MetLife Inc. said its board raised the life insurer’s quarterly dividend by 7.1 percent, marking the third year in a row the payout to shareholders has been boosted.
MetLife, the largest life insurer in the U.S. by assets, said the dividend will rise to 37.5 cents a share, an increase of 2.5 cents a share. The boosted dividend is payable to shareholders of record as of May 11.
Chairman and Chief Executive Steven A. Kandarian said the move “demonstrates our continued commitment to maximizing long-term shareholder value.”
MetLife reported in February that it eked out a slight increase in fourth-quarter operating profit though revenue edged down as the life-insurance industry continued to wrestle with tough economic conditions in many parts of the world.
During its fourth-quarter conference call, the company struck a cautious tone. While it had $6.1 billion of “free cash,” executives at the time declined to say how much might land in shareholders’ pockets beyond its $1 billion share-buyback program.
The company plans to release its first-quarter results on May 6 after the market closes.