ANALYSTS DEBATE MERITS OF DIVIDENDS IN INDUSTRY

The decision by Safeway to institute a dividend last month has revived the debate over whether companies ought to use free cash flow to reward investors immediately or to invest in other strategies with longer-term paybacks.It has also shifted Wall Street's attention to Kroger to see if it will follow Safeway in declaring a dividend. Industry analysts contacted by SN were divided on whether they expect

The decision by Safeway to institute a dividend last month has revived the debate over whether companies ought to use free cash flow to reward investors immediately or to invest in other strategies with longer-term paybacks.

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