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Kaiser Corp. finances thriving

Kaiser Aluminum Corp. announced Monday a 33 percent dividend increase and a $75 million stock repurchase program.

The higher payout and buyback are another signal Kaiser, which emerged from bankruptcy in July 2006, continues to thrive financially thanks in large part to aerospace products produced at the Trentwood rolling mill.

The 24 cent-per-share dividend — up from 18 cents — will be paid Aug. 15 to stockholders of record July 25.

The pace of the share buyback, the company said, will depend on market conditions, available cash, and opportunities for internal growth or acquisitions. Purchases will begin after July 6 and could continue for 18 months.

“The board’s decision to authorize these initiatives underscores our confidence in the company’s financial strength and prospects for the future,” Kaiser Chairman Jack Hockema said.

Kaiser has invested $140 million in Trentwood to boost output of aerospace products in high demand as Boeing Co. and Airbus cope with record aircraft order backlogs.

Company spokesman Geoff Mordock said the higher dividend and buyback will not affect Kaiser’s efforts to expand its businesses.

“This is just another way of showing the value Kaiser is providing for shareholders,” he said.

Kaiser shares closed up 13 cents Monday at $64.23 and added another 40 cents in after-hours trading.

The company’s total market capitalization exceeds $1.3 billion.


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