PPL Corp. of Allentown is reporting stronger than expected earnings and has increased the dividend it is paying to shareholders.
The company said that 2012 earnings exceeded forecast ranges at $1.55 billion, or $2.60 per share, as compared with $1.50 billion or $2.70 per share in 2011.
The company noted the per-share earnings in 2012 included a dilution of 14 cents per share because of common stock issued to fund the acquisition of a United Kingdom business segment.
The increase in the quarterly common stock dividend to 37 cents per share is payable April 1, to shareowners of record as of March 8. On an annualized basis, the dividend is $1.47 per share, up from $1.44 per share.
PPL said it has increased its dividend in 11 of the last 12 years; the new dividend rate reflects a 177 percent increase over that 12-year period.