SEPTEMBER 23, 2010, 8:15 A.M. ET.

McDonald's Raises Quarterly Dividend 11%


McDonald's Corp. boosted its quarterly dividend by 11%, continuing a series of increased payouts every year since the fast-food chain's first dividend 34 years ago.

The six-cent increase to 61 cents a share will cost the hamburger giant an additional $65.4 million a quarter.

The company is the latest in a series to return cash to shareholders through dividends and buybacks as the perceived need to conserve has abated since the financial crisis. Tech giants Microsoft Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc.—like McDonald's they are members of the Dow Jones Industrial Average—have made their own moves in recent weeks, Microsoft raising its payout and Cisco starting one for the first time.

McDonald's Chief Executive Jim Skinner said the company expects to return about $5 billion to shareholders this year, "split between dividends and share repurchases."

Its sales growth continues to outpace its peers, boosted in recent months by new drinks and strong international growth. The company during July reported second-quarter earnings rose 12% but its executives have remained cautious about the future amid an uneven economic recovery.

The company plans to release its third-quarter results Oct. 21.

Write to Tess Stynes at ... lenews_wsj