Sunday, January 17, 2010

Laura Franks’ Dividend Note No. 19, January, 17, 2010 on Bexley Public Radio.

This is a report on twenty-eight companies that have increased dividends. It is an occasional note by Laura Franks.

This informal collection marks dividend increases for mostly U.S. stocks. This report includes some equities based in Canada and Switzerland.

Bexley Public Radio hopes this is a positive note amidst the usual uncertainty of Wall Street and financial markets.

Laura’s commentary and analysis is sometimes offered in this informal journal.

Alliant Energy Corporation (NYSE: LNT) Jan. 15, 2010 Madison, WI announced that quarterly dividends on common stock were declared by the Board of Directors. The common stock dividend is $.3950 per share payable on February 12, 2010, to shareowners of record on close of business January 29, 2010.

"I am pleased to announce that the Board has approved a 5.3% increase in our dividend," said William D. Harvey, Chairman, President and CEO of Alliant Energy. "This increase is consistent with our previously stated policy of targeting a dividend payout ratio of 60 to 70 percent of our utility earnings."

Dividends on common stock have been paid for 257 consecutive quarters since 1946.

Alliant Energy is an energy-services provider with subsidiaries serving approximately 1 million electric and over 400,000 natural gas customers. Providing its customers in the Midwest with regulated electric and natural gas service is the company's primary focus.

Alpine Global Premier Properties Fund (NYSE: AWP) Jan. 12, 2010 WESTCHESTER, N.Y announced the monthly distributions for March, April and May at an increased rate of $.033 cents per share.

Fund manager Sam Lieber said, “The crisis of confidence which affected the global financial markets last year led to profound uncertainty over future business conditions. At the outset of last year, many companies sought to enhance cash flow retention by reducing or suspending dividends. As we enter 2010, business confidence has improved, corporate planners have improved visibility of future demand, and capital is available for participants in both the debt and equity public markets. During 2009, REITs and other public real estate companies around the world raised over $69 billion* in order to improve balance sheets.

More has been raised for new investments and even IPOs. From this enhanced equity base, we believe companies may begin to increase dividends, initially by returning to historic pay-out ratios and then when real estate incomes begin to grow. Thus, for 2010 Alpine believes that AWP can achieve a higher level of monthly distributable dividend income for shareholders through our dividend capture strategies.”

In the December, 2008 announcement of AWP’s reduced distributions for 2009, Lieber noted that “future improvements in the condition of global real estate securities markets may enable a dividend increase and shall be considered when appropriate.” Today’s announcement is an affirmation of that statement, which will continue to be a policy of the Alpine Global Premier Properties Fund.

American Financial Group (NYSE:AFG) Jan. 4, 2010 Cincinnati, OH announced it had increased its quarterly dividend from thirteen cents per shares up to 13.75 cents per share. This amounts to an increase of about six percent and will yield investors approximately two percent going forward.

The dividend is payable on January 25, 2010 to holders of record on January 15, 2010. As previously announced, the Board of Directors approved an increase in the company’s dividend during the fourth quarter of 2009. This new dividend rate represents a 6% increase over each quarterly dividend paid in 2009.

American Financial Group is an insurance holding company, based in Cincinnati, Ohio with assets in excess of $25 billion. Through the operations of Great American Insurance Group, AFG is engaged primarily in property and casualty insurance, focusing on specialized commercial products for businesses, and in the sale of traditional fixed, indexed and variable annuities and a variety of supplemental insurance products. Great American Insurance Group’s roots go back to 1872 with the founding of its flagship company, Great American Insurance Company.

Bank of the Ozarks, Inc. (NASDAQ: OZRK) Jan. 7, 2010 Little Rock, AR announced its Board of Directors has approved a regular quarterly cash dividend of $0.14 per common share, or $0.52 annualized.

This dividend of $0.14 per share represents an increase of $0.01 per share, or 7.7%, over the dividend paid in recent quarters.

The dividend is payable January 26, 2010 to shareholders of record as of January 19, 2010. The ex-dividend date is January 14, 2010.

BCE Inc. (TSX,BCE) Dec. 17, 2010 Montreal today announced a 7% increase in its annual common share dividend to $1.74 per share for 2010 as well as plans for the use of its year-end 2009 surplus cash balance that include a Normal Course Issuer Bid (NCIB) for up to $500 million and a $500 million special voluntary pension contribution.

"BCE is committed to delivering attractive ongoing returns to our shareholders and has done so through consistent and sustainable dividend increases and share buybacks since December 2008," said George Cope, President and CEO of BCE and Bell Canada. "Our accelerating business performance built on the Bell team's strong execution of our 5 Strategic Imperatives, substantial free cash flow generation and ample liquidity provide us with the financial flexibility to reward shareholders while maintaining both a strong balance sheet and robust capital investment in Bell's networks and service programs."

The announcement represents BCE's third increase to the annual common share dividend and the second share buyback since the termination of its proposed privatization agreement in December 2008. With this increase, BCE's annual common share dividend has increased by 19% since the fourth quarter of 2008.

The BCE annual common share dividend will increase by 7% to $1.74 per share, effective with BCE's Q1 2010 dividend payable on April 15, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on March 15, 2010. This increase maintains BCE's payout ratio conservatively towards the lower end of its policy of 65% to 75% of Adjusted EPS for 2010.

Calumet Specialty Products Partners (NASDAQ:CLMT) Jan. 5, 2010, Indianapolis, IN announced its quarterly dividend of 45.5 cents per share, an increase of about 1% over its prior dividend in October of 45 cents.

Cameco Corporation (TSX: CCO; NYSE: CCJ) Dec. 7, 2009, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan announced that its board of directors has approved an increase in the annual cash dividend to $0.28 from $0.24 per share beginning in 2010. This represents a 17% increase in the common share dividend and will be the sixth increase in the last eight years. Cameco has consistently paid dividends since its shares began trading in 1991.

The company's board of directors also declared a quarterly cash dividend of $0.06 per common share, payable on January 15, 2010 to shareholders of record on December 31, 2009.

Cameco is one of the world's largest uranium producers. The company's uranium products are used to generate electricity in nuclear energy plants around the world, providing one of the cleanest sources of energy available today. Cameco's shares trade on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges.

Canadian Utilities Limited, an ATCO company, (TSX: CU.X) January 14, 2010, Calgary, Alberta declared a first quarter dividend of 37.75 cents per Class A non-voting (TSX:CU) and Class B common share (TSX:CU.X), a 7.1% increase over the 35.25 cents paid in each of the four previous quarters. The dividend is payable March 1, 2010, to shareholders of record on February 8, 2010.

Citizens Financial Services, Inc. (OTCBB: CZFS) Jan. 8, 2010, Mansfield, PA, the bank holding company for First Citizens National Bank, has declared a cash dividend of $.25 per share, to be paid on January 29, 2010 to shareholders of record on January 15, 2010.

The quarterly cash dividend is an increase of 4.2% over the dividend the company declared one year ago.

Pennsylvania-based Citizens Financial Services’ First Citizens National Bank unit has community offices in Wellsville, New York and Pennsylvania offices in Genesee, Ulysses, Wellsboro, Mansfield, Blossburg, Canton, Troy, Gillett, Towanda, LeRaysville, Stateline, Sayre and in-store offices at Weis Market in Wellsboro and WalMart in Mansfield.

Clough Global Opportunities Fund ( Amex: GLO) Jan. 6, 2010, Denver, CO declared that it has increased its quarterly distribution by $0.02 per common share to $0.27 per common share starting in January 2010. This is an eight percent increase in dividend payments.

The dividend will be payable on January 29, 2010 to shareholders of record on January 22, 2010.

The Fund has approximately $1.4 billion in total assets, the net asset value was $15.56 per share and the market price was $13.28 as of January 5, 2010. Subject to market conditions, the Fund intends to distribute subsequent regular quarterly cash distributions.

Chuck Clough, founder of Clough Capital Partners and portfolio manager for the Fund notes, “We are pleased that with the Fund’s recent rise in net asset value of 42% in 2009, we are once again able to increase distributions.”

Comcast Corporation (Nasdaq: CMCSA), Jan. 6, 2010, Philadelphia, PA a leading cable, entertainment and communications company, announced that the Company's planned annual dividend has increased 40% to $0.378 per share. In accordance with the increase, the Board of Directors has increased the quarterly dividend payable on January 27, 2010 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on January 6, 2010 from $0.0675 a share on the Company’s common stock to $0.0945 a share.

Comcast Corporation is one of the nation's leading providers of entertainment, information and communication products and services. With 23.8 million cable customers, 15.7 million high-speed Internet customers, and 7.4 million Comcast Digital Voice customers, Comcast is principally involved in the development, management and operation of cable systems and in the delivery of programming content.

Core Laboratories N.V. (NYSE: CLB) Jan. 14, 2010, Houston, TX has announced a 20% increase in its quarterly cash dividend.

The cash dividend payable in the first quarter of 2010 will equal $0.12 per share of common stock. On an annualized basis, the quarterly cash dividend would equal a payout of $0.48 per share of common stock. The quarterly cash dividend will be payable on 25 February 2010 to shareholders of record on 25 January 2010. Dutch withholding tax will be deducted from the dividend at a rate of 15%.

Any determination to declare a future quarterly or special cash dividend, as well as the amount of any such cash dividend which may be declared, will be based on the Company's financial position, earnings, earnings outlook, capital expenditure plans, ongoing share repurchases, potential acquisition opportunities, and other relevant factors at the time.

Core Laboratories N.V. is a leading provider of proprietary and patented reservoir description, production enhancement, and reservoir management services used to optimize petroleum reservoir performance. The Company has over 70 offices in more than 50 countries and is located in every major oil-producing province in the world.

CVS Caremark Corp. (CVS) Jan. 12, 2010 Woonsocket, RI approved a 15% increase in its quarterly dividend, marking the seventh-straight year the company has upped the dividend.

The dividend will be 8.75 cents a share, payable Feb. 2 to holders of record on Jan. 22. It had been 7.625 cents. The increase translates to an annual rate of 35 cents a share, up 4.5 cents from the previous rate of 30.5 cents.

"This considerable increase reflects our continued strong financial performance, our optimism with respect to future growth and our significant cash generation capabilities," said President and Chief Financial Officer Dave Denton.
In November, The pharmacy service provider reported stronger-than-expected third-quarter earnings but warned that it had some "big client losses" in its Caremark business for next year's pharmacy benefit-selling season.

Epoch Holding Corporation (Nasdaq: EPHC), Jan. 8, 2010, New York, NY announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in the quarterly dividend from $0.03 to $0.05 per share.

The dividend is payable on February 12, 2010 to shareholders of record as of January 29, 2010.

“We are pleased to announce an increase in our quarterly dividend,” said William W. Priest, Chief Executive Officer of the Company. “This quarterly dividend increase, combined with the previously announced expansion of our share buyback plan and the special dividend paid in December, reflects the Board’s continued confidence in Epoch’s business strategy and financial discipline. The Company remains focused on delivering above average returns and superior service to clients as we develop the firm in a manner consistent with our ‘best in class’ objective.”

Epoch Holding Corporation conducts its operations through Epoch Investment Partners, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary and a registered investment adviser under the Investment Advisers Act of 1940, as amended. Investment management and investment advisory services are the Company's sole line of business. Headquartered in New York, the Company's current product offerings include U.S. All Cap Value; U.S. Value; U.S. Small Cap Value; U.S. SMID Cap Value; U.S. Choice; International Small Cap; Global Small Cap; Global Choice; Global Equity Shareholder Yield; and Global Absolute Return.

Fairfax Financial Holdings Ltd., (NYSE:FRFHF) Jan. 5, 2010 Toronto, Ontario which owns stakes in Canadian and U.S. insurers, raised its annual dividend by 25 percent, the fourth straight yearly increase.

The $10 a share dividend will be payable Jan. 26 to shareholders of record as of Jan. 19, Toronto-based Fairfax said today in a statement. Last year, Fairfax’s dividend was $8 a share.

Fairfax said the payout is determined by “current operating results” and its cash position. At the end of September, Fairfax had $2.34 billion in cash, short-term investments and marketable securities in its holding company. Profit in the third quarter was $562.4 million, a 20 percent increase from the year-earlier period.

Fairfax’s dividend has an indicated yield of 2.6 percent, according to Bloomberg data. That compares with 4.5 percent at Sun Life Financial Inc., Canada’s third-largest insurer, and 2.5 percent at Manulife Financial Corp.

Fifth Street Finance Corp. (NYSE: FSC) Jan. 13, 2010, White Plains, NY boosted its dividend by 11% to 30 cents, marking its second consecutive increase for shareholders.
The dividend will be paid on March 30, 2010 for shareholders of record March 3, 2010.

Fortis Inc. (TSX: FTS) Jan 11, 2010 ST. JOHN’S, NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR increases quarterly common share dividend by 7.7 percent that marks 37 consecutive years of annual common share dividend increases. The board has declared a common share dividend of $0.28 per share on the issued and outstanding fully paid common shares of the corporation, payable on March 1, 2010 to the common shareholders of record at the close of business on February 5, 2010.

The 7.7 per cent increase in the quarterly common share dividend to $0.28 from $0.26 extends the corporation’s record of annual common share dividend payment increases to 37 consecutive years, the longest record of any public corporation in Canada.

Fortis Inc. is the largest investor-owned distribution utility in Canada, with total assets approaching $12 billion and fiscal 2008 revenues totalling $3.9 billion. The corporation serves more than 2,000,000 gas and electricity customers. Its regulated holdings include electric distribution utilities in five Canadian provinces and three Caribbean countries and a natural gas utility in British Columbia. Fortis owns and operates non-regulated generation assets across Canada and in Belize and Upper New York State. It also owns hotels and commercial real estate across Canada. Fortis Inc. shares are listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange and trade under the symbol FTS.

Glentel Inc. (TSX: GLN) January 5, 2010, Burnaby, British Columbia announced an increase in its quarterly dividend, to $.0975 per share. The dividend has a record date of January 15, 2010, and is payable on January 29, 2010.

Glentel is a leading provider of innovative and reliable telecommunications services and solutions in Canada and the United States. Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Burnaby, BC, Glentel comprises two operating divisions - Retail and Business - that service thousands of consumers and commercial telecommunications customers.

Together with its divisions, the company operates more than 280 locations across Canada located in retail malls, Costco Wholesale stores, and business centers. As the largest multi-carrier mobile phone retailer in Canada, it offers a choice of network carrier and wireless device or phone. To its business and government customers, Glentel offers wireless service, rental equipment, satellite and terrestrial network systems, tower sites and wireless asset monitoring. Glentel operates its business under the trading names Glentel Wireless, WirelessWave, The Telephone Booth (Tbooth and la cabine T) and WIRELESS etc.
Linear Technology Corporation (NASDAQ:LLTC), Jan. 13, 2010, Milipitas, CA a leading, independent manufacturer of high performance linear integrated circuits, reported financial results for the quarter ended December 27, 2009.

During the December quarter the Company’s cash, cash equivalents and marketable securities balance increased by $33.0 million to $942.5 million. The Company is increasing its quarterly dividend from $0.22 per share to $0.23 per share. This marks the 18th consecutive year the Company has increased its dividend. The cash dividend of $0.23 per share will be paid on February 24, 2010 to stockholders of record on February 12, 2010.

According to Lothar Maier, CEO, “The Company began to recover from the global recession in the first quarter, but we continued to be relatively cautious as we entered the second quarter given the economic climate and level of uncertainty among our customers. However, the recovery continued throughout the second quarter and we experienced stronger than expected bookings with particular strength in the industrial, communications and computer end-markets. This allowed us to beat the high end of our second quarter revenue guidance as we grew revenues $20.2 million or 9% sequentially. In addition, higher gross margins and tight operating expense controls resulted in a 16% increase in our operating income, thereby increasing our operating margin to 45.1% of sales, up from 42.2% last quarter.

“Our factories continue to execute well, enabling us to maintain low lead times which allows our customers to place orders on us close to their demand requirements. Strong second quarter bookings and a related positive book-to-bill ratio that was higher than we have experienced in the past several quarters, leads us to be optimistic as we enter our third quarter. As a result, we are forecasting revenue growth for our third fiscal quarter in the range of 7% to 10% over our second fiscal quarter.”

Matthews International Corporation (Nasdaq: MATW) Oct. 22, 2009 Pittsburgh, PA declared a quarterly dividend of $0.07 per share on the Company's common stock. The quarterly dividend has been increased one-half cent per share from $0.065 to $0.07. The dividend is payable November 16, 2009 to stockholders of record November 2, 2009.

Joseph C. Bartolacci, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Despite the challenges of fiscal 2009, we continue to have confidence in our long-term strategies. Accordingly, Matthews believes a modest increase in our dividend is appropriate." Mr. Bartolacci noted that this was the Corporation's 15th dividend increase since Matthews became a publicly traded stock in July 1994.

Matthews International Corporation, headquartered in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, is a designer, manufacturer and marketer principally of memorialization products and brand solutions. Memorialization products consist primarily of bronze memorials and other memorialization products, caskets and cremation equipment for the cemetery and funeral home industries. Brand solutions include graphics imaging products and services, marking products, and merchandising solutions. The Company's products and services include cast bronze memorials and other memorialization products; caskets; cast and etched architectural products; cremation equipment and cremation-related products; mausoleums; brand management; printing plates and cylinders, pre-press services and imaging services for the primary packaging and corrugated industries; marking and coding equipment and consumables, and industrial automation products for identifying, tracking and conveying various consumer and industrial products, components and packaging containers; and merchandising display systems and marketing and design services.

OGE Energy Corp. (NYSE: OGE) Jan. 8, 2010 Oklahoma, OK announced that its Board of Directors has approved an increase in the company's annual dividend to $1.45 per share from $1.42 per share.

The increase is effective with its first-quarter 2010 dividend of $0.3625 per common share of stock, to be paid Jan. 29, 2010, to shareowners of record Jan. 8, 2010. This continues an uninterrupted string of quarterly dividends dating back to 1947.

"We are pleased to be able to increase our dividend again this year," said Pete Delaney, chairman, president and CEO of OGE Energy. "As we operate in a challenging economy, we are controlling costs and maintaining our company's strong financial position. This enables us to continue our commitment to growing earnings and dividends for the long term."
OGE Energy is the parent company of OG&E, a regulated electric utility, and of Enogex LLC, a midstream natural gas pipeline business.

Pentair, Inc. (NYSE:PNR) Jan. 7, 2010 Minneapolis, MN recently approved an increase in the company’s quarterly cash dividend of one cent per share, effective with the quarterly dividend payable in the first quarter of 2010. The new annual cash dividend rate - $0.76 cents per share as compared to the previous rate of $0.72 per share – represents a six percent increase.

Pentair is a global diversified industrial company headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Its Water Group is a global leader in providing innovative products and systems used worldwide in the movement, treatment, storage and enjoyment of water. Pentair’s Technical Products Group is a leader in the global enclosures and thermal management markets, designing and manufacturing thermal management products and standard, modified, and custom enclosures that protect sensitive electronics and the people that use them. With 2008 revenues of $3.35 billion, Pentair employs approximately 13,100 people worldwide.

Pfizer, Inc. (NYSE: PFE), Dec. 14, 2009, New York, NY
The board of directors of Pfizer Inc. today declared an 18-cent first-quarter 2010 dividend on the company's common stock, payable March 2, 2010, to shareholders of record at the close of business on February 5, 2010. Pfizer increased the dividend by 12.5 percent, to 18 cents from 16 cents per share.

"The board has determined that a measured dividend increase can be supported at this time," said Jeffrey Kindler, Pfizer Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "This increase is a testament to our commitment to enhance shareholder value and our confidence in our business and our ability to rapidly integrate Wyeth and realize the anticipated benefits of the acquisition. While the dividend level remains a decision of the board and will continue to be evaluated in the context of future business performance, we currently believe that we can support future annual dividend increases, barring significant unforeseen events."

Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation (NYSE: RL) Jan. 6, 2010, New York, NY upped its quarterly dividend to 10 cents per share, doubling the previous quarter's payout. The company's dividend yield of 0.5% is a competitive one in an industry that virtually offers no income.

Polo Ralph Lauren Corporation designs, markets and distributes premium lifestyle products in four categories: apparel, home, accessories and fragrances.

The Company's brand names include Polo by Ralph Lauren, Ralph Lauren Purple Label, Ralph Lauren Collection, Black Label, Blue Label, Lauren by Ralph Lauren, RRL, RLX, Rugby, Ralph Lauren Childrenswear, American Living, Chaps and Club Monaco.
Its quarterly dividend is 10 cents per share, doubling the previous quarter's payout. The dividend is payable on January 8, 2010 to shareholders of record at the close of business on December 24, 2009.

The company's dividend yield of 0.5% is a competitive one in an industry that virtually offers no income.

RGC Resources, Inc. (Nasdaq: RGCO), Nov. 24, 2009, Roanoke, VA at its meeting on November 23, 2009, declared a quarterly dividend of $0.33 per share on the Company's common stock. The indicated annual dividend is $1.32 per share, a $0.04 per share increase over prior level. The dividend will be paid on February 1, 2010 to shareholders of record on January 15, 2010. This is the Company's 263rd consecutive quarterly cash dividend and the Company's thirteenth dividend increase since 1995.

RGC Resources, Inc. provides energy and related products and services to customers in Virginia through its operating subsidiaries including Roanoke Gas Company, Diversified Energy Company and RGC Ventures of Virginia, Inc.

Robbins & Myers, Inc. (NYSE: RBN) Jan. 5, 2010 Dayton, OH announced today that its Board of Directors approved an increase in the quarterly cash dividend payment from $0.04 to $0.0425 per share. The dividend is payable on February 19, 2010 to shareholders of record as of January 21, 2010.

President and Chief Executive Officer Peter C. Wallace commented, "I am pleased to announce our fourth consecutive annual dividend increase, reflecting our strong financial position and strategy to create long-term shareholder value."

Robbins & Myers, Inc. is a leading supplier of engineered equipment and systems for critical applications in global energy, industrial, chemical and pharmaceutical markets.

Shaw Communications Inc. (NYSE: SJR) Jan. 14, 2010 Calgary, Canada announced that its Board of Directors has increased the equivalent annual dividend rate to $0.88 on Shaw's Class B Non-Voting Participating Shares and $0.8775 on Shaw's Class A Participating Shares. This represents an increase of 5% or $0.04 per share. Shaw's dividends are declared and paid on a monthly basis and this increase will commence March 30, 2010.

The Company continues to deliver solid operational and financial results which demonstrate the strength of its competitive positive and prospects for future growth. Accordingly, Shaw's Board of Directors determined that a dividend increase at this time is an appropriate use of the Company's free cash flow. Based on the January 13, 2010 closing stock price, the new dividend rate represents a yield of 4.3%.

Shaw's Board of Directors reviews the applicable dividend rates on a quarterly basis. Shareholders are entitled to receive dividends only when any such dividends are declared by Shaw's Board of Directors, and there is no entitlement to any dividend prior thereto.

Shaw Communications Inc. is a diversified communications company whose core business is providing broadband cable television, High-Speed Internet, Digital Phone, telecommunications services (through Shaw Business Solutions) and satellite direct-to-home services (through Shaw Direct). The Company serves 3.4 million customers, including over 1.7 million Internet and 900,000 Digital Phone customers, through a reliable and extensive network, which comprises 625,000 kilometres of fibre.

Tyco International (NYSE: TYC) Jan. 15, 2010 Schaffhausen, Switzerland announced that its board of directors has recommended that its shareholders approve an annual Swiss Franc dividend equal to $0.84 at the company's annual general meeting of shareholders on March 10, 2010.

The proposed $0.84 dividend is equal to 0.85 Swiss Francs as of January 11, 2010 and represents a five percent increase over the $0.80 dividend approved by shareholders in 2009. The proposed dividend will be paid in the form of a capital reduction and will be distributed in four quarterly installments throughout the year.

The proposed dividend will be denominated in Swiss Francs. The Swiss Franc amount will be determined based on the USD/CHF exchange rate in effect on March 8, 2010 so that the amount of the capital reduction is at least the Swiss Franc equivalent of $0.84 on such date. The adjusted amount will be announced prior to the annual general meeting.

Universal Corporation (NYSE: UVV) Jan. 6, 2010 increased the regular quarterly dividend on its common shares by one cent to forty-seven cents ($.47) per share. The dividend is payable February 9, 2010, to common shareholders of record at the close of business on January 11, 2010. This is the 39th consecutive annual dividend increase.

Headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, Universal Corporation is the world's leading tobacco merchant and processor and conducts business in more than 30 countries. Its revenues for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2009, were $2.6 billion. For more information on Universal Corporation, visit its web site at

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Design is copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Bexley Public Radio Foundation. Text is copyright 2010. All rights reserved. Laura Franks.

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