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Ford board raises quarterly dividend 25 percent

DEARBORN, Mich. (AP) -- Ford Motor Co. is raising the quarterly dividend it pays shareholders for the second time since restoring the payout in 2012.

The second-largest U.S. automaker said Thursday its board declared a first-quarter dividend of 12.5 cents per share, a 25 percent increase from the previous 10-cent payout. The new dividend is payable on March 3 to shareholders of record at the close of business on Jan. 31.

Dearborn-based Ford stopped paying a dividend in 2006, a year in which it lost $12.6 billion. After a restructuring, it returned to profitability in 2009. Ford restored its quarterly dividend at 5 cents per share in the first quarter of 2012 and doubled that dividend a year later.

The announcement comes a few days after CEO Alan Mulally said he planned to stay with the automaker at least through the end of this year. Mulally was rumored to be in the running to become Microsoft Corp.'s next CEO.

Ford shares rose 27 cents, or 1.7 percent, to $15.81 in late morning trading.

The largest U.S. automaker, General Motors Co., hasn't paid a dividend since 2008. But CEO Dan Akerson recently hinted one is coming soon.

Akerson told reporters last month that since GM has retired preferred stock that carried high dividend rates and payments, it now has enough money to maintain capital spending and reward shareholders.

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