LOUISVILLE, Ky.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Brown-Forman Corporation (NYSE: BFA) (NYSE: BFB) announced today that its Board of Directors increased its quarterly cash dividend on its Class A and Class B Common Stock by 5.1% to $0.166 per share from the prior quarter’s $0.158 per share. As a result, the indicated annual cash dividend will rise from $0.632 per share to $0.664 per share. Stockholders of record on December 6, 2018, will receive the cash dividend on January 2, 2019.
Paul Varga, Chief Executive Officer of Brown-Forman said, "Our 5.1% dividend increase marks the 35th consecutive year of dividend increases at Brown-Forman, and the 73rd year of paying quarterly dividends at the company. Returning cash to our shareholders has been an important contributor to our ability to generate great returns for our shareholders."
Brown-Forman is a member of the prestigious Standard & Poor’s 500 Dividend Aristocrats Index, which is composed of companies that have increased their cash dividend every year for at least 25 years.
The company also announced that Lawson Whiting, the company’s incoming CEO (as of January 1, 2019) has been elected to the company’s Board of Directors, effective immediately. As part of the CEO transition process, Paul Varga will remain on the board until the next annual meeting of shareholders on July 25, 2019, and that will mark the conclusion of the board's multi-year succession plan and his almost 16 years of service on the board.
“Lawson brings a wealth of business experience to the Brown-Forman board, including more than two decades in various roles at the company,” said Brown-Forman Board Chairman Geo. Garvin Brown IV. “We’re excited to welcome him to the board and are grateful to Paul for the important role he has played in this thoughtful succession process.”
For nearly 150 years, Brown-Forman Corporation has enriched the experience of life by responsibly building fine quality beverage alcohol brands, including Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey, Jack Daniel’s RTDs, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey, Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Fire, Gentleman Jack, Jack Daniel’s Single Barrel, Finlandia, Korbel, el Jimador, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, Canadian Mist, Herradura, New Mix, Sonoma-Cutrer, Early Times, Chambord, BenRiach, GlenDronach and Slane. Brown-Forman’s brands are supported by over 4,800 employees and sold in more than 170 countries worldwide. For more information about the company, please visit http://www.brown-forman.com/.
Important Information on Forward-Looking Statements:
This press release contains statements, estimates, and projections that are “forward-looking statements” as defined under U.S. federal securities laws. Words such as “aim,” “anticipate,” “aspire,” “believe,” “can,” “continue,” “could,” “envision,” “estimate,” “expect,” “expectation,” “intend,” “may,” “might,” “plan,” “potential,” “project,” “pursue,” “see,” “seek,” “should,” “will,” “would,” and similar words indicate forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date we make them. Except as required by law, we do not intend to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties, and other factors (many beyond our control) that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our historical experience or from our current expectations or projections. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to:
- Unfavorable global or regional economic conditions and related low consumer confidence, high unemployment, weak credit or capital markets, budget deficits, burdensome government debt, austerity measures, higher interest rates, higher taxes, political instability, higher inflation, deflation, lower returns on pension assets, or lower discount rates for pension obligations
- Risks associated with being a U.S.-based company with global operations, including commercial, political, and financial risks; local labor policies and conditions; protectionist trade policies, or economic or trade sanctions, including potential retaliatory tariffs on American spirits and the effectiveness of our actions to mitigate the potential negative impact on our sales and distributors; compliance with local trade practices and other regulations, including anti-corruption laws; terrorism; and health pandemics
- Fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates, particularly a stronger U.S. dollar
- Changes in laws, regulations, or policies – especially those that affect the production, importation, marketing, labeling, pricing, distribution, sale, or consumption of our beverage alcohol products
- Tax rate changes (including excise, sales, VAT, tariffs, duties, corporate, individual income, dividends, or capital gains) or changes in related reserves, changes in tax rules or accounting standards, and the unpredictability and suddenness with which they can occur
- The impact of the recently enacted U.S. tax reform legislation, including as a result of future regulations and guidance interpreting the statute
- Dependence upon the continued growth of the Jack Daniel’s family of brands
- Changes in consumer preferences, consumption, or purchase patterns – particularly away from larger producers in favor of small distilleries or local producers, or away from brown spirits, our premium products, or spirits generally, and our ability to anticipate or react to them; legalization of marijuana use on a more widespread basis; shifts in consumer purchase practices from traditional to e-commerce retailers; bar, restaurant, travel, or other on-premise declines; shifts in demographic or health and wellness trends; or unfavorable consumer reaction to new products, line extensions, package changes, product reformulations, or other product innovation
- Decline in the social acceptability of beverage alcohol in significant markets
- Production facility, aging warehouse, or supply chain disruption
- Imprecision in supply/demand forecasting
- Higher costs, lower quality, or unavailability of energy, water, raw materials, product ingredients, labor, or finished goods
- Route-to-consumer changes that affect the timing of our sales, temporarily disrupt the marketing or sale of our products, or result in higher fixed costs
- Inventory fluctuations in our products by distributors, wholesalers, or retailers
- Competitors’ and retailers’ consolidation or other competitive activities, such as pricing actions (including price reductions, promotions, discounting, couponing, or free goods), marketing, category expansion, product introductions, or entry or expansion in our geographic markets or distribution networks
- Risks associated with acquisitions, dispositions, business partnerships, or investments – such as acquisition integration, termination difficulties or costs, or impairment in recorded value
- Inadequate protection of our intellectual property rights
- Product recalls or other product liability claims, or product counterfeiting, tampering, contamination, or quality issues
- Significant legal disputes and proceedings, or government investigations
- Failure or breach of key information technology systems
- Negative publicity related to our company, brands, marketing, personnel, operations, business performance, or prospects
- Failure to attract or retain key executive or employee talent
- Our status as a family “controlled company” under New York Stock Exchange rules, and our dual class share structure
For further information on these and other risks, please refer to the “Risk Factors” section of our annual report on Form 10-K and quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.