said Wednesday its board voted to increase the company’s dividend by 8 cents, an 8% raise, to $1.11. The dividend is payable Aug. 20 to shareholders of record on July 20. “Through the execution of our enterprise strategy for profitable growth, Caterpillar is generating higher free cash flow through the cycles,” Chief Executive Jim Umpleby said in a statement. “Our strong balance sheet and liquidity position make it possible for us to continue our long history of increasing our dividend and returning value to shareholders.” The heavy machinery company is a S&P 500 index’s
“dividend aristocrat,” or a company that has increased its dividend consistently for a quarter century. Shares of Caterpillar have gained 30% this year, compared with 13% gains for the S&P.