Colgate-Palmolive Approves 2-for-1 Stock Split

Colgate-Palmolive Co., the third-largest U.S. household-products maker, approved a two-for-one stock split and boosted its dividend 9.7 percent as it works to keep the shares affordable and return cash to investors.

The record date for the split is April 23, and the shares will be distributed on May 15, the New York-based company said today in a statement. The quarterly dividend will rise to 68 cents per share on a pre-split basis from 62 cents.

Colgate, the maker of its namesake toothpaste, Irish Spring soap and Ajax house cleaner, last split its shares in 1999, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The shares climbed 77 percent from the end of that year through yesterday, making them the 41st highest-priced in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index.

Consumer-products makers have been working to expand in emerging markets and keep their products affordable amid rising raw-materials prices. Colgate’s net income last year rose 1.7 percent to $2.47 billion, and the company generated $3.2 billion in cash from operations, up 10 percent from 2011.

The shares rose 0.1 percent to $115.41 at the close in New York. Colgate has gained 10 percent this year, compared with an 8.3 percent gain for the S&P 500.

Colgate’s $17 billion in sales last year ranked it behind only Procter & Gamble Co. and Kimberly-Clark Corp. in revenue.

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