Pfizer raises dividend by 9 percent

Pfizer Inc. announced Monday that it has increased its first-quarter dividend next year by 9 percent.

The company's board of directors declared a 24-cent dividend on Pfizer's common stock, payable March 5 to shareholders at the close of business Feb. 1. The dividend had previously been 22 cents a share.

The pharmaceutical giant said its dividend for the first quarter of 2013 will be its 297th consecutive quarterly dividend.

"The dividend increase is a testament to our continued commitment to returning capital to shareholders and demonstrates our continued confidence in the business," stated Ian Read, Pfizer chairman and chief executive officer.

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