Fast-food company McDonald's on Wednesday raised the annual dividend on its common stock by 50 percent as part of a plan to return up to $17 billion to shareholders through 2009, sending its shares up 1.9 percent in extended trade.
In a statement, the world's largest restaurant company said its board of directors declared a 2007 cash dividend of $1.50 per share, up from $1 a share last year. It is payable on Dec. 3 to shareholders of record as of Nov. 15.
McDonald's also said it would return between $15 billion and $17 billion in cash to shareholders from 2007 through 2009, a commitment that appeared to mark a significant increase from the company's prior plan.
Most recently, McDonald's said it would return at least $5.7 billion to shareholders in 2007 and 2008.
McDonald's shares rose to $52.15 in extended trade after closing at $51.20 on the New York Stock Exchange.