Ralph Lauren boosts dividend and stock buybacks, increases restructuring charges
Ralph Lauren Corp. said Thursday at its investor day that it will raise its quarterly dividend by 25%, add $1 billion to its stock repurchase program and incur restructuring charges of $100 million to $150 million, mostly be the end of fiscal 2019. The stock edged up 0.3% in premarket trade. The charges, which will result from the consolidation of its distribution network and corporate offices, and severance pay, are in addition to the $100 million in charges expected in fiscal 2019 from its previously announced “Way Forward Plan.” The apparel and accessories company expects the restructuring activities to result in annualized savings of $60 million to $80 million. The new quarterly dividend of 62.5 cents a share, up from 50 cents a share, will be payable July 13 to shareholders of record on June 29. Based on Wednesday’s stock closing price, the new annual dividend rate implies a dividend yield of 1.79%, compared with the implied yield for the S&P 500 of 1.90%, according to FactSet. The addition to the stock repurchase program bring the current authorization to $1.1 billion. The stock has soared 35% year to date through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 has gained 3.7%.