Ford lifts dividend 25% to 12.5 cents a share

Shares rise 2%

UPDATED: 1/9/14 4:34 pm ET - adds stock close

DETROIT (Bloomberg) -- Ford Motor Co., citing improved liquidity, boosted its quarterly dividend for common and Class B stock by 25 percent to 12.5 cents a share.

The increase reflects the company's strong performance in 2013, Ford said in a statement, adding that its liquidity position improved by $3 billion through the third quarter.

The dividend is payable March 3 to shareholders of record at the close on Jan. 31. The automaker had reinstated its dividend in 2012 at 5 cents a share and doubled it to 10 cents a year ago.

Ford rose 1.9 percent to $15.84 at the close today in New York. The shares advanced 19 percent last year as the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 30 percent.

"This increase in the dividend provides our shareholders with a regular, growing dividend that we believe is sustainable over an economic or business cycle," CFO Bob Shanks said in the statement.

Ford family members including Executive Chairman Bill Ford, great-grandson of founder Henry Ford, are the exclusive owners of the 70.9 million Class B shares, a special class of stock that gives them 40 percent voting power. The increased dividend, if maintained for the year, will pay $35.45 million on those shares.

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