HALIFAX – Investment firm Clarke Inc. (TSX:CKI) announced Tuesday that it is increasing its quarterly dividend to eight cents per share from six cents despite a drop in first-quarter profit.
Clarke reported first-quarter net earnings of $3.1 million, or 19 cents per share, down from $3.7 million, or 22 cents per share, for the same period last year.
Revenue was $57.9 million compared with $61.1 million a year ago.
The company said the year-to-date decrease was mostly due to strong earnings achieved at the beginning of 2012 by its commercial tanks division.
The new, higher dividend is payable June 14 to shareholders of record on May 31. Based on Tuesday’s closing price of $4.45 per share on the Toronto Stock Exchange, the issue would produce an annual yield of almost 7.2 per cent.