President, Chairman, and CEO of Harman, commented, “We believe the repurchase of our shares represents a sound investment decision for our Company given recent trading prices. If the price of our shares remains at or around the current market price level, we plan to continue to buy back our shares in accordance with the economic parameters of the repurchase program, as approved by our Board.”  HAR has a market cap of $2.65 billion.

HAR had Q4 earnings of $0.67 per share in 2012 compared to $0.34 in Q4 2011.  HAR has dropped 20% as Apple has decided to use its own platform for navigation and voice recognition services.