A. O. Smith announces 25 percent dividend increase to $.20 per share

Jul 09, 2012, 17:43 ET from A. O. Smith Corporation

MILWAUKEE, July 9, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The A. O. Smith Corporation (NYSE: AOS) Board of Directors today approved a 25 percent increase in the company's quarterly cash dividend to $.20 per share.  The dividend increase affects the company's Common Stock and Class A Common Stock.

This represents the largest increase to the company's quarterly dividend in 25 years and reflects the company's financial position.

"A. O. Smith has enjoyed profitable performance over the last several years despite the difficulties faced by the U. S. and global economies," Paul W. Jones, chairman and chief executive officer, said.  "Our balance sheet remains strong, and we are confident in our operations' ability to continue generating the cash needed to support our growth.  We believe we have cash and borrowing capacity to enable us to continue to pursue our disciplined acquisition strategy in addition to supporting this increase to our dividend."

"We recognize the importance our shareholders place on a competitive dividend yield, particularly in this historically low interest rate environment.  I am very pleased to note this represents the seventh consecutive year our company has increased its quarterly cash dividend."

The dividend is payable on Aug. 15 to shareholders of record July 31.

Forward-looking statements This release contains statements that the company believes are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.  Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of words such as  "may," "will," "expect," "intend," "estimate," "anticipate," "believe," "forecast," "guidance" or words of similar meaning.  These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those anticipated as of the date of this release.  Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from these expectations include, among other things, the following: difficulties in integrating the Lochinvar acquisition or achieving the disclosed accretion, cost synergies and/or global expansion opportunities related to the acquisition; weakening in the high efficiency boiler market or slowdown in the transition from non-condensing to condensing boilers in the United States; the ability to execute our acquisition strategy; significant volatility in raw material prices; competitive pressures on the company's businesses; inability to implement pricing actions; instability in the company's water products markets; further weakening in housing construction; further weakening in commercial construction; timing of any recoveries in housing or commercial construction; a slowdown in the Chinese economy; and adverse general economic conditions and capital market deterioration. Forward-looking statements included in this press release are made only as of the date of this release, and the company is under no obligation to update these statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.  All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements attributed to the company, or persons acting on its behalf, are qualified entirely by these cautionary statements.

A. O. Smith Corporation is one of the world's leading manufacturers of residential and commercial water heating equipment and boilers, offering a comprehensive line featuring the best-known brands in North America and China, as well as water purification products for residential and light commercial applications.  A. O. Smith, headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., employs approximately 10,500 people at operations in the U. S., Canada, Mexico, India, China, and the Netherlands.

SOURCE A. O. Smith Corporation