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Flowers Foods (NYSE:FLO), which announced a definitive agreement to acquire ButterKrust Bakery in Lakeland, Florida, boosted its dividend by 20% in late May. Its dividend yield of 2.1% is a standout in its industry. A few days before hiking its dividend, the company posted first-quarter earnings of 39 cents per share. The result was ahead of last year’s 31 cents and topped the consensus estimate by 11.43%.

Company Description

Flowers Foods produces and markets packaged bakery foods for retail and foodservice customers. Among the company's top brands are Nature's Own, Cobblestone Mill, Sunbeam, Blue Bird, and Mrs. Freshley's. Flowers Foods produces, markets, and distributes fresh bakery products that are delivered to customers daily through a direct-store-delivery system serving the Southeast, Southwest, and Mid-Atlantic. The company also produces and distributes fresh snack cakes and frozen breads and rolls nationally through warehouse distribution.

Higher Income

The company boosted its dividend by 20% in late May. Its dividend yield of 2.1% is a standout in its industry.

Strong First Quarter

A few days before hiking its dividend, the company posted first-quarter earnings of 39 cents per share. The result was ahead of last year’s 31 cents and topped the consensus estimate by 11.43%. Sales jumped 10.9% to $676.7 million from the year-prior $609.9 million.

George E. Deese, Flowers Foods' Chairman, CEO, and President said:

Investments over the long term in bakery technology, distribution systems, and information technology have helped make Flowers Foods one of the most efficient operators in our industry. We continue to face the most dramatic cost increases the baking industry has ever experienced, but our team remains focused on executing our strategies, further improving our efficiencies, taking costs out of our business wherever possible, and maintaining the quality and value of our products. These efforts, along with pricing actions, helped offset our higher input costs in the quarter and allowed us to achieve another good quarter.

The company lifted its earnings per share guidance to a range of $1.15 to $1.23 for the full year. Wall Street has current 2008 estimates pegged at $1.20 per share, which was revised up from $1.13 over the past 90 days.

The second-quarter report is scheduled for release on Aug 14, 2008.

Source: Flowers Foods Boost Dividend, Makes Acquisition