GATX Increases Dividend 8.6 Percent & Announces Two-For-One Stock Split
"The increase in our dividend demonstrates our commitment to maximize total return to shareholders. The dividend increase, combined with the stock split, highlights our continued confidence in the future strength and success of our company," said Ronald H. Zech, chairman of GATX. AWe believe the two-for-one stock split will place GATX's stock in a more affordable trading range, thereby making it easier for our shareholders to purchase GATX shares.
"The increase in our dividend reflects GATX's consistently high cash flow. GATX's dividend has been an important part of our total return to shareholders, which reached 54 percent in 1997."
GATX increased its first quarter 1998 dividend, to be paid on March 31, 1998 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 6, 1998. The new annualized dividend rate of $2.00 per share is 8.6 percent higher than the previous annual rate of $1.84 per share. This represents the thirteenth dividend increase in the past thirteen years for GATX Corporation. GATX has paid regular quarterly dividends for 79 consecutive years. The Board also declared a quarterly dividend of $0.62½ cents per share on the $2.50 preferred stock, payable March 1, 1998, to shareholders of record February 13, 1998.
The board also approved a two-for-one stock split effected in the form of a stock dividend for shareholders of record on May 11, 1998. Shareholders of record will receive one additional share in the form of a stock dividend on June 1, 1998 for each share held. The stock split is contingent upon a vote by shareholders at the 1998 Annual Meeting to amend the company's certificate of incorporation to increase the authorized shares of common stock..
The stock split will not change a shareholder's proportional interest in GATX Corporation. The stock split will have no effect on the March dividend, which will be paid before the record date for the split.
In 1998, GATX is celebrating the 100th anniversary of its founding. GATX Corporation provides approximately $6 billion of service-enhanced assets primarily used to help its customers transport, store or distribute their products and information. GATX's assets include railcars and locomotives, bulk liquid terminals and pipelines, ships, commercial aircraft, technology equipment and other assets and related services worldwide. In addition, GATX offers a variety of financial and logistics services focused on enhancing the value of owned and leased assets.