International Business Corp., flush after its most successful year and most profitable first quarter ever, today raised its quarterly dividend for the first time in four years.
The widely discussed IBM dividend, payable on June 10, will rise by nine cents to 95 cents a share. In past years, the company's unwillingness to raise its quarterly payout to what are now its 725,000 shareholders had been a subject of contention at annual shareholder meetings.
This year's IBM shareholder meeting, held here today before 2,100 people, was an upbeat review of what was a generally solid year.
In fact, the company's stock has risen dramatically since the 1982 annual meeting when IBM was selling at $66 a share. When trading opened today, IBM stock was priced at 117 1/4 a share, although word of the dividend increase apparently pulled the stock down by $3 a share by the close of trading.
Yet despite the company's record-breaking 1982 and its subsequent early 1983 performance, Chairman John R. Opel said the company's management is not convinced that global economic recovery is around the corner.
"Despite some very favorable signs --especially the first signals of a recovery here in the United States--the worldwide economic climate remains very uncertain," Opel told shareholders.