AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market here said it would resume paying a quarterly dividend, beginning next month, after suspending the shareholder benefit in 2008 amid a lull in the company’s growth.
“The company’s favorable financial position and long-term outlook give us the confidence to reinstate our quarterly cash dividend,” said John Elstrott, chairman of Whole Foods. “As a company with significant future growth opportunities, we are fortunate to have sufficient cash on hand and predictable cash flow allowing us to pay off our debt, accelerate our growth, and also return cash to our shareholders.”
In the recently ended fiscal year, the company said it generated free cash flow of $328.5 million, after $256.8 million in capital expenditures.
The first payout of 10 cents per share, or about $17 million total, is slated for Jan. 20, 2011, to shareholders of record on Jan. 10, 2011.