There are two traditions in America that a person can set their watch to during the month of September. The first tradition is the Back-To-School period, which we used to dread when we were kids. The second tradition isn’t as well known, but it is something that we have been looking forward to since 1999. This tradition is the annual dividend increase from the Philip Morris Companies and its two tobacco successors Philip Morris International (PM) and Altria Group (MO). We have written about the long and proud tradition of dividend increases from the Philip Morris Companies, which takes into account adjustments for the Kraft (KFT) spin-off as well as the spin-off of Philip Morris International from Philip Morris USA (Altria).

Philip Morris/Altria has increased its adjusted annual per share dividend 46 times in the last 44 years. Philip Morris International has increased its dividends since its 2008 spin-off at a compounded annual growth rate of 13.1% while Altria has checked in with an 8.7% dividend increase. Kraft increased its quarterly per share dividend twice since its 2007 spin-off, by $.02 in September 2007 and $.02 in September 2008. While Kraft has not increased its dividend since 2008, Kraft has bolstered its cash position from $239M in 2006 (when the spin-off was announced to $4.643B in H1 2012 (Kraft’s last quarter before its spin-off of Kraft Foods Group and its impending name change to Mondelēz). Kraft Foods Group is targeting mid-single digit dividend growth once it is spun off from Mondelēz.

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