Ford Motor Co. said it will begin paying dividends again after stopping for more than five years, a new sign of the No. 2 U.S. automaker's return to solid health.
Ford's board of directors decided to pay a 5-cent quarterly dividend, after halting the payments in September 2006 when CEO Alan Mulally was recruited to turn the ailing carmaker around.
"We have made tremendous progress in reducing debt and generating consistent positive earnings and cash flow," Executive Chairman Bill Ford said in a statement.
He called the reinstated dividend "an important sign of our progress in building a profitably growing company and our confidence in the future."
The dividend will be paid on March 1, 2012.
Ford, the only major U.S. automaker that did not seek a government bailout during the 2008-2009 financial crisis, reported its 10th consecutive quarterly profit in October, with income of $1.65 billion on revenues of $33.1 billion.
Ford shares fell 3% Thursday at the end of trade on Wall Street amid sharp overall equity losses spurred by worries about the eurozone debt crisis.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011