Altria Increases Quarterly Dividend 2.9% to $0.35 per Common Share

Altria Group, Inc. (Altria) (NYSE: MO – News) today announced that its Board of Directors voted to increase the company regular quarterly dividend by 2.9% to $0.35 per common share versus its previous quarterly dividend of $0.34 per common share. This increase is consistent with the previously announced change in the company dividend payout ratio target from approximately 75% to approximately 80% of its adjusted diluted earnings per share, reflecting the company intention to return a large amount of cash to shareholders in the form of dividends. The new annualized dividend rate is $1.40 per common share.

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The quarterly dividend is payable on April 9, 2010, to stockholders of record as of March 15, 2010. The ex-dividend date is March 11, 2010.

Altria Group, Inc.Clifford B. Fleet, 804-484-8222Vice President, Investor RelationsORDaniel R. [Read the full article]

Shares of Autodesk Inc. rose in premarket trading Wednesday after the design software maker beat Wall Street’s expectations for its fourth-quarter earnings and revenue as demand for the company’s products improved.

The results left analysts hopeful that the quarter represents a positive turn in the company’s business. Janney analyst Sasa Zorovic said the quarter showed that demand was increasing across the board, especially in Europe. He also noted that Autodesk landed several key contracts.

The quarter was “a promising sign that this was not just a good quarter built off of a few big deals … but rather, may represent a true stabilization,” he said in a research note.

Zorovic raised his price target for the company’s shares by $4 to $30 and increased his earnings and revenue forecasts for the first quarter and fiscal 2011. [Read the full article]

iParty Corp. (NYSE Amex: IPT), a party goods retailer that operates 51 iParty retail stores, today reported financial results for its fourth quarter and fiscal year 2009, which ended on December 26, 2009. [Read the full article]

Jo-Ann Stores, Inc. (NYSE:JAS – News) today announced that its fiscal year 2010 fourth quarter earnings conference call will be held Wednesday, March 10, 2010, at 4:30 p.m. Eastern Time. You are invited to listen to the call, which will be broadcast live over the Internet.

This call is being webcast by Thomson/CCBN and can be accessed at Jo-Ann Stores web site at (go to the bottom of our home page and click on “investors,” then click on the Conference Call icon).

The webcast is also being distributed over Thomson/CCBN Investor Distribution Network to both institutional and individual investors. Individual investors can listen to the call through Thomson/CCBN individual investor center at or by visiting any of the investor sites in Thomson/CCBN Individual Investor Network. [Read the full article]

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