NEW YORK — Specialty retailer Claire’s Stores Inc. said its board declared a 2-for-1 split on its common and class A common stock.

The Pembroke Pines, Fla.-based company also said that the dividend would remain at its current per share level rather than being adjusted downward to reflect the stock split, effectively doubling the dividend payout.

The quarterly dividend payable on the company’s common stock will remain at 6 cents per share and the quarterly dividend on its class A common stock will remain at 3 cents per share.

This marks the second dividend increase in fiscal 2004. In May 2003, the company raised the quarter dividend on the common stock to 6 cents from 4 cents per share and the quarterly dividend on the class A common stock to 3 cents from 2 cents a share.

The payment date for the stock split as well as the cash dividend is Dec. 19 for stockholders of record on Dec 5. After the split, there will be about 92.2 million common shares and 5.3 million shares of class A stock outstanding.

“Claire’s Stores delivered strong performance last year in a difficult environment and has continued to register significant improvements year to date,” Bonnie Schaefer and Marla Schaefer, the acting co-chief executives, said in a statement. “The demand for our costume jewelry and accessories is continuing unabated and we believe the strategies we have in place will result in sustainable growth over the long-term.”

Last month the company, in announcing a 7 percent increase in its September same-store sales, raised its third-quarter earnings guidance to between 41 and 42 cents, including a one-time benefit of 4 cents because of a concluded tax examination that was settled more favorably than anticipated, from 31 to 32 cents, based on a 6 to 7 percent comp increase.

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